Former French prime minister Manuel Valls has insisted that not only do jihadists act in the name of Islam, but denying terrorists are true Muslims removes the responsibility of other Muslims to act.
Mr. Valls, who served under Socialist President François Hollande, made his comments in a recent interview in which he stressed the importance of helping moderate Muslims combat radical Islamic extremism, L’Express reports.
“To say that Islam and Islamism have nothing to do with it is to deny any responsibility to act to our fellow Muslims. We must help them, we must help them to fight within themselves these totalitarian ideologies of Salafism or the Muslim Brotherhood,” Valls said.
Valls, who is now a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the March party (LREM), slammed comments by French journalist Edwy Plenel, who claimed that he, along with satirical magazine Charlie Hendo, was “at war” with Muslims.
“We do not make war on them [Muslims], we fight a fight against Islamism, against this terrorism that also kills Muslims,” he said.
The conservatives call the Muslim street prayers illegal and against French republican secularism https://t.co/3xDki0iIkR
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In October last year, former president Hollande was revealed to have expressed concern about Islam in private discussions, saying: “It’s true there’s a problem with Islam, it’s true. It’s not in doubt.”
Hollande is also said to have commented that in the future, a burqa-clad woman could become the symbol of France due to mass migration and Islamisation.
The French right has been much more vocal in their opposition to radical Islamic extremism, with Front National leader Marine Le Pen being one of the loudest voices against Islamisation.
The conservative Republicans have also become tougher on the issue, with a group of Republican politicians recently confronting Muslims in the Paris suburb of Clichy who have been praying in the street every week for several months. The public prayers were a protest against the city which forced the worshippers out of an illegal mosque earlier in the year.