Top Islamic organizations are racing to line up the vote of France’s Muslim population behind Emmanuel Macron for Sunday’s second-round vote.
According to the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Chems-Eddine Hafiz, “abstention from voting and the blank votes will strengthen the far-right wing.” In a video statement posted to social media, he also claimed that “malicious forces are speaking out today calling for the banishment of Muslims.”
“How to react to this malevolence that is becoming commonplace and taking hold in people’s minds?” he asked before answering his own question: “By voting in the continuity of the Republic.”
“To vote means to exist. To vote means to assure the future generation the dignity and pride that we do not have the right to mortgage (like) our children’s future by remaining passive witnesses of an imminent political disaster,” Hafiz added.
The Grand Mosque of Paris is not the only high-profile Muslim organization backing Macron in the election, with the Organization of Muslims of France also calling for its members to vote for Macron on Sunday, as reported by CNews.
Hafiz warned that there are some who are promoting “hateful and misleading” speeches against Muslims before encouraging people to vote for the candidate of La République en Marche.
The Organization of Muslims of France claimed it was aware of the laws governing political neutrality required by their mission, but also said it is crucial to act as “responsible citizens.”
Le Pen has consistently spoken out against mass immigration and has even promised a referendum on immigration should she win the presidency. With France’s Muslim population growing each year, both through immigration and births, the Muslim voting bloc has become powerful. In order to ensure that immigration from the Middle East and North Africa continues unabated, they have a vested in interest in a Macron victory, even if he is not their ideal candidate.
The endorsements of the incumbent French president were made via two press releases published on April 13, and April 15.