Saudi cleric Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, said in a March 4, 2020 interview on France 24 TV's Arabic-language channel that there is no place for political Islam in France or anywhere else because it does not abide by the values of Islam or by the national values of any country. He said that people must respect the constitution, laws, and culture of the country they are living in, and that they should move somewhere else if they don't like them. He criticized Muslims who want to separate from the countries they are living in for wanting to destroy the social contract on the basis of which they entered those countries, and he explained that his recent visit to Auschwitz with 60 other Islamic scholars was meant to deliver the message that there are no double standards in Islam when it comes to confronting all forms of injustice.
To view the clip of Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
"There Is No Place For Political Islam In France Or Anywhere Else"
Interviewer: "You are now in France, where President Macron has said: 'There is no place for political Islam in France.' What do you have to say?"
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Yes, there is no place for political Islam in France or anywhere else, because it does not abide by the values of our religion or by the national values of any country.
"[Political Islam] does not respect the laws and constitutions of countries. It has a political background and it strives to accomplish a certain political agenda. Therefore, it does not represent Islam."
Interviewer: "The principle of the far right in France is: Either love France or leave it. You have stated that one must respect the laws of one's host country. Do you still repeat the slogan about people who do not respect..."
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Yes, you must respect the constitution, the laws, and the prevalent culture, as long as you live in a certain land, and if you do not like it, you may choose another country more to your liking.
"The countries of today's world have common values and one can coexist with everybody else. The constitutional tools provide for and protect religious particularism, so ultimately, one must respect the constitutional decision-making tools. You should adapt to this, or you may choose another place, where you think you may enjoy more freedom, a place that is more suitable to the values you hold."
"If You Enter A Country You Must Respect Its Laws; Or You Should Not Enter That Country To Begin With"
Interviewer: "Are you disturbed by the talk about Islamophobia in Europe?"
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Of course, one is disturbed by it..."
Interviewer: "Is this talk justified or not?"
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Hatred of Islam – and of religions in general – exists. There is also hatred of individuals and organizations."
Interviewer: "But there is also separatism among Muslims. They want to separate themselves from the values of the Republic."
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Whoever lives in a country and wants to be separated from its values is destroying the very social contract, on the basis of which he entered that country. If you enter a country you must respect its laws. Or you should not enter that country to begin with. But to enter a country and then say that you do not respect its values – no country would allow such a thing."
Visit To Auschwitz Was "To Deliver To Everybody The Message That There Are No Double Standards In Islam When It Comes To Confronting All Forms Of Injustice"
Interviewer: "Was your visit to Auschwitz an attempt to change this mentality?"
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "It was not. It was an initiative..."
Interviewer: "An initiative that stemmed from conviction, right?"
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa: "Yes, it was, and the goal was to deliver to everybody the message that there are no double standards in Islam when it comes to confronting all forms of injustice. What happened in Auschwitz was a genocide that shook human conscience. It was an atrocious genocide in the full sense of the word. We came there to say that Islam does not uphold double standards. We denounce [the Holocaust].
"Over 60 scholars and muftis from the various Muslim denominations went there with me, in order to say that Muslims are hurting for what happened there, and that Islam does not uphold double standards."