France's Imams Filling Gap

June 15, 2009

Author: Hadi Yahmid

Source: Islam Online

Filling the gap left by France's official Muslim representative group, French imams have launched a new body to confront problems facing Muslim religious leaders in the European country.

"It is high time for France's imams to take the initiative in playing a genuine and effective role and filling in the gap left by Muslim groups," Drancy imam Hassan Chalghoumi, chairman of the "Conference of French Imams", told

"Our goal is to send a message to the political and social circles that French imams can play a real and effective role in France."

Launched on Thursday, June 11, the 43-member body aims to solve problems facing imams in France.

"It will pay a genuine attention to problems facing imams in France such as training," Chalghoumi said.

The Muslim imam said that the new body would also visit prisons to help Muslim detainees choose the right path.

"We will also exhort Muslims to integrate and adopt plans for help Muslim students succeed."

A host of French dignitaries attended the launch of the Muslim body, including Drancy Housing Minister Christine Boutin as well as mayors and local officials.

Also attending were two representatives of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Richard Prasquier, the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France.