At the Heart of the UOIF

05.04.2016 Soufiane Zitouni

In April 2015, while the annual conference of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) opens Friday at Le Bourget to discuss “Mohammed, the Prophet of Mercy and Peace”, the organization is experiencing internal tensions, with two of its former members, leaders of young Muslim association in France, pointing to UOIF Islamist drifts. The investigation below has been conducted by France 24 reporters, Alexandra RENARD and Roméo LANGLOIS

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The Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), which boasts more than 250 member associations in France, is one of the main bodies organizing the French Muslim community, but more and more dissenting voices are being heard within the Organization. Among them, two former members, leaders of young Muslim association in France, are pointing to Islamist drifts within the UOIF.

While UOIF representatives claim that their thoughts simply reflect conformity to Islam, under the French republican laws, its detractors assert that the Organization is the showcase of the Muslim Brotherhood in France. A member of the French Council of the Muslim faith (CFCM), this major actor of Islam in France has gone through several crises, beginning with its referencing as a “terrorist organization” by the United Arab Emirates in November 2014, along with 81 other groups or organizations, including Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State organization, the Somali Shebab or Boko Haram … The UOIF expressed its disappointment on this “insulting and ridiculous” qualification, which harms the Muslims of France.

A few months earlier, in February 2015, Averroès Muslim High School of Lille – connected to the UOIF – was criticized. In a column published in “Liberation”, a resigning philosophy professor denounced “a conception of Islam that is none other than Islamism”, as well as the students’ cultural anti-Semitism. The school director filed a complaint for defamation.

Finally, in the aftermath of Paris bombings, Prime Minister Manuel Valls appealed to “fight Muslim Brotherhood speech in our country”, which was seen as a reference to the UOIF in France.

Is the Organization a threat to the French Republic or is it working towards improving community life? Our reporters conducted their investigation in Paris, Lille and Nantes. They met with the president of the UOIF, Amar Lasfar, but also with former members who openly point to the Islamist drifts of the Organization.

By Alexandra RENARD, and Romeo LANGLOIS

This post is also available in Français .


MB leader Encourages “Plunging Knives in the Chests and Bellies of the Enemies”

29.10.2015 La rédaction

Speaking at a Gaza rally, former Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad said that Allah had created Man “only to wage Jihad, only to move forward, only to plunge the knives in the chests and bellies of the enemies.” His address aired on the Hamas Al-Aqsa TV channel on October 19, 2015.

In an address broadcast on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV on October 19, former Gaza interior minister Fathi Hammad praised Palestinian “martyrs” who had committed themselves to the killing of Jews, who he called “the slayers of the prophets, the bloodsuckers, the killers of the martyrs.” …

The Hamas official praised the role of social media in promoting attacks on Israelis. “We salute the Facebook of Jihad, the Twitter of Jihad, the Whatsapp of Jihad. We salute anything wih Jihad in it.”

Allah, he said, had pledged to persecute the Jews and had created man “only to wage jihad, only to move forward, only to plunge their knives in the chests and bellies of the enemies.


Sid Ahmed Ghlam taught in a UOIF mosque

24.04.2015 La rédaction

The sister of Sid Ahmed Ghlam, Hind, described on BFM TV as her brother, smiling. She explained that her brother was teaching Arabic in the El-Fath mosque in Saint Dizier. Few media have noted that El-Fath mosque is a mosque of the UOIF, an organization regarded as terrorist in the United Arab Emirates.

“My brother has never been an extremist Islam. He was always right. He gave Arabic language classes for men and women to me, to the El-Fath Mosque [of Saint Dizier]”

This post is also available in Français and  العربية.


Egyptian President: We Need a Religious Revolution

05.01.2015 La rédaction

In a fiery speech delivered at the most influential Sunni seminary in the world on Thursday, January 1, 2015, Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi called on clerics to take action against all Islamic scripts and thoughts that have gone awry and made the world see the Sunnism as a source of murder and havoc.

Egypt’s president calls for “religious revolution” in Islam