The beginning of 2019 shows hopeful signs of a slow paced recognition by the elites that the “issue of Islam” needs solving. The problem is the lack of solutions as the “French” Islam is rooted in hypocrisy.
The European multi-culti model, though criticized for years, is still prevalent either through the strength of inertia or through some ideological orthodoxy. In addition, an honest debate on this subject is hampered by an overwhelming scale of hypocrisy. In France, it is the most apparent.
The leading narrative that denies the existence of Islamic terrorism, which pretends that the extremists are simply marginal, or that Islam is officially peaceful, is clearly depleting, despite the fact that it is still present in the mainstream media. The anti-immigrant parties seem to gain a voice (and authority), although they can rather be described as groups rejecting the policy of open doors. Here, taking over power by the so-called populists does not automatically solve problems. Being intellectually honest and staying in line with the facts helps with identifying the issues. What about the solutions?
Controlling flow of Islamic cash
Already during his election campaign, current (so far) French president, Emmanuel Macron, foretold the rise of French Islam. He is seriously deliberating amending the Act of 1905, guaranteeing the secular nature of the state. The French president easily convinced the Church to his idea. It should be noted, however, that it is not the restoration of Christianity in France that he has in mind. The goal of the policy of the Élysée Palace would be instead a gradual implementation of the idea of transferring some of the power to Muslims in the hope of allowing the “French” version of Islam to sprout.
Majority of the solutions proposed by Mr. Macron primarily seek to take control of the finances of Muslim organizations within France by limiting their ability of accepting money from the Middle East and North Africa. To remedy the loss in financing from abroad, the organizations would be compensated by an introduction of a special halal food tax. Among other circulating postulates is an idea of “licensing” Muslim preachers to make sure their teachings remain “in accordance with the principles of the Republic.”
Principle of secularism not for Islam
Currently, there are four thousand Muslim organizations operating in France; Allah’s followers have 2,500 prayer rooms and about 80 mosques at their disposal. Over 400 mosques are either waiting for the implementation of the project or the completion of construction. 30 Muslim temples are being financed by the state, as it was admitted by the Rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris.
Officials at the local level, often wishing to maintain in power, purposely strengthen the Islamic centers for political reasons. The following pay to play is normally the case: in the construction process, in addition to a prayer room, Muslims apply to build an adjacent library, for example. They then have a chance of receiving subsidies from the city budget intended to support cultural initiatives in exchange for votes. On paper, the government does not sponsor a place of prayer, but a library. Not infrequently also, municipalities give away land for the construction of a mosque on preferential terms. In 2015, 60 percent of mosques were built on plots that local governments either sold or leased, basically for an indefinite time. In a word, it is a travesty, the principle of secularism does not apply to Muslims.
Legalization of Islamic parallel society?
When in 2017, Christian de Moliner, French Islamic expert, postulated the creation of two separate states in France, many thought that similar ideas should be considered pure political fantasy. At the time, he wrote: “The solution would be to create a country inspired by Algeria and Mayotte from the 20th century, that is, one territory, one government, but two nations: French people with ordinary rights and Muslims with status described in the Koran. The latter will, however, have the right to vote in elections, unlike the natives of colonial Algeria, but will use Sharia law in everyday life. They will no longer appeal to the French courts in any cases of disputes, but to the qadi, Muslim judges. Conflicts between Christians and Muslims will remain in the hands of ordinary courts. In order for these concessions to Islamists to be accepted by society, their rights will be more limited than those of other French citizens, and no interference from Islam into the ordinary legislation will be tolerated. ”
Today, one may be under the impression that President Macron implements his policy in exactly this spirit, of course, without admitting it openly. The recent creation of the Presidential City Council supports this theory. Two-thirds of the Council are representatives of Islamic organizations operating in the suburbs. Simultaneously established was the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Territorial Equality, with a budget (in 2018) of EUR 429 million. The French authorities seem to be willing to accept the formation of a parallel society, and now they wish (unofficially for now) to give it a specific institutional framework.
The plan seems to be simple: agree (for the society as a whole) to reject the secularity of the Republic; let Muslim organizations exercise power over Muslim population; grant them access to public money, but at the same time try to control their income. In exchange, the society gets more security and hope of forming a “French Islam”.
The real problem is the formation of a quasi-state ruled by Sharia within the borders of the original state. The existence of two diametrically different civilizational and political orders inside one country may even have the power of removing the specter of conflict, but it does not erase the root of conflict. It rather freezes it and delays it into the further future. In addition, this process is consistent with the vision of the Muslim Brotherhood, for the slow but consequent Islamization of Europe.
The Polish original: Francuski Islam na fundamencie hipokryzji