Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey

French Government takes a stand against Muslim Brotherhood (At Last)

10 May, 2024

France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, has declared his intention to “combat the Muslim Brotherhood,” signaling a long-overdue crackdown on the group. According to intelligence reports, the Muslim Brotherhood, advocating for a global caliphate, has seen its presence in France double in just a few years. At the Defense Council, President Emmanuel Macron requested a thorough examination of the threat it poses—an acknowledgment that is belated yet welcome, though insufficient.

Darmanin describes the urgency of the situation as a “race against time,” highlighting the need for a “Gramscian” cultural and institutional struggle against this “insidious” organization, labeling it a “challenge.” He outlines the methods employed by the Brotherhood, stating, “The organization does not resort to terrorism but employs subtler tactics, effectively pushing society towards an Islamic framework.”

Since 2019, the Muslim Brotherhood’s membership has surged from 50,000 to 100,000 individuals. Its influence in France is pervasive, as confirmed by intelligence experts cited in the Journal du Dimanche, which featured Darmanin on its front page.

President Macron has tasked two senior civil servants with preparing a report on “political Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood,” to be delivered in the fall. This mission will be led by a diplomat with extensive experience in Arab countries and a prefect. The government’s rationale for this initiative is articulated as follows:

Islamist separatism represents a politico-religious project characterized by repeated departures from republican principles aimed at constructing a parallel society. The Muslim Brotherhood is a major proponent of this ideological framework.

Darmanin calls for a “reality check” and accuses those who unwittingly collaborate with the Muslim Brotherhood, especially among public figures. Many magistrates, elected officials, and academics unknowingly aid in Islamism’s advancement.

Evidence of the Brotherhood’s infiltration into French society continues to mount. Over the past decade, the number of Muslim women wearing headscarves has doubled, indicating a deliberate process of cultural Islamization. This trend is further evidenced by the increasing prevalence of community clothing, religious demands in workplaces and swimming pools, the expansion of halal markets, and more.

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, an academic who has extensively researched the Muslim Brotherhood, applauds Darmanin’s language, which echoes her own findings. She notes that the interior minister accuses the Brotherhood of working to make French society “Sharia-compatible.”

Despite Darmanin’s belief that the report is unnecessary for understanding the situation, he acknowledges its importance in garnering support for action.

We are aware of the situation without the report, but we need it to persuade France, its institutions, local authorities, and decision-makers.

As for concrete actions, the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood is deemed “impossible” due to its informal nature. However, its influence looms over various organizations in France, such as the Musulmans de France association, whose president once acknowledged ideological affinity with the Brotherhood. Though the government has the power to dissolve some of these groups, it appears reluctant to do so.

Darmanin looks to Austria’s approach to the Muslim Brotherhood for inspiration. Austria has labeled the organization an “extremist group linked to religiously motivated crime” and banned Brotherhood symbols since 2021—a move considered groundbreaking in Europe.


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