PARIS — Islamists have an “intellectual monopoly” over public debate among Muslims in France and the state must intervene to limit foreign influence over worshippers, according to a new report submitted to President Emmanuel Macron.
The 617-page report, “The Fabric of Islam,” presents a comprehensive plan for reform of Islamic institutions in France following a call from Macron to bring them under the aegis of the state. During a July address to lawmakers at the Palace of Versailles, Macron committed to giving Islam “a framework and rules” by the fall. His goals: discouraging insular Muslim communities and combating extremist strands of the religion.
“Muslims, notably the young, inform themselves of the religion more and more on social media,” warned the report’s author Hakim El Karoui on BFM TV on Monday, adding that Salafist-aligned Saudis play a disproportionate role online.
His report, which was unveiled Sunday and published by liberal think tank Institut Montaigne, calls for the development of a “French Islam” — an autonomous, France-centric branch of the faith that would respond to French law. El Karoui, an essayist and ex-Rothschild banker, is also the nephew of former Tunisian Prime Minister Hamed Karoui.