Thirty imams denounce, in a tribune to the "World", the anti-Semitism and terrorism present in France.
Tribune. We, the signatories of this appeal, would first like to express our compassion for all our fellow citizens who have been directly or indirectly affected by terrorism and by the anti-Semitic crimes that have blindly struck our country.
If we have decided to speak, it is because the situation, for us, is becoming more and more untenable; and because all silence on our part would now be complicit and therefore culpable, even if until now it was only a dumbness of amazement.
Indignant, we are as French affected by this despicable terrorism that threatens us all. We are also Muslims, like the rest of our co-religionists, peaceful Muslims, who suffer from the confiscation of their religion by criminals.
Our indignation is also religious as imams and theologians who see Islam fall into the hands of an ignorant, disrupted and idle youth. A naive youth, easy prey for ideologues who exploit his dismay. Desperate, having not found meaning in life, these theorists of a geopolitics of chaos offer him a misguided sense of martyrdom: a disguised suicide, as a deliverance from existential suffering. An act that would be a death applied to purely political-economic issues. Theologically speaking, the martyr is the one who suffers unjustly or suddenly death, and not the one who seeks and provokes it.
We here warn him against this deadly temptation and call him to listen and listen to the Prophet's warning that " The Muslim who attacks the life of an innocent person living in peace with the Muslims will never feel the perfume of Paradise. This sentence without appeal dissuades and warns unequivocally the one who thinks to take away the life of others, that it is not a Paradise and Houris who would wait for him but a Hell and its torments.
The real sacrifice is to give oneself for others, as did our national hero, Colonel Arnaud Beltrame.
For more than two decades, readings and subversive practices of Islam have raged in the Muslim community, generating a religious anarchy, gangrening the whole society. A cancerous situation to which some imams unfortunately contributed, often unconsciously. Courage compels us to recognize it. Many imams do not yet realize the damage that their speeches might cause because of a lag in our society and our time, and they do not value the harmful psychological effects on vulnerable minds.
We call on them not to fall into the confusion of genres. Islam is first and foremost a spiritual aspiration and a quest for transcendence in generosity and otherness, and not an identity and political ideology with all that this would imply as social demands, memorial competition, import into our territory of geopolitical conflicts. , especially Israeli-Palestinian, etc. This mixture of genres increases the frustration of an excluded youth who feels a victim of a broken promise of equality.
Speech of appeasement, serenity
We call on them to deliver a speech of appeasement, serenity and resistance to mass orthodoxy, communitarian populism and requests for religious overdoses.
At the same time, we call on the rest of our fellow citizens, especially intellectuals and politicians, to be more discriminating. Because these criminal practices claimed in the name of Islam could just confirm clichés engraved in the minds. Some have already seen an expected opportunity to incriminate an entire religion. They no longer hesitate to say in public and in the media that it is the Koran itself that calls for murder.
This fatal idea is of unheard-of violence. It would suggest that the Muslim can only be peaceful if he moves away from his religion: a positive Muslim, totally secularized. In short, a Muslim without Islam. In other words, the true Muslim, the good, can only truly be a bad Muslim and a potentially dangerous citizen.
This idea that Islam is genetically opposed to the West and that it is invincibly incompatible with the values of the Republic is precisely the one that wreaks havoc on an ignorant youth, without a religious culture.
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We, imams and theologians, are confronted with this nefarious ignorance well shared by both sides.
Aware that, despite the work we do on a daily basis in our mosques with our co-religionists and their children, and despite the work done by our chaplains in prisons with very modest means, we are not immune to other crimes in the name of Islam.
The Daech phenomenon [Arabic acronym of Islamic State group] is an indicator. He made us discover with astonishment that this youth was already tinkering with a strange combination of crime and religion. A secular crime that passes brutally to a religious delinquency. Nothing fundamentally has changed in the life of this youth, refractory to any institution including religious, because perceived in his eyes as proceeding from the system, that of the dominant. Da'ech was basically an alibi that revealed to us a latent reality that we suspected. The evil is therefore deeper.
While dealing with the symptom urgently, the response must be as profound as it is in the long run. Also, this radicalism or radicalization must be combated intelligently by all concerned, from policies to imams through the family, the school, the security ... That each assumes its share of responsibility.
Imams alone can not give the solution. They are confronted with new forms of religiosity that their theological religious formation has not anticipated. This challenge is increased by the virtual, source of a versatile and unpredictable religiosity. It is for this reason that we call enlightened imams to invest and engage in the virtual and provide a counter-speech that prevents all practices of rupture and all forms of extremism that can directly or indirectly lead to terrorism. This initiative on our part is not contrary to the principle of secularism
To be more concrete, we would like to put our skills and our experience at the service of our country to help the public authorities and ward off any terrorist danger still dormant in certain sick minds. A work that we do everyday, even if it is not visible, even less recognized.
Citizens also, we want to offer our theological expertise to the various actors who are confronted with the phenomena of radicalization in prisons, in public institutions, closed and open, to respond to religious aberrations with a theological illumination when the arguments put forward by these young people are religious. An expertise that only imams can bring.
This initiative on our part is not contrary to the principle of secularism. It does not forbid an enlightened faith in the service of the nation to defend common and universal values, those of the Republic. This practice of secularism is more relevant than ever. It engages us all in the circumstances of insecurity we are experiencing, including Muslim religious actors, in the fight against radicalism and anti-Semitism.
Finally, we remain confident that together we will overcome this ordeal and we will defeat this enemy.
Long live the Republic and long live France!
List of signatory imams: Tareq Oubrou (mosque of Bordeaux), Lotfi Abed (Rappel mosque, Antibes), Otmane Aissaoui (Er-Rahma mosque, Nice), Mohamed Bajrafil (Ivry-sur-Seine), Hassan Belmajdoub (Merignac Mosque), Belgacem Ben Said (Assalam Mosque, Nantes), Lotfi Falah (Attaquwa Mosque, Menton), Obaida Bensalam (En-Nour mosque, Nice), Toufik Bouhlel (Al Houda mosque, Nice), Messaoud Boumaza (Al-Andalous mosque, Strasbourg), Azzedine Benabdeljalil (Al-Feth Mosque, Nice), Abdallah Dlioueh (Imam of Valencia), IImad El Akramin (Great Mosque of Colmar), Hassan El Houari (Gonesse mosque), Moubarek Guerdam (An-Nour mosque, Mulhouse), Hassan Hda (Agen Mosque, chaplain of the Eysses detention center and the prison of Agen), Azzedine Gaci (Othmane Mosque, Villeurbanne), Mourade Hamila (Le Cannet mosque, Cannes), Helmy Ibrahim (mosque of Guéret), Hassan Ilyes (Grand Mosque of Créteil), Othmane Iquioussen (imam at the Assalam mosque in Raismes), Khalid Irzi (Bordeaux-Nord mosque and chaplain of the prison of Périgueux), Hassan Izzaoui (large mosque of Limoges, chaplain of the prisons, chaplain of the Limousin hospitals), Jalal Karmousse (Al-Aatique mosque, Nice), Mondher Najjar (Grand Mosque of Lyon), Aly Hazim Niass (Strasbourg-Hautepierre mosque), Mahmoud Ould Doua (Cenon mosque and regional chaplain of New Aquitaine prisons), Said Scharkaoui, (Mosque of Talence), Bachar El Sayadi (El Kaouthar mosque in Rouen), Abedelkrim Yezid (mosque of Bègles, chaplain of the detention center of Neuvic).