French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that he is open to the idea of imposing a temporary ban on the foreign financing of mosques, urging a “new model” for relations with Islam as the country reels under a spate of jihadi attacks.
In an interview with the he Le Monde daily, Valls said, “There needs to be a thorough review to form a new relationship with French Islam,”
“We live in a changed era and we must change our behaviour. This is a revolution in our security culture…the fight against radicalisation will be the task of a generation.”
Under fire for perceived security lapses around the attacks, Valls also admitted to a failure by the authorities after it was revealed that one of the jihadis who stormed a church and killed a priest on Tuesday had been released with an electronic tag pending trial.
The fact that one of the church attackers, 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, was awaiting trial on terror charges and had been fitted with an electronic tag meant judges needed to take a "different, case-by-case, approach," Valls said.
However, the prime minister stressed that the judges in this individual case should not be held responsible for this "act of terrorism."
And as the jihadist killing of a priest at the altar of his church sparked fears of religious tensions in secular France, Valls said the country needed to forge "a new relationship" with Islam.
"We need to reset and invent a new relationship with Islam in France," Valls said. Valls also called for imams to be "trained in France, not elsewhere."