Monday, August 1, 2016

French Muslims to set up foundation to finance mosques

A new foundation will be created to help finance mosques in France and keep out radical donors, the head of France’s top Muslim body said Monday, days after the prime minister called for an end to foreign financing of mosques.

Anouar Kbibech, who heads the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an umbrella organization of French Muslim groups, said the foundation would be used to fund the construction and running of mosques and would be financed by fees paid by actors in the halal food sector.

His announcement follows calls by Prime Minister Manuel Valls last week to end the funding from abroad of French mosques, amid fears foreign influence over certain mosques and prayer rooms in France could encourage the radicalization of attendants.

"Almost all Muslims of France are attached to a serene, open, tolerant Islam and they are fully respecting the values and laws of the Republic," Kbibech said on LCI television.

After meeting Kbebich, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he wanted the foundation to be launched in October.

Cazeneuve said 20 Muslim places of worship have been shut down in recent months due to radical views being exposed there.

"There's no room in France for those who call for and stir up hatred in prayer rooms or mosques and do not respect the principles of the Republic," he said.

He added the government is working on a way to guarantee "total transparency" in the financing of the mosques while at the same time "strictly respecting the secular principles of the Republic"...
 (FRANCE 24 with AP)

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