PARIS (March 21): Malaysia is prepared to assist the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) in several matters for the benefit of Muslims in France, including the imams and other Muslim elders, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She gave the commitment in response to her meeting with CFCM vice-president Anouar Kbibech on Wednesday, who had also requested Malaysia’s assistance to boost France’s halal-tourism industry, which is handled by the French Muslim community.
“Various matters were discussed (at the meeting with Anouar Kbibech) for our mutual benefits, including how Malaysia can help the Muslims in France through CFCM, where one of them is for Malaysia to assist in introducing procedures and provide training for imams and other Muslim elders in France.
“I was informed that there are about 2,500 mosques in France and CFCM has expressed its willingness to send imams and other Muslim elders to Malaysia for the training,” she told Bernama and RTM here today.
CFCM is the official intermediary body of the French Muslim community with the French government in the regulation of Muslim religious activities in the country.
Dr Wan Azizah said CFCM also requested Malaysia’s assistance to resolve the issue on halal certification which the council had been working on since the past few years.
“I have invited CFCM representatives to visit Malaysia to discuss with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) on the procedures for the halal certification,” she added.
Dr Wan Azizah said she also gave Anouar the assurance that Malaysian Ambassador to France Datuk Dr Afzar Mohamad Mustafar would handle the requests by CFCM with the relevant bodies in Malaysia.
During the meeting, Dr Wan Azizah said she also suggested to Anouar on the setting up of an entity similar to that of Tabung Haji in Malaysia to plan and handle haj pilgrimage for Muslims in France.
“We suggested the idea to CFCM and the council may probably think how to implement it because in France, there is no entity to manage haj pilgrimage for Muslims in the country,” she added.
Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister said she also invited Anouar and CFCM leaders to the 2019 International Halal Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur next month.
Dr Wan Azizah ended her four-day working visit to France today where the main agenda for the visit was to chair the Unesco Management of Social Transformation (MOST) meeting and the 14th Session of the Intergovernmental Council (IGC) for MOST.
MOST is a science programme involving 35 Unesco members on social transformation to encourage social science research to be used by policy makers at the global level. - Bernama