Macron Vows to Fight ‘Islamist Separatism’ with New Reforms

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a meeting with associations and people who benefits from their help regarding the government plan to fight poverty in Lens, on November 9, 2018. - Macron is currently on a six-day tour to visit the most iconic landmarks of the First World …

French President Emmanuel Macron has declared his government will fight against “Islamist separatism” with reforms including ending residency for foreign imams.

The French leader made his proposals at a speech in the city of Mulhouse this week saying that he wanted to see an end to “detached imams” sent by other countries like Algeria, Turkey, and elsewhere to French mosques.

Macron said that he encouraged a greater number of imams to be trained within France to replace the foreign imams, of which there are around 300 known to be operating in the country.

In total, France has around 1,800 imams and a much greater number of volunteers working at the estimated 2,500 places of Muslim worship across the country, France24 reports.

Macron also spoke about secular republican values saying: “In the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to shake a woman’s hand because she is a woman; in the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to be treated or educated by a woman; in the Republic, one cannot accept dropping out of school; in the Republic, one cannot demand certificates of virginity to marry.”

“In the Republic, one must never accept that the laws of religion can be superior to the laws of the Republic, it’s that simple,” he added.

“Political Islam has no place,” Macron said and went on to add: “Islamist separatism is incompatible with freedom and equality, incompatible with the indivisibility of the Republic and the necessary unity of the nation.”

The speech comes in the run-up to the national municipal elections set to take place next month. Some have expressed concerns over Islamist parties such as Union of French Muslim Democrats (UDFM) gaining a foothold in certain areas.

A recently leaked report from the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) claimed that there were as many as 150 areas of the country largely under the control of radical Islamists.

The speech comes just under a year after Macron declared that as “Act II” of his five-year presidency he would tackle the problem of political Islam.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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