Hassen Chalghoumi

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Hassen Chalghoumi (born Tunis, 1972) presents himself as Imam of the municipal Drancy mosque in Seine-Saint-Denis (near Paris).

He stood out during the Islamic scarf controversy in France for supporting French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s draft law to ban the burqa. He has good relations with Jewish organisations in France, which sometimes caused demonstrations and clashes in Drancy mosque. Protesters want to change Imam because he is unrepresentative of Muslim people. In 2009, he founded the "Conference of Imams", an organisation which aim is to publish "fatwas" for Muslims living in France.[1][2][3][4]

On burqa, he stated that "with a bit of cloth over their faces, what can these women share with us? If they want to wear the veil, they can go to a country where it's the tradition, like Saudi Arabia".[5]

He studied in Syria and Pakistan in fundamentalists medersa before coming to France in 1996. He was a member of the Tablighi Jamaat (with whom he remains close) until 2005. He is naturalised as a French citizen in 2005.[6]

Some of his opposents call him "Imam of the Jews" for his activism with the French Jewish organisation CRIF. In 2006, he made a speech in front of the deportation memorial in Drancy.[7] His house was vandalized a few days later, although no link has been established between these two events.

In an interview in the Le Parisien he voiced the opinion that no man should refuse to allow his wife to be examined by a male doctor. At the beginning of 2009 he was invited to the Elysée and the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), a French Jewish organisation.

Chalghoumi has questioned Western support for the 'Arab Spring', due to the growing support in certain states for Islamist political parties.[8] He feels that Ben Ali, second President of Tunisia, has saved the country from the Algerian Civil War.[9]

He is married and has five children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cuénod, Jean-Noël (15 January 2009). "Un imam prêche la paix et la concorde avec les juifs: il est menacé de mort". Tribune de Genève. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Hassen Chalghoumi, un imam pas comme les autres". Le Point. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "FRANCE: ANTI-VEIL IMAM TARGETED; GROUP STORMS MOSQUE". Ansamed. 26 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-04-20. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "French Mosque Raided by Islamic Radicals". Israel National News. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Paris imam backs France's proposed burqa ban". Reuters. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "L'Imam de Drancy, un médiateur menacé". Mejliss et kalam. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "L'imam de Drancy prône l'ouverture". Le Figaro. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.francesoir.fr/actualite/societe/charlie-hebdo-arretez-soutenir-islamistes-scande-l-imam-drancy-152778.html
  9. ^ L'Imam de Drancy: La burqa est un phénomène étranger à l'islam des Lumières, Metro, 15 septembre 2010; "Le président actuel a sauvé la Tunisie de la guerre civile algérienne" (The current president has saved Tunisia from the Algerian civil war).