French PM Valls Warns Saudi Radicalism Rising in France

French PM Valls Warns Saudi Radicalism Rising in France
Tue Apr 5, 2016 13:00:27

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says adherents to the radical Saudi-backed Salafi ideology have gained the upper hand in France as they push to attract followers.

Speaking at a round-table in Paris on Monday, the premier warned that Salafists were “winning the ideological and cultural battle” in France.

“Their message — their messages on social networks — is the only one we end up hearing,” he warned.

Salafism is often equated with Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by clerics in the Arab country.

Wahhabism is also the ideology of the ISIS terrorist group, which claimed responsibility for last year’s deadly terrorist attacks in the French capital. The November 13, 2015 attacks targeting several areas in Paris killed some 130 people dead and injured over 350 others.

Daesh has also claimed responsibility for bombings in the Belgian capital, Brussels, last month, which took the lives of 34 people.

Most European governments, however, are close allies of the Saudi regime and main suppliers of arms along with the US to Riyadh which is backing militants to topple the Syrian government.

According to a US intelligence report from August 2012, "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria" was "exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

Last December, Germany said it would no more “look the other way” as Saudi Arabia continues to nurture terrorism throughout the world.

“We must make it clear to the Saudis that the time of looking the other way is over,” said German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar.

“From Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi mosques are financed throughout the world,” he said, adding that in Germany, many people “considered dangerous persons emerge from these communities.”

France has launched a crackdown since Takfiri attacks on its territory. On Monday, Prime Minister Valls pledged to “massively” increase France’s security and defense budgets in the coming years.

“The Salafists must represent one percent of the Muslims in our country today, but their message — their messages on social networks — is the only one we end up hearing,” he said.

There have been fears of an Islamophobic backlash, however, and Valls raised eyebrows when he said Monday that the veil worn by Muslim women was the “enslavement of women.”

France’s women’s rights minister sparked a storm last month when she compared women who wear headscarves to “Negroes who supported slavery.”

France bans the Muslim face veil in public places, and Valls warned of the “ideological message that can spread behind religious symbols,” Press TV reported.

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