Imam Hassan El-Houari of the Muslim Theological Council in France said in an October 6, 2020 interview on Al-Hiwar TV (U.K.) that the French government forgets that Muslims are a part of France's identity. He argued that Muslims built France, liberated it, prayed for the defeat of the Nazis, and even built the metro system. Furthermore, he argued that recent terrorism came from France itself, not "the mosque."
Imam Hassan El-Houari: "The successive governments in France forgot one important thing: Islam and the Muslims in France today have become part of France's identity. They are no longer as foreign as they were before, when they were brought from the Arab countries to build France. The Muslims are the ones who built France. The Muslims are the ones who liberated France. The Muslims are the ones who prayed in the streets of France for the defeat of the Nazis and the liberation of France. The Muslims were the ones who built the metro in Paris and other cities.
"The subsequent generations of Muslims, whose parents moved [to France], they are the children of France. They grew up in France and were educated in France.
"We see this terrorism as coming out of the French school."
Host: "How come? Some would say that it came out of the mosques in France. It came out of some Muslims, or our of the misdirection by some of the imams."
El-Houari: "On the contrary. I was targeted last October as a result of the attack, carried out by Mickael Harpon. This man used to pray at my Mosque [in Paris]. He was an employee of the Paris [police headquarters], and he killed his commander and three of hos colleagues. I was targeted directly because he used to pray with me. I challenged the media and showed them that all the terrorist incidents that France..."
Host: "To which France was exposed..."
El-Houari: "None of these incidents came out of the mosque."