He is stylish as a substitute. Marwan Muhammad, this Sunday afternoon at the Institute for the Arab World (IMA), wears the suit, the white shirt and the cufflinks. The tie clip is a bit vintage. We are not used to seeing him dressed like that. In any case, the former director of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), influential figure of the Islam of France, managed to bet: mobilize the basis for his consultation "off", in the margins of official procedures, to organization of the Islam of France.
On the last floor of the IMA, assistance (200 people), mainly local association officers, can enjoy the exceptional view of Paris. Not too much. The atmosphere is very eager to learn. It is to report four months of work that mobilized the responses of 27,000 people.
Everything started from a very appropriate idea with time and sense: start a questionnaire on the internet, followed by an excursion. The results are like a blow. Only 7% of the respondents feel they are represented by the current French Council for Muslim Faith (CFCM). But 63% believe that Muslims need a national structure to organize and represent them.
The most important finding is the need to better structure Islam. "The department seems to be the most suitable level", Says Marwan Muhammad and eventually build a national structure of the local.
Are we witnessing the birth of a real movement? Perhaps. It is too early to know. Marwan Muhammad, close to the old networks of Tariq Ramadan, gambles on the"Empowerment" the power at the base, that of Muslims for Muslims. It is his strength and his mantra.
"Can the government listen to five million Muslims today? & # 39; wonders Muhammad. The public agrees with him: the forces that have succeeded each other have always wanted to organize the Islam of France without listening to the main stakeholders. This is not wrong … A lot of invested in recent years in the fight against Islamophobia, the leader has his own networks … and his fame. "Our work will be a collaboration"Marwan Muhammad pleads. He does not claim anything. No leadership position. But still … It is he who carried this project. And it is unlikely that he will leave it in such a good way.
A site, training …
On Sunday, Marwan Muhammad announced the establishment of a digital platform for local associations to pool their experiences. The movement (because it is indeed a movement with already 160 associations that have joined) also creates a website to make the & # 39; real & # 39; the lives of Muslims in France better known. He also has other ambitions. The imams, the most important link in the Islamic landscape of France, offer training (flexible and à la carte). "The first will focus on communication," says Marwan Muhammad.
The ears are already paying attention to what this young leader has to offer. According to what he tells us, he was received last week by one of the closest advisers to the Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb. He also discusses with important Muslim federations. Whatever happens, it will be necessary to take Marwan Muhammad into account.