Last weekend, nine French associations of the French Islamic Council adopted the Charter of Principles for Islam in France. President Macron has been pushing for months for the associations to speak out against Islamism. The media are pleased to note that, despite its strong stance, the Charter avoids discrimination, although some observers question its effectiveness.
So you can’t reach the target audience
In his article in Le Figaro, sociologist Tarik Yildiz expresses doubt that the adopted charter will prove to be at least to some extent effective:
“It seems unlikely that a person who is in the stage of radicalization would be susceptible to Islam, which is indirectly labeled by the state — and which therefore seems imposed from above. In the internet age, forums are full of questions that young people are asking French-speaking imams who operate outside of any institutional framework and provide clear answers to all questions. The main goal would be to make sure that young people do not become susceptible at all to separatist and/or radical discourse, which for the most part only fills the vacuum that arises when the state is completely inactive in this area.“
Pragmatism pays off
This charter represents a step in the same direction as the anti-separatism bill currently before parliament, La Tribune de Geneve writes with approval:
“From the very beginning of his presidency, Macron has been working on the implementation of an extremely delicate undertaking — to identify the so-called problem areas in certain areas — mosques, schools, unions and associations in order then, together with actors on the ground, to explore opportunities for intervention — and, if necessary, to dissolve or ban these problem points. It is also about identifying obstacles in existing legislation that currently tie the hands of the state. When the method was developed, changes in legislation were required in order for this method to be applied in practice. This is exactly what happened now — in the spirit of conscious pragmatism, which is not very common in France, but which helped to disarm its opponents. … Now you can act against some without stigmatizing others. … Thanks to Macron.“
The twine was a success!
Sweden should follow the example of France, says Dagens Nyheter:
“The most serious challenge would be the very fact of voicing an urgent problem, without pointing a finger at a certain population group — and without making sweeping ‘accusations’. … There is also a risk that, as is often the case, the first to be heard will be the small radical voices from the Islamic milieu, but by no means the voices of the moderate majority. … After the assassination of Samuel Pati, Emmanuel Macron was able to find a reasonable balance between distancing himself from extremist Islam and taking into account the interests of the overwhelming majority of Muslims who have been a visible part of French society for many generations and have just as much suffered from violence and suppression from extremists. A successful political twine testifies both to a readiness to respectfully listen to the opinions of others, and to a readiness to object. In the Swedish version, this would also be quite possible!“