Following a series of terrorist attacks, the French government is likely to impose a temporary ban on the foreign funding of mosques under a proposed ‘new model’.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the proposed ‘new model’ will usher in a new era of relations with Islam where the Imams should be “trained in France, not elsewhere.”
In an interview with the French daily ‘Le Monde’, Manuel Valls said, he was "open to the idea that -- for a period yet to be determined -- there should be no financing from abroad for the construction of mosques."
FRANCE: French PM 'open' to temporary ban on foreign financing of mosques - AFP
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) July 29, 2016
He said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is working on building a "new model" for France's relations with Islam.
"We need to reset and invent a new relationship with Islam in France," Valls said.
The French premier and interior minister are under severe criticism for their responsibility in numerous security lapses. Critics are asking for the resignations of the French PM and his interior minister.
French PM says he is "open" to a temporary ban on foreign financing for mosques in France https://t.co/TDdCwbEinz
— The Daily Star (@dailystarnews) July 29, 2016
France has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks recently including the latest on a church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray where an 86-year old priest, Jacques Hamel, was killed.
Two weeks after the Nice attack where 84 people were crushed to death with a bus, terrorists succeeded in executing another attack but this time the target was a church.
Priest killed in attack in Normandy, France, had his throat cut, according to police. https://t.co/wbzqeqNw9i
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 26, 2016
The church attackers were on the intelligence watch list and both had attempted to travel to Syria.
The government has been criticised after the revelations that one of the assailants, 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, was recently released with an electronic tag. He was allowed by the court to visit home on weekdays.
French PM Valls acknowledged Kermiche's ease of movement and said,it was a "failure, it has to be recognised", adding that judges needed to take a "different, case-by-case, approach, given the jihadists' very advanced concealment methods".
But he said it was "too easy to hold judges responsible for this act of terrorism."
France is home to around five million Muslims, one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe and has over 2000 mosques.
Local media in France reports that some mosques have been financed by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and some North African countries.
Muslims around the world are critical of the French government for many policies they deem to be anti-Muslim, like the ban of head scarves in schools, and veils in public.