France: Appeal to Muslim citizens of France who love peace, justice, freedom and secularism

Movement of Secular Muslims of France
WLUML received the following statement, which is a courageous initiative undertaken by the Movement of Secular Muslims of France at a time where we witness a shrinking of secular spaces and where fundamentalist voices are dominating.
WLUML wishes to encourage friends to support this initiative by sending messages of support to the Movement of Secular Muslims of France.
Paris, July 14, 2003,

To the General Secretary of the United Nations,

We, Muslims of France, aware of the need to renovate our faith and to keep up with the demands of equality between men and women, formally request the UN to include in its program a project to introduce a resolution that puts an end to polygamy and thus abolishes the humiliation for women that results from it.

The member states will be called upon to adopt this resolution and to ensure that their national/domestic laws conform with it within the next two years.

We take this opportunity to apologize to our sisters, to our mothers and to our grandmothers for the wrongs they may have suffered due to this legal institution that is part of our history and for which we take full responsibility.

Founding Committee:
Jbil Kebir, Movement of Secular Muslims of France
Pascal Hilout, essayist, friend of the Movement of Secular Muslims of France, and of the Citizen's Forum of Muslim Cultures

Appeal to Muslim citizens of France who love peace, justice, freedom and secularism.

Today, our freedom of conscience and our freedom of expression are at stake. We can no longer keep silent. Our silence makes us complicit in the self-serving manipulations of the obscurantists of Islam.

We have to shoulder our responsibilities to escape the traps laying siege to the republic, secularism, Islam and Muslims.

In the face of attempts by those who want to impose a fundamentalist Islam imported from abroad and to manipulate Islam and Muslims for political purposes, it is our duty to mobilize and to act,

- To defend a modern concept of Islam, in tune with the times and with the laws and values of the Republic, in particular secularism and the absolute equality of rights between citizens of either sex,

- To defend the concepts of self-determination and individual freedom.

- To fight all forms of fundamentalism and obscurantism,

- To encourage integration into the nation of French people born of migrants and to develop their active participation in the social, economic, public and political life,

- To work collectively towards a reform of Islam by promoting the start of a real in-depth debate on Islam and necessary adjustments, and finally,

- To promote a respectful dialogue and reconciliation with other religions.

We therefore call upon the silent majority of Muslims of France - practising or not - forever silenced by pressures and intimidations, to at last stand up to express and promote their point of view.

We also denounce any culture of hate and violence in the name of Islam, which reflects a reactionary attitude of mind. The current surrealistic debate on the Islamic scarf, a veritable flag of political Islamism, and the questioning of French secularism should not blind us to the fact that the real issue for France and for the French people is to refuse and resist the establishment into their territory of an ideology both dangerous and perverse, which could lead to the death of the Republic.

This ideology is being pushed by movements that, under the pretext of representativeness, have appropriated for themselves the voices of all the Muslims in France.

As secular Muslims deeply attached to France, we are the first victims of manipulations and attempts to put us all in the same basket.

We therefore have a duty to be on the forefront, to be the first ones to react and to become engaged in the defense of the republic, secularism, citizenship, freedom of cult for all, without fail and without weakness.

Movement of Secular Muslims of France

Send your signatures to:
Espace B, 16 rue Barbanègre
75019 Paris, France,
and email or sign on at

First signatories:
Sabiha Amine, deputy major of Lyon
Fouad Ahmine, cadre
Nadia Amiri, ex vice-president of France Plus
Soheib Bencheikh, grand mufti of Marseille
Abdallah Bensadoun, consultant in computer science
Nora Borra, medical doctor, member of the city council of Neuville-sur-Saône
Nadir Bourkani, in charge of Muslim ritual
Malek Chebel, anthropologue
Betoula Fekkar-Lambiotte, general inspector in the National Education, member of the French Council of Muslim Cult
Abderrahmane Ghoul Moulay, Imam
Mozri Haddad, philosopher and writer
Morad El Hattab, writer
Rachid Kaci, president of the movement Démocratie
Hamid Lafrad, member of the city council of Metz
Michel Renard, director of the journal Islam de France
Aziz Sahiri, technical adviser for the prevention of delinquency
Jamil Sayah, Assistant professor of Public Law, president of the association Amal
Mohamed Sifaoui, journalist
Djida Tazdait, ex-European member of Parliament
Yassir Yebba, researcher