- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

France’s leading Muslim body on Tuesday called for religious leaders to fight back against radical teachings by requiring imams to obtain a permit to preach. 

Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM) — a national elected body which serves as an official liaison with the French government in regulating Muslim religious activities in the country — said France’s imams should be required to obtain a certificate, “like a driving license” that ensured they promoted a “tolerant and open Islam,” the Agence France Presse reported.

The group said it would hand out the permits by testing theological knowledge and adherence to French principles. CFCM would also make imams sign an “imam’s charter” in which they agree to “respect the laws of the Republic,” AFP said.

Mr. Kbibech did not go so far as to say the process should be required for all imams worldwide, but said “the time for action has come. The Muslims of France will play their part.”

He told AFP the CFCM would set up a “religious council” that would combat jihadist ideology using theological arguments.

The group’s call comes just 11 days after terrorist attacks in Paris killed 130 people and wounded more than 300. The attackers were all French and Belgian citizens who became radicalized.

Mr. Kbibech said those who participated in the attacks would “never have the support of France’s Muslims,” AFP reported.

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