UOIF: 200 ghosts associations

25.05.2015 Fiammetta Venner

What does the Union of Islamic Organisations of France? Media and politicians agree to explain that the UOIF is the first representative of French Muslims and give them a large place according. But in the reality of how activists is there ? This is what we wanted to know.

The Union of Islamic Organisations of France would count more than 200 associations. The conditional is required because this figure, taken by all observers, comes from the Union itself and has never been verified. On its website, the UOIF publicize a list of 59 names and said: “For a more complete list, contact us.” On several occasions, I asked the UOIF the list of associations in question. We ended up reply that this list was confidential. So I limited my first inquiry to this list which basically is probably much the UOIF has since decided to make his window [1]. Most of all small structures, thoughts about the same mode, to represent the Union in a region. Yet again? French law allows any citizen to ask the prefecture laws a legally registered association. What I did for each one. Of the 59 associations: 12 are listed anywhere, either in the prefecture, or even in the directory. Of the 47 remaining associations, seems to have only a dozen a reality other than spectral.

Most of the articles of associations such satellites are built on the same basis. Membership status is lost under certain conditions, which is common, but possible grounds for exclusion are still quite original: almost all allow themselves the ability to exclude a member for apostasy. For the Association of Muslims of Picardy, for example: “membership is lost by radiation pronounced by the Board of Directors for failure to implement Islam and this Statute.” Islam Without Borders Association considers that to be a member, one must “be a practicing Muslim.” Member status is lost in case of “denial of values ​​that relates the Muslim.” We do not know more about how apostasy is pronounced. In case of dissolution of the association, most statutes provide that “movable and immovable property of the association will be automatically transferred to the benefit of the UOIF”. Another feature hits from reading these documents: no women are present in association offices (that is to say in decision-making). Another excludes even a woman can be a member. In Article 9, it says :

“any female person is excluded from the association of any age.”

The formulation is fun. The “regardless of age” is written on a non-discriminatory fashion … in a discrimination formulation . Speaking of “exclusion” is also fun. Because to be excluded, you must first have had the right to incorporate the association!

Other associations, those which militate converts or level members of higher studies, feature more elaborate statutes, feigning more respect for republican principles. This is for example the case of the Muslim Association of Picardy. The President and the Secretary are both teachers. The treasurer, Pascal Vanlanduyt, is a convert. Article 2 of the Articles of Association of the AMP says it wants to “organize periodic interreligious dialogue seminars, lectures and discussions for a better understanding of Islam away from fanaticism and extremism devoid of foundation. To establish and improve relations with associations, (…) to defend Islam and Muslims against the implications of this amalgam of religious tolerance and extremism. ” Note the very pretty “far from fanaticism and extremism devoid of foundation.” Not to be confused with the fanaticism that draws on “foundations” as fundamentalist fanaticism for example …

More seriously, many associations are declared at the limit of legality. According to the 1901 law, an association must hold an annual general meeting and a report, even partial, must be sent in the prefecture. Or almost no satellite organization of the UOIF has fulfilled this obligation. Some associations claimed by the UOIF have not even been declared prefecture. This is the case, for example, the Association of Education and Ahlluin teaching, or the socio-cultural and educational Association of Thuir. Unknown to the battalion. Note however that if the 1901 law is very flexible, it has the merit of allowing some control in exchange: it is the responsibility of prefectures to ensure the application of the law and the refusal of incitement to hatred . Radiation for “breaches of sacred principles of Islam” – which is to treat an apostate member and thus to appoint him to a punishment that should be death according to Islamic law – could go into this framework. It is the same for associations that have not held elections for nearly ten years, while its statutes require in one per year. [2]

This brings us to the question of the number if the UOIF has swelled the number of satellite associations, it can just as easily exaggerate the number of its supporters. We shall see below, the annual Congress of the Bourget – which serves as a rallying point for its members but also to his supporters and even the curious – does not meet 60,000 people but more likely 10 000. This figure is undoubtedly a wide estimation of the network that really represents the Union of Islamic Organisations of France. Its strengths, they are concentrated around ten associations having a real existence, and a few mosques.

Fiammetta Venner

[1] Other associations around the UOIF played to circumvent the law. This is the case of the Union of Young Muslims (UJM), the association of Lyon under coach Tariq Ramadan, who has created a one-man company with limited liability. This, as the name suggests, is for individuals, not to legal entities, so the associations. Better, UJM can now call SODELIM but continue to receive subsidies as qu’UJM.

[2] Association culturelle éducative et sportive La Madrassa, A.S.C.C.M.T, Association musulmane Foi et unicité de Sarcelles, Association cultuelle musulmane vietnamienne, Association des Français musulmans de Villiers le Bel, Association éducation culturelle enfants Africains, A.I.A.E.L.A, Association musulmane africaine en France, Association de coopération islamique de la communauté africaine, Association islamique et culturelle du Calvados, Association culturelle musulmane de Saint-Nazaire et sa région, Association musulmane de Sully/Loire, Association culturelle islamique, Association islam sans frontières, Association islamique d’Alençon et sa Région, Association socio-culturelle des musulmans de Haute-Normandie, Association islamique de l’Ouest de la France, Communauté musulmane du Loiret, Ligue islamique du Nord, Association de la mosquée et du Centre islamique de Reims, Association des musulmans de Lorraine, Association islamique clémence, Association des musulmans de Picardie, Association islamique de l’Est de la France, Association cultuelle islamique de Laon, Association des musulmans en Alsace, Association de la solidarité islamique des Ardennes, Association culturelle Islamique de Dole et sa Région, Association islamique, Association solidarité musulmane, Association de l’éducation et l’enseignement, Centre culturel et mosquée des musulmans de Tourcoing, Croissant de l’Islam, Association “ASSALAM”, Association espoir, La jeunesse musulmane de France en Bourgogne, Centre culturel islamique de Franche-Comté, Association soleil pour la culture et l’éducation de la jeunesse, Association de la fraternité islamique, Centre islamique, Association musulmane de Saint Chamond, Association action espoir, Association islamique culturelle de la Haute-Loire, Association socioculturelle et éducative de Thuir, Association pour la promotion culturelle des familles d’Orange, Association culturelle islamique, Association d’orientation islamique, Association culturelle les amis du Maghreb, Association des musulmans des Alpes Maritimes, A.C.E.P., Association des musulmans de Libourne, Association des musulmans de la Gironde, Association activités recherches culture et sport, Association des musulmans de Limoges pour la Fraternité, Association des musulmans de la Charente, Association culturelle islamique de la Charente-Maritime, Association des musulmans de la Réole, Association mosquée de Pau, S.O.S. jeunes.

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