Turkey slams French bill targeting radical Islam as xenophobic

Turkey criticised proposed legislation in France that would enable the government to shut down organisations and schools seen as supporting radical Islam.

The measures will fuel xenophobia and Islamophobia, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"Instead of looking at people and religious issues solely from a security perspective, we think it would be more correct and beneficial to adopt constructive discourses that encourage the dignity of social needs related to religious and moral values," the ministry said.

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined measures he said were intended to curb the influence of radical Islam in the country and help develop what he termed as an “Islam of France” compatible with the nation’s secular values.

"To think that they can discipline immigrant societies by introducing concepts such as 'European Islam' and 'French Islam' under the pretext of 'enlightening' the religion of Islam means acting in the opposite direction of humanitarian and legal considerations," the ministry said.

The bill risks escalating tensions between Muslim groups in France and the French authorities, and "attempts to further fuel the growing xenophobia, racism, discrimination and Islamophobia," the ministry said.