President Macron announced that he would restrict other countries from sending imams and Islamic teachers to France in what he said is an attempt to prevent separatism from growing.
At a press conference in Mulhouse in the east of France, Macron said he plans to end the system in which Algeria or Morocco send imams to France to preach in local French mosques, which has seen 300 imams come to the country every year.
This year will be the last year imams arrived in France in such numbers, said Macron. The French government has already asked an organization for Muslims in France to find a way to train imams in French territory to ensure that they speak French and do not spread Islamist views.
Macron has also announced that French students will no longer be taught by teachers paid by foreign governments.
France has agreements with nine countries whereby their governments can send teachers to French schools to teach languages to students with roots in these countries that include, for example, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey. Macron said he agreed with all the countries, except Turkey, to end this practice.
“I won’t let any country, whatever it is, feed separatism,” the French president was quoted in Reuters. “You can’t have Turkish law on French soil. That can’t be,” added Macron.
France has experienced several major attacks by Islamists in recent years.
In November 2015, 130 people were killed in the attacks in the Bataclan Theater and other locations in the French capital. These were the deadliest attacks in France since the end of the Second World War.
In addition, there are fears that Islam may be encroaching on France’s traditionally secular society and imposing different cultural norms, creating the parallel societies Macron believes are leading to separatist enclaves on French soil.