Conservative Group Sweeps Muslim Council Elections

June 20, 2005

Source: Reuters

On June 20, 2005 Reuters reported, "French Muslims opted for stability in polls for their national council on Sunday, backing two traditional Islamic groups while cutting back support for a mosque network close to the Muslim Brotherhood. A conservative group backed by Morocco swept the voting for the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), taking 19 of the 43 seats in its administrative council, officials said. That was three more than it won in the CFCM's first election in 2003. The moderate Grand Mosque of Paris (GMP) group supported by Algeria advanced from six to 10 seats, ending up equal with the activist Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF) that slipped from the 13 seats it won two years ago. The result was a setback for the UOIF, which has flirted with militant positions on issues such as the Muslim headscarf ban in state schools. Often described as fundamentalist by the French press, it has become increasingly moderate in the CFCM."