«Charter of Republican Values»: Freedom of conscience and presumption of innocence violated.
After Macron's recent statements, including his last program interview published in Le Grand Continent magazine, it might seem that the heat around the fight against" Islamic separatism" has cooled somewhat.
So, the French President said that "we should not forget that more than 80% of the victims of Islamist terrorism are representatives of the Muslim world", and "we have a common fate in confronting all these crises". These statements might sound encouraging, if not for one "but": they are the exact opposite of what is happening in reality.
So, recently it became known that Macron's previously expressed intentions to "manage" the Muslim community in France by police methods are already being implemented. And they are embodied in such a way that until recently it would have been extremely difficult to believe that this is even possible in "enlightened Europe", and especially in France — a country that for the first time in the world proclaimed the freedom, equality and brotherhood of its citizens.
We are talking about the ultimatum that Macron put forward to the French Council of the Muslim faith (Conseil français du culte musulman) — the Central Muslim organization of France, which represents the country's leading Muslim religious associations. The meaning of the ultimatum is that the Council must adopt the "Charter of Republican values" within fifteen days.
What is the purpose and meaning of this "Charter"? The document's goals include "fighting foreign influence on French Muslims" and "securing the status of Islam as a religion rather than a political movement." However, these goals are supported, to put it mildly, by very strange measures that hardly have anything to do with Republican values. However, these goals are supported, to put it mildly, by very strange measures that hardly have anything to do with Republican values. Thus, the document declares that in order to "prevent radicalization", imams must undergo special licensing and constant "quality control". In addition, the Charter restricts the right of families to home education for children, prescribes strict penalties (including imprisonment) for parents of children who miss school, and the children themselves must be assigned a special identification number that will allow them to track their attendance at educational institutions. Other measures include constant comprehensive checks on the activities of Muslim religious organizations, financial audits, strict monitoring of the content of publications and sermons, etc. The "Charter", voluntarily and compulsorily proposed for approval by the French Council of the Muslim faith, is actually part of the practical implementation of an extensive report (about 250 pages) authored by an expert group at the French Senate. The report is entitled " Radicalization islamiste: faire face et lutter ensemble "("Islamist radicalization: "resist and fight together"). The document contains a detailed review and justification of the measures implied by Macron's ultimatum. Read the full report here (https://www.senat.fr/rap/r19-595-1/r19-595-11.pdf), and here - with its brief content (https://www.senat.fr/rap/r19-595-1/r19-595-1-syn.pdf). Let's pay special attention to the fact that the report was published on July 7, 2020 — that is, shortly before the scandal with the next publication of caricatures and subsequent tragic incidents.
All this largely puts the points on the "i" and once again confirms what was said earlier about the new French (anti-)Islamic policy. In fact, under the guise of fighting the radicalization of Muslims, a system of total police control is being built, in which French Muslims are understood as having been guilty in advance (!) because of their religious affiliation. In other words, the principles of presumption of innocence and freedom of conscience are violated, since the control system is built on the basis of initial suspicion of Muslims as such, regardless of their individual actions and characteristics.
The fight against extremism is absolutely essential; sometimes targeted police measures are unavoidable and even necessary — in situations where there are no other solutions. However, the systematic, comprehensive and, most importantly, humiliating control that turns a tenth of the inhabitants of France into hostages is a terrible dream that has already become a reality. Now millions of Muslim families are being considered by the French government as potential terrorist cells over which permanent paranoid "supervision" should be carried out. It is obvious that the source of paranoia in this situation will be not only the French state authorities, but also many ordinary French people, who, unfortunately, may succumb to artificially inflated xenophobic sentiments. The consequences of this policy can be truly disastrous — a comprehensive escalation of violent rhetoric and actions, the growth, on the one hand, of far-right and, on the other hand, of "Islamist" sentiments, an atmosphere of general fear and alienation.
It remains to be hoped that the French public, regardless of religious affiliation, will stand up for the Republican principles and their fellow French Muslims, and will not allow the implementation of the criminal policy of segregation. In turn, we, Russian Muslims, wholeheartedly support our French brothers, as well as all those who stand in solidarity with them in such a difficult time.

Let us turn to the Almighty our prayers for peace and harmony between people!

Damir Mukhetdinov,

Executive Secretary of the International Muslim forum,
Deputy Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation,
Rector of the Moscow Islamic institute