A draft bill announced by French President Emmanuel Macron for the creation of “Islam of the Enlightenment” will only bring about attempts to further fuel growing xenophobia, racism, discrimination and Islamophobia, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said, urging Paris to adopt more constructive ways to tackle the issue.
“Nobody should try to subject our sacred religion, which means ‘peace,’ to wrong and distorted approaches under the pretext of ‘enlightenment.’ We think that the mentality that forms the basis of this bill will lead to dire consequences rather than bringing solutions to France’s problems,” read the statement released by the ministry late Oct. 5.
The statement recalled that Macron announced that an “Islam of the Enlightenment will be created” in France with the draft bill on the “fight against separatism” to be submitted to the Council of Ministers on Dec. 9.
Macron said new measures will be taken in a bid to defend the republic and its values while combatting radical Islamism will be among the priorities of the new understanding. Imams will also be trained and certified in France in a bid to stop the influence of foreign imams.
The Turkish ministry’s statement has described the motive behind the law as to discipline immigrant societies “by introducing concepts such as ‘European Islam’ and ‘French Islam’ under the pretext of ‘enlightening’ the religion of Islam means acting in the opposite direction of humanitarian and legal considerations.”
States do not have the right to determine by law the religious service that each person will receive while practicing their faith and the religious understanding they adopt,” it said, adding, “As we closely monitor the process related to this draft bill, we will continue to raise with France its drawbacks on bilateral and multilateral platforms.”
AKP spokesman slams Macron
In a separate statement on Twitter, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Spokesperson Ömer Çelik strongly criticized Macron for violating freedom of faith and laws through the proposed drafted bill.
“Macron is lending a support to the hate crimes and not democracy and human rights,” he said, calling the French president’s move a “provocation.”
“Mentioning the creation of a ‘French Islam’ is a dictatorial approach and a blatant ignorance. Macron should deal with growing xenophobia and Islamophobia,” he stated.
Presidential spokesperson slams Macron
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also criticized the French leader on Twitter. “The claim by President Macron that ‘Islam is in crisis’ is a dangerous and provocative statement, encouraging Islamophobia and anti-Muslim populism. Blaming Islam and Muslims as a scapegoat for the failures of the French Republic is a far cry from rational politics,” he stated.