RECOMMENDED READING: “France’s Muslims Targeted by Qatar”


The Point de Bascule blog has published a translation of a French newspaper article that examined the role of Qatar in funding the French Muslim Brotherhood. The translation begins:

 Libération, April 26, 2013 After real estate and soccer, the Emirate is discreetly getting involved with Islam in France by funding some mosques and by supporting the Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF – Union of Islamic Organizations in France).

It is slowly getting less taboo to talk about it. Islam and Qatar, two words that, when side by side, provoke a strong reaction filled with fantasies, fears and polemics in France. However, after having carefully studied the issue, it appears that, today, the Emirate has a well-thought strategy to interfere with Islam in France. Like Morocco, Algeria or Saudi Arabia, but with a stronger emphasis on proselytism, the Emirate maneuvers with an economically weakened community that welcomes this very wealthy benefactor. Given that, why not reconcile faith and finance, two major priorities in the external Qatari policy?

Since the seventies, Qatar, a Wahhabi country, has in fact concluded an objective alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. This understanding is motivated by Qatar’s will to make its place between two regional giants (Saudi Arabia and Iran), by the Brotherhood’s sympathy toward capitalism (sic PdeB) and its pan-Islamic approach that suits very well a tiny state craving for recognition. This is why, very naturally, Qatar is practicing an insidious but agreed to infiltration within the UOIF, the local MB section in France.

On the ground, mostly in poor districts, we are witnessing the first reactions to the involvement of this new partner. ‘That’s nothing new, Islam in France has always been manipulated. Simply because this is a young, numerous and volatile community. It was obvious that Qatar would play a role,’ noted Naoufel Brahimi el-Mili, a Professor at Sciences-Po Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies). ‘What is different with this country is that its association with the UOIF leads it to get involved in a critical field since this organization is actively promoting the islamic identity of French Muslims. The UOIF is openly advocating for expansion (proselytism) which brings numerous conversions.’”

Read the rest here.

The Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF) is widely regarded as representing the Muslim Brotherhood in France. Fouad Alaoui and Lahj Breze took over the leadership of the UOIF in 1993 and were known as the “Bordelaise Clan”, a reference to the French town in which they met as students. They were seen as more moderate than their predecessors Abdallah Ben Mansour and Ahmed Jaballah who both have served as officers of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Foud Alaoui has also been also a FIOE officer.

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