Conservative Islamist party in European elections
The list of candidates submitted by the Union of French Muslim Democrats (UFMD) party for the European elections was approved on May 9.
The party failed to submit all required documents on May 3, the deadline set out by the State Council in France for parties that want to field candidates in the European elections. Thirty-four lists had already been submitted on May 12. The list of the UFMD contains 79 candidates. This is the first time such a small party participates in the European elections. It participated in the municipal elections in the past only.
In the 2015 municipal elections, the UFMD fielded candidates in the north-central constituency of Île-de-France. It won 12,528 votes. In Mantes-la-Jolie region, the party won 5.9% of all votes.
The party has already announced its lists for the 2020 municipal elections in Vaulx-en-Velin and Joué-lès-Tours, two cities were the practice of Islam becomes more Salafist-oriented.
To understand the ideological nature of this party, one has to listen to the televised speeches of its head Nagib Azergui. One also has to read Azergui's posts on social media.
Azergui is a continual guest on the Saudi channel Iqraa. He opposed the 2004 law which barred women from wearing the Islamic headgear, known as hijab, especially at public schools. He described the law as one that violates freedoms.
In one of his interviews on the same channel, Azergui said there was no relation between Islamism and wearing the hijab.
"Claiming that Islam lives behind the headgear worn by these women is a dangerous mix of issues," Azergui said. "We should not fall silent while this humiliation is being committed.
The freedom to wear the headgear anytime and anywhere is one of the causes adopted by the members of the UFMD. The party welcomed a decision by the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations to verbally denounce France for committing what it described as "racial discrimination" against a female nursery worker. The committee is widely known to be controlled by Islamic states.
The UFMD posts the statements of the Muslims of France organization to its Twitter account. The organization is known to have close links with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Azergui congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the main benefactor of the Muslim Brotherhood, after his election on June 24, 2018.
The party recently defended a veiled singer who shares the posts of Muslim Brotherhood scholars and clerics.
However, the UFMD shocked everybody by including an archenemy of the Muslim Brotherhood Bassam Tahhan in its list for the European elections.
When Azergui congratulated the French national football team, he did this only to invite attention to team Muslim players. This is why some people are asking about whether the head of the UFMD party would have supported the French national football team if this team had not included any Muslim players?
Azergui lashes out at those who say France is becoming an Islamic state. He criticized journalists at the French daily Le Monde and accused them of misleading journalism students after they wrote a book about Islam in France.
The discourse of the party is full of criticism for France and the European civilization. It publishes a huge number of misleading articles about the incidents of May 1945 in Algeria. They only aim to sow the seeds of tension.
The French commercial radio network RTL ran a chronicle of the violence. The Europeans were the main victims of this violence. Around 23 Europeans were killed in it and 80 others injured, before the French army intervened to keep the independence militias at bay.
These articles make readers believe that the French army had intervened for no reason.
Another article titled, "Occupation, a major sexual safari", was published on September 22, 2018. The site of the party was used in propagating most of these ideas.
This throws light on the nature of the UFMD. It is a party whose thinking goes hand in hand with the Muslim Brotherhood. It makes the hijab its central cause. In this, it is backed by the Saudi channel Iqraa. The channel always mocks French police and what it describes as the "colonial history" of France.