The mufti of the Paris mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, has dropped what amounts to a political and religious bomb. He proposes a moratorium on the French law of 1905 separating Church and State, because not enough mosques are being built in France.
Besides his position as mufti, he is the president of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith), an association officially established in 2003 thanks to the efforts of Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy.
Questioned by Le Monde, Mr. Boubakeur set forth the idea of a “moratorium of 10 to 20 years” on the 1905 law, which forbids all public funding of places of worship, so that Islam can “catch up” on its needs. “The associations that administer houses of worship need to be given air to breathe,” he says.
This has to be one of the most daring statements made yet by a Muslim leader in France. There are at least 1500 mosques and prayer rooms in France, 75 in Paris alone.
Dalil Boubakeur’s proposal to suspend the 1905 law has incensed France’s radical secularists, the advocates of “laïcité,” who see in his words a predictable maneuver, welcomed by the State and Churches alike, for the purpose of restoring the power of religion to all spheres of French life.
Militants of “laïcité” are convinced that Nicolas Sarkozy intends, through modifications to the existing law, to impose his view of the equality of all religions onto the French people, instead of maintaining the strict separation that has been enforced until recently when Islam came into the picture.
The blog Riposte Laïque writes:
Sarkozy, through his speeches in Rome and then in Ryadh rolled out the red carpet to the Churches, and someone had to go into the breach. This role fell to the freedom-destroying mufti of the Paris mosque, since Islam is the spear-head of this offensive.
Their fear, despite what they say about Islam, is of the return of Christianity, especially Catholicism, to the decision-making process of the government, as the following statements attest:
Furthermore, in Europe, 20 countries out of 25 are signatories of concordats with the Catholic Church. Now they want all of France to be aligned with those countries.
Riposte Laïque calls for a massive protest, first at the local level, then a march towards Paris. Among the organizations cited as participants in this protest are the Grand Orient of France (Freemasons) and the Ligue de l'Enseignement (League of Teachers).
Sarkozy has (knowingly?) opened a can of worms with his initiatives on religion. But the essential problem remains Islam. The advocates of “laïcité” seem to forget that there can be no separation of Church and State in Islam and that if Islam is going to be given privileges, it automatically means the end of the law of 1905. Sarkozy is banking on the fallacious notion of “equality” of religions and is throwing all religions together in the same arena to find a way of co-existing.