Row erupts in France over plans to use state funds to build Strasbourg mosque
A row has erupted in France over plans to build a mosque in Strasbourg, with the interior ministry on Wednesday accusing the municipal authorities there of using public money to fund “foreign meddling” on French soil.
While President Emmanuel Macron wants to crack down on Islamic extremism, which he blames for a series of deadly terror attacks in France since 2015, the planned mosque in the eastern French city has found itself in the government’s crosshairs because it is backed by a leading Turkish Muslim group.
On Monday, municipal officials in Strasbourg, run by a Green mayor, approved a grant of 2.5 million euros (nearly $3 million) to the Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation (CMIG), a pan-European movement for the Turkish diaspora.
But the CMIG is one of three Muslim confederations in France that have refused to sign a new anti-extremism charter championed by Macron.
Macron wants the groups to commit in writing to renouncing “political Islam” and to respecting French law, as he seeks to combat radical Islam which he sees as a threat to the country’s secular system.