Dr. Abdelrehim Ali, head of the Center for Middle East Studies in Paris, said that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the Brotherhood the legitimate tool to hijack Islam and Muslims in France in broad daylight and to reconfigure their organizational frameworks to become a state within a state that can use its representation of Muslims for the organization’s separatist purposes.
Ali added that the evidence for this is that when the leadership of the international Brotherhood organization condemned Erdogan after the fall of their rule in Egypt and their siege in more than one Arab country, they chose a Turk, Ahmed Agras, to head the French Council for the Islamic Religion in 2017 despite the few number of Turks and the council’s continued control by Morocco and Algeria for around 14 years, even preceding the date of its inception in 2003.
He explained that, therefore, any solution for dealing with the so-called crisis of French Islam must begin with confronting the Brotherhood organization and its branch in France, the Union of Muslims of France, and dismantling its structure, drying up its sources of funding and prohibiting its associations. Otherwise there will be a return to square one to start over, which is what happened in all of those experiences mentioned earlier, and perhaps those that have not started yet.
Ali added that dismantling this organization that hijacks Islam and Muslims in France must not only include banning its structures and associations and drying up its sources of funding, but also by refuting the ideas it uses to recruit its members, as well as revealing the evasiveness of its leaders by confronting them in serious, in-depth and public dialogue sessions revolving around the foundations of the ideology that they believe in, which ultimately leads to the concept of separatism.
He said that for the success of this strategy, the implementation must adhere to three basic things. The first is not to confuse Islam as a religion with the Brotherhood organization that hijacks it, and to deal with the crisis as a crisis of organized kidnapping of the Islamic religion and not a filial crisis from which religion or Muslims suffer. This treatment avoids the discourse of grievance and Islamophobia, which the Brotherhood’s cadres, leaders and mouthpieces will resort to in the media in the face of these measures.
The second is for the confrontation process to take place on the ground of the societal unity of supporters, citizens and politicians of the French Republic. It is neither permissible nor correct for that confrontation process to permeate any kind of political warfare between the politically contested parties and the various French political currents, because the issue simply represents a national security issue for France in the first place, just like the issue of terrorism and the use of violence against peaceful citizens.
The third is to stop dealing with the issue of building an Islam of France, just as the Jewish model was dealt with in the year 1806, because in this way they are like someone who uses a “distance measurement unit to measure density.”