SHAFAQNA ( Exclusive ) – France set out a package of reforms to integrating Muslims and preventing radicalization. It outlined plans to set up a “dialogue forum”, tapping leading associations, intellectuals and other notable figures from the Muslim community for regular talks with the government. Much of the focus will be on the training of Muslim preachers, trying to “encourage the emergence of a generation of imams fully engaged in the Republic”, an interior ministry source said. “will only be recruited if they have obtained the new training diploma in the fundamental principles of the Republic,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
The French Council of the Muslim Religion, set up in 2003, has been widely criticised for failing to represent the full diversity of France’s 4 to 5 million Muslims. “It is crucial the Republic protects all its children and especially mosques from anti-Muslim acts,” said Cazeneuve.