France counts today more than 2,000 mosques and places of worship. About 1,500 ti 1,800 imams lead daily prayers and celebrate the preach on Friday. When it was created in May 2003, the French Council for Muslim Cult (CFCM) had the training of imams at the top of its priorities. Hindered by internal disputes and incapable to go beyond group loyalties, the leaders of CFCM have never been able to put forward any serious proposal. Political leaders have not always seemed to grasp the importance of the issue. Since 2003, four ministers of the Interior and Cults, including current president Mr Sarkozy, have occupied the Place Beauvau (home of the Interior Ministry). Each time, the Minister aims to address the issue of the training of imams, displays a can-do attitude, and each time ho goes away without really tackling the issue. The authority of Islam in France is plural, and no personality – as respected as he may be – can pretend to express the voice of all Muslims, which is a real problem in France.

Share Button