In a press release dated December 20, 2023, entitled “Polls and Muslims of France: stop the manipulations”, the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) attacks us, regarding two polls: “French Muslims and questions of religion and secularism” and ”French Muslims facing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, respectively produced for the magazine ”Screen Watch” and the webTV ”Elamaniya.TV”, two publications of the Global Watch Analysis group , by a prestigious polling institute, Ifop.
In this press release, the CFCM does not hesitate to use elements of language used against us during denigration and slander campaigns orchestrated on social networks by the Muslim Brotherhood and their political and media relays, particularly within the woke movement. Among these allegations, intended to discredit our publications and the surveys in question, are the false assertions according to which the webTV “Elamaniya.TV” is not a television channel, but just a “website”! And that our surveys are characterized by “biased and leading questions”!
Confusing a WebTV and a website demonstrates an astonishing ignorance of the evolution of media supports in the digital age. Unless it is a matter of deliberate bad faith, with the aim of minimizing the credibility and reach of Elmaniya.TV, which defines itself as a ”secular French-Arabic channel”, and which has aroused virulent attacks from the Muslim Brotherhood’s circles, on the very day of its launch, December 9, 2023, on the occasion of National Secularism Day.
As for the accusation according to which our polls on French Muslims suffer from “biased and biased questions”, here is the only argument put forward by the CFCM: we are accused, as well as Ifop, of having used the entitled ”What views do French Muslims have on the conflict between Israel and Hamas?”, while, according to the CFCM, “French Muslims like the majority of our fellow citizens consider that it is not a question of a ‘war between Israel and Hamas’, but essentially a massacre directed against innocent civilians.” And the CFCM press release concludes that “therefore, the questions and answers of this study are completely biased”.
To please the CFCM, the title of our survey should have been reformulated as follows: “How do French Muslims view the massacre directed against innocent civilians by Israel?”! Here, then, is journalistic neutrality and objectivity, as imagined – and wants to impose on us – by the French Council of Muslim Worship!
Furthermore, the CFCM criticizes us for questioning French Muslims in the surveys in question without including their fellow citizens of the Jewish and Christian faiths. However, wanting to impose such a systematic symmetry, which would mean that as soon as we question a community on a specific subject, we should do the same with all the other communities, comes from a communitarian vision that we do not share and which has no place in France.
For us, what determines the choice to specifically question a social category is the journalistic relevance of probing its positions on the subject that we would like to analyze. Example: at the start of the electoral campaign for the last presidential election, when the Éric Zemmour phenomenon gained momentum, our magazine ”Screen Watch” commissioned a survey from Ifop on the vote of practicing Catholics, because they had almost brought François Fillon to the Élysée in 2017 and massively supported Zemmour in 2022. On the other hand, at the same period, a survey on the “Muslim vote” was offered to us, but we declined because the Muslim vote, during the 2022 presidential election, had no political or electoral relevance.
There is therefore no taboo in conducting surveys on Jews or Christians in France, just as much as on Muslims. The CFCM can even order them from polling institutes, whenever it seems relevant!
The CFCM press release is outraged by “the manipulation of responses and the disinformation” that our survey on secularism allegedly generated. The proof ? According to the CFCM, “The Cnews TV channel will unscrupulously headline: “78% of Muslims consider that French secularism is Islamophobic”, while “According to this survey: for 78% of French people of Muslim faith, secularism ‘as it is applied’ is discriminatory [towards Muslims]”!
However, even if we do not share – far from it – the editorial line of CNews, it is clear that the CFCM argument is fallacious: at Global Watch Analysis, we refute the term “Islamophobia” (A liberticidal concept invented by the European Muslim Brotherhood to demonize any criticism of Islam or Islamism) and we use the term “Muslimophobia” in the survey in question. However, what is the definition given to Islamophobia by followers of this concept? This is precisely discrimination against Muslims. Therefore, we do not understand where the “manipulation” and “disinformation” mentioned by the CFCM would lie!
Furthermore, the CFCM persists in denying the evidence revealed by our survey about the hostility of the majority of French Muslims to French secular values, claiming that it is only an “exacerbation” in the face of to the recent controversies linked to the ban on Abaya in French public schools. And to add that “The Muslims of France are deeply attached to the values of the Republic” and to “a secularism which is not the negation of religious convictions, a secularism which guarantees the freedom to believe as well as the freedom not to believe, a secularism which allows all citizens to practice the religion of their choice while respecting public order.”
However, the definition of secularism, mentioned here by the CFCM, betrays a radically communitarian vision:a logic claiming all the rights that secularism offers and guarantees to any religious community, while obscuring the duties which result from it and which are imposed to all. Reason why the CFCM wants to ignore the very worrying facts that among French Muslims:
– 81% judge that when religion and science oppose each other, it is religion that is right;
– 75% demand that French athletes be authorized to wear religious headwear during the Olympic Games which will take place in France;
– 54% support that young girls should not attend swimming lessons for religious reasons;
– 54% demand that students be able to wear religious head coverings within their schools;
– 50% ask that students be able to not attend classes whose content would offend their religious beliefs;
– 47% want the wearing of clothing that completely conceals the face to be authorized in the street and public spaces (therefore the repeal of the law prohibiting the burqa);
– 51% say that it is religion that determines their political choices and 47% even the choice of their friends!
So many demands which in no way relate to their freedom to “practice the religion of their choice while respecting public order”, because they undermine the principle of secularism and constitute a threat to living together which is the basis of the French “republican values” for which the CFCM allegedly claims!
As for the CFCM’s assertion that French Muslims are the subject of “incessant surveys with their share of manipulation and stigmatization”, this is an untruth (our two surveys in question are the first surveys of extent questioning French Muslims, on the basis of a truly representative sample, while French Jews and Christians have been the subject, for many years, of dozens of surveys) which betrays a conspiratorial vision unworthy of an institution which claims to be representative of Muslim worship in France.
This representativeness was also officially removed from the CFCM, at the end of 2021, by the Ministry of the Interior (which is also the Ministry of Religion in the French political tradition), due to its infiltration by the Muslim Brothers, the Turkish Millî Görüs and the proponents of “consular Islam” accentuated by Algerian-Moroccan animosities.
By initiating, in February 2022, the creation of the Forum de l’Islam de France (FORIF), the Ministry of the Interior disqualified the CFCM, announcing that it is no longer recognized as an interlocutor of public authorities with regard to the organization of Muslim worship in France, as has been the case since its creation in 2003.
The CFCM is therefore an obsolete entity. It is time for him to stop pretending to speak in the name of French Muslims!
Especially since he acts, most often, with the sole motivation of defending his parish and promoting his communitarian visions. Even if it means conveying untruths, as when this same CFCM affirmed, last September, the day after the ban on the “abaya” in public schools, that it is not a question of a religious outfit, while our survey shows that 88% of Muslim high school girls who wear the abaya say they do so to comply with a religious injunction which asks women to hide the shape of their body in public!
Given its communitarian visions, it is hardly surprising that the CFCM protests as soon as French Muslims are surveyed on angry issues, such as “toxic religiosity” or hostility to secularism. On the other hand, we understand less how our survey on reactions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be disturbing, given the positive image it reflects of French Muslims: very weak support for Hamas, refusal of any transposition of the Middle East conflict into France…etc.
In reality, it does not matter whether the picture that emerges from a survey is positive or critical, it is the very principle of surveying French Muslims which irritates the CFCM (and more broadly all the proxies linked to political Islam and its political and media relays within the woke movement): giving a direct voice to French Muslims threatens the purpose and “livelihood” of these organizations, by disrupting their self-proclaimed status as guardians and spokespersons of Muslims!