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France mulls over imposing ‘halal tax’ on Muslims

Paris: If President Emmanuel Macron accepts the recommendation of a new report, France will adopt a special “halal tax”. It aimed at fighting extremism and creating an independent new body for Europe’s largest Muslim population. The study by Montaigne Institut, a Paris-based think tank, urged Mr Macron to support a small levy on halal products, pilgrimages and donations.

The author of the report, Hakim El Karoui, is the nephew of a former Tunisian prime minister. The proposed tax would be collected by Muslims themselves rather than the state.

Mr Macron wants to form a new body replacing French Muslim Council (CFCM), which the critics say failed to assert itself as an authoritative, fully representative voice. Mr Macron also wants to stop overseas funding and the training of imams.

In its report “The Islamist Factory”, the Institut Montaigne also proposes that instead of being instructed in mosques, the Arabic language should be learnt in more state schools, following a national curriculum.

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