French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that he is considering a ban on the foreign financing of mosques, and said that France needs a “new model” for its relationship with Islam.
In an interview with Le Monde, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated that France is considering a ban on the foreign funding of mosques, and hopes that in future imams will be trained in France, rather than elsewhere.
Mr. Valls stated that there needed to be what he called a “new relationship” between Islam and France:
“We need a complete overhaul and to invent a new relationship with Islam in France. This is a new model that we must build.”
Part of that new relationship would be an overhaul of the funding of new mosques, Mr. Valls saying he supported the cessation of the “foreign financing for the construction of mosques” for what he said was an “indefinite period”.
Mr. Valls also honed in directly on radical Islamic doctrine, saying that “Salafism has no place in France”. “We cannot avoid this debate,” he continued, stating that Muslims “have a role to play” in the “fight against radicalisation”. However, the French Prime Minister stated that this fight “will take a generation”.
Measures to restrict unregulated foreign funding of mosques – and attempt to halt the resulting extremism that comes with it – have been adopted or considered elsewhere on the continent, with Austria already banning the foreign funding of mosques in 2015.
And earlier this year Egyptian-born German politician Alexander Radwan suggested the introduction of an ‘Islam Law’ that would see the introduction of the taxation of Muslims for the purposes of funding German mosques, rather than relying on funding from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Radwan said that “imams funded from abroad in Germany preach against our fundamental values.”
Two weeks prior to the Bastille Day attack, a Saudi-funded mosque opened in Nice, the owner being the Saudi Arabian Minister for Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, a strict adherent to Wahhabism. The town mayor lost a bitter legal battle to stop its construction.