A manifesto published in the French daily Le Parisien on April 21, signed by some 300 prominent intellectuals and politicians, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, made a shocking demand.
Arguing that the Quran incites violence, it insisted that “the verses of the Quran calling for murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and nonbelievers be struck to obsolescence by religious authorities,” so that “no believer can refer to a sacred text to commit a crime.”
Although it’s not entirely clear whether “struck to obsolescence” means wholesale deletion of verses, the manifesto was perceived as a call to abrogate Muslims’ holiest text.
Although pushing for a theological reform of Islam in France is nothing new everyone from leading imams to President Emmanuel Macron have made plans to restructure Islam demanding that scriptural verses be deleted is another thing altogether.
In Islam, the Quran is considered divinely revealed; because it’s deemed to be the word of God, altering or deleting any part of the text would be blasphemous.
The manifesto generated an immediate outcry among Muslims in France and beyond, with critics labeling its usage of the phrase “low-volume ethnic cleansing” hyperbolic and accusing it of homogenizing all Muslims.
Days after the manifesto’s release, 30 imams signed a counter-letter in Le Monde. The Observatory for Islamophobia, an organization affiliated with the Egyptian government, described the manifesto as “hateful racism” that proves that “France is not a land that welcomes Islam.” The proposal to abrogate certain verses of the Quran was most controversial of all.
Source: The Atlantic