French President Emmanuel Macron has declared his government will fight against “Islamist separatism” with reforms including ending residency for foreign imams.
The French leader made his proposals at a speech in the city of Mulhouse this week saying that he wanted to see an end to “detached imams” sent by other countries like Algeria, Turkey, and elsewhere to French mosques.
Macron said that he encouraged a greater number of imams to be trained within France to replace the foreign imams, of which there are around 300 known to be operating in the country.
In total, France has around 1,800 imams and a much greater number of volunteers working at the estimated 2,500 places of Muslim worship across the country, France24 reports.
Macron also spoke about secular republican values saying: “In the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to shake a woman’s hand because she is a woman; in the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to be treated or educated by a woman; in the Republic, one cannot accept dropping out of school; in the Republic, one cannot demand certificates of virginity to marry.”