Elham Asaad Buaras
A Muslim political party announced on February 12 that it will field candidates in eight areas at the regional elections in March. The Democratic Union of French Muslims (UDMF) says it aims to address the under-representation of Muslims in French politics by placing candidates in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Nice.The group announced that it would put two candidates in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, where the party already has a councillor.
The party’s founder, Nagib Azergui, insisted UDMF values were compatible with French democracy, much in the same way that France’s Christian Democratic Party manages to separate religion from politics.
His party’s aim is “to give a voice to the part of the population that can’t be found in the traditional parties.”
Azergui says he doesn’t want France to be governed by Sharia Law and has no intention of “Islamizing” French society.
However, the party does wish to overturn France’s ban on headscarves in schools and see an increased investment in the Halal food industry to help boost the economy.
The UDMF, which was founded in 2012, is still small, with 900 members and around 8,000 supporters.