ISRAEL – The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed the latest discussion among French government officials regarding the ban on international funding to mosques and termed the move as a similarity between the two countries.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had earlier said he was considering a ban on the foreign financing of mosques, adding that France needed a “new model” for its relationship with Islam.
The statement came after a priest was killed last Tuesday by two armed men who stormed a church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France. The two attackers, who said they were from the so-called Islamic State (IS), slit Fr Jacques Hamel’s throat during morning Mass.
The Israeli premier, reflecting on the statement, has called attention to the similarity between French efforts to block incitement to terror within its borders and Israel’s longstanding efforts in this area.
“We were all shocked by the vicious terrorist attack in France last week. I have heard about a French government discussion on preventing the foreign financing of bodies that harm the security of French citizens. This sounds familiar to us,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu went on to point out the role of France against the anti-Israel movement and stressed the need for a collective effort against those who promote terror anywhere in the world.
“I have requested a preliminary inquiry. In this inquiry we found support from European countries, including France, for several organisations that engage in incitement, call for a boycott of Israel and do not recognise the State of Israel’s right to exist. We will complete the inquiry and submit the findings to the French government. We will discuss this with them” Netanyahu asserted.
On the other hand, responding to the killing of the priest in France, Pope Francis has said it is wrong to identify Islam with terrorism and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism.
He said: “I think that in nearly all religions there is always a small fundamentalist group.”
He then added: “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.
Local Muslims have refused to give Muslim burial to the two church attackers.
Mohammed Karabila, imam of one of the town’s mosques, told Le Parisien: “We’re not going to taint Islam with this person.”
“We won’t participate in preparing the body or the burial.” he assured.