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France’s Muslim community worried over far-right gov’t coming to power

The Muslim community in France is concerned over the possibility of a far-right government assuming power as the second round of early general elections approaches.…

The Muslim community in France is concerned over the possibility of a far-right government assuming power as the second round of early general elections approaches.

Following President Emmanuel Macron’s dissolution of the National Assembly, the lower house of France’s parliament, on June 9, the country is undergoing an early election process.

In the first round of general elections held on June 30, the far-right National Rally (RN) party garnered the most votes.

With the RN and its allies collecting more than 33% of the votes, Muslims in the country are worried about the establishment of a far-right government.

The far-right has long advocated for bans on Muslim headscarves in public spaces and the slaughter of animals for meat according to halal (permitted) methods.

Representatives of the Muslim community have expressed concern about their freedom of worship being restricted and being treated as “second-class” citizens.

A conference titled ‘For the Republic, For France’, was recently held at the Great Mosque of Paris to address the rise of the far right ahead of the second round of elections.

It was attended by Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the rector of the mosque, Kamel Kabtane, the rector of the Great Mosque of Lyon, and Azzedine Taibi, the mayor of Stains, along with representatives of civil society organisations.

Hafiz called on all citizens, regardless of their beliefs, to vote in the second round on July 7.

“In these decisive days for the future of France, we stand firmly against the project, ideology and roots of the National Rally party,” he said.

Highlighting that the RN’s project and political rhetoric are built on Islamophobia and fear, he noted that Muslims cannot be the “scapegoat” for societal problems, which stem from other causes.

Hafiz said the parents of Muslim citizens contributed to the construction of France.

“We are not engaging in politics; we are standing against a danger that concerns all of us.”

Emphasising that the Great Mosque of Paris was built in memory of Muslims who died fighting for France, Hafiz called on the religious institutions of all faiths to stand against the rise of the far right.

He urged the entire French nation to unite against the far right’s ideas, saying, “We cannot allow our future to be determined by fear and division.”

Kabtane emphasized that statements by some RN politicians about banning headscarves in public and closing some mosques can only cause concern, and the Muslim community must act against these promises of the far right.

Taibi pointed to the risk that the far right, which is both anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic, might come to power in a few days. (Anadolu)

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