Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

French Imams Say They Are Ready To Help Counter Muslim Extremism

(JTA) — Thirty imams in France signed an open letter calling on their colleagues to help counter Muslim extremism.

The letter, which appeared Tuesday in the daily LeMonde, expressed “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.”

The letter was in response to a manifesto published on Sunday in LeParisien, the largest circulation newspaper in France, signed by 300 politicians, intellectuals and artists denouncing the “new anti-Semitism in France” driven by radical Islamists in the country.

The manifesto also suggested that verses of the Quran calling for the “murder and punishment of Jews, Christians and disbelievers” be removed on the grounds that they are “obsolete.”

The imams offered their “theological expertise” to help guard against radicalized Muslims. They said that Islam has fallen into the hands of “an ignorant, disrupted and idle youth. A naive youth, easy prey for ideologues who exploit this dismay.”

“For more than two decades, subversive readings and practices of Islam have been rampant in the Muslim community, generating a religious anarchy, rife throughout society. A cancerous situation to which some imams unfortunately contributed, often unconsciously, ” the letter said.

The imams called on the “enlightened imams” to provide “counter-speech that prevents all practices of rupture and all forms of extremism that can directly or indirectly lead to terrorism.”

France’s chief rabbi, Haim Korsia, told FranceTV that the letter’s call for some Quran verses to be removed was “inconceivable,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Korsia was one of the signatories to the manifesto.

Meanwhile, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, in a statement said the manifesto “subjected French Muslims and French Islam to an unbelievable and unfair trial.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.