If Muslims in France don’t help the country to battle extremists and those who threaten the Republic, it will be “increasingly hard” for Paris to guarantee freedom of Islam, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.
“Through its history and its geography… and through its immigration, France maintains very strong ties with Islam,” Valls wrote in a long essay in Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper.
According to the PM, Islam is “second-largest religion” in France and many French Muslims don’t have to identify themselves “as an Arab-Muslim culture.”
However, a “terrible poison” of extremism has started spreading in the country, the French PM wrote.
“Slowly, insidiously, against the background of influences from abroad and rising communalism, developed against a model of society which contradicts the Republic and its values. Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalist Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”
And thus Paris must “invent a balance with Islam” under which “the Republic offers a guarantee of free exercise of religion,” Valls concluded.
“If Islam is not helping the Republic to fight against those who undermine public freedoms, it will be increasingly hard for the Republic to guarantee this freedom of worship.” Read full