Senin, 18 April 2011

Between Integration and Identity Preservation

To reach this goal without deviation, there will be a pressing need for the Moslem minorities to obtain the necessary tools and mechanisms, such as making pilgrimage easy, resolving the problems linked to the Personal Status, building Mosques, reserving graveyards, slaughterhouses to immolate according to the Halal rites, places to for meetings and education allowing to learning the language of the Saint Koran, which is Arabic, together with the Islamic precepts, and communicating with each other and with others. It is equally important to create libraries where books and other modern methods will be at the disposal of the public. The same goes for authorizing gatherings and organizations of religious, scientific and artistic activities. Let me also add to this the integration into public schools, which is the one and only way to realize their citizenship and preserve their interests. It is worth pointing out that this integration is not in contradiction with reaching a conciliating administrative version concerning the Personal Status, according to the Islamic precepts, and the necessities of the civil condition and its local laws. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Morocco and France already signed an agreement on this topic in 1981.

The realization of these objectives requires the education of managers and their preparation for holding and running these places and activities, while making fundraising efforts. This fund-raising should be ensured by the community, by the host country actually holding an organizational responsibility, or by the native country which should not in any case give up its responsibilities in all this. It is a fact that the interest of the latter should not be limited to the financial transfers of its natioanls, to a particular period like that of their return to spend their vacations, or to send predicators and preachers during the sacred month of Ramadan.

It is well known that any neglect in this field paves the ground for other foreign parties who do not take long to help with the condition to have their ideas and principles adapted and circulated. These beliefs often push to agitations, if not to taking unhealthy positions.

All this is globally up to the type of system followed by the country of adaptation in dealing with the Moslem community, be it with a direct patronage or else. This depends, just like many other problems, on the nature of the relations and the agreements between the host and the native country of the members of this community. The task is obviously made easier when the members of this community are capable of organizing themselves. Yet, such objectives cannot be realized before they free themselves from internal conflicts. They actually have to overcome the sectary and political conflicts lived by Moslems in their countries of origin. In this case, they will stop any foreign intervention, or will at least minimize the damages it could cause.

Such an organization will also keep them busy not only with the questions of religion but also with topics related to society and integration, such as the political participation, membership in productive institutions, to the media, and all that is leading them to fully dispose of their rights and to carry out their obligations.

It is sure that reality and the putting into practice creats numerous difficulties that pushed the French government, through its Ministry of Interior, to work on finding a central system for religion in France, and to create, a French Council for the Islamic Cult (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman), which is elected, together with its regional branches, in coordination with the important Islamic Centers working in this field. This institution will succeed if it reaches a convenient framework of good coordination between the religious requirements and the necessities of the State’s nature. The latter, from the standpoint of its constitutional laicism, should not involve in religion, as long as no change is made in the Constitution regarding this, and which give Moslems a different situation.

Nevertheless, what should be recalled in this context is that the difficulty increases when it comes to members of the third generation who are citizens of the host country and aspire to a complete integration in its society, although they cling to their cultural identity and insist on having it recognized for them. It seems to me that I do not need to mention that the Moroccans who enjoy the French citizenship – or any second citizenship- do not loose their Moroccan one. This incites them to respect it, with all its components, among which religion is the most important. This reinforces their strong links with the supreme religious authority represented by the institution of the Commander of the Believers (Emaral El-Moomeneenإمارة المؤمنين )

In conclusion, I think that it is not difficult for a laic country which is friends with the Islamic counterparts, such as France, to look for and to help search for the ideal and successful method to integrate the Moslems into a society in the edification and building up of which they participate, by their number and by their qualifications.

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