did not

stop the

controversy and debate in French political circles, since the

head of the

Democratic Union Party of Muslims of

France, Najib announced his candidacy Ozarka for the

presidential elections scheduled to be

held in France in April / April next.

The controversy is mainly due to Azraqi's Arab and Islamic origins. He is a telecom engineer of Moroccan origin and hails from the city of Nantes in western France. His party opposes the ban on headscarves in schools, defends the environment and the right of foreigners to vote in local elections.

The first candidate of Islamic origins

Najib Azraqi is considered the first candidate of Arab and Islamic origins in the French presidential elections, so he said that his goal in this symbolic candidacy step is to confront the campaign of hatred against the country's Muslims, especially with right-wing personalities running for the presidency.

About the Democratic Union of Muslims in France, which he heads, and the goals and principles, Najib Azraqi indicated that he founded the party in 2012, and after 10 years of founding, the party today includes 1,700 members.

He participated in all the French elections, such as the municipal, regional, legislative and even European elections.

Today, he is running for the first time in the upcoming presidential elections as well as the legislative elections that follow, and during the last regional elections, more than 30,000 voters voted for the party, but our ambitions are great for the future.

Azraqi stated that the attempt to exclude veiled women in France from public space and universities is a distortion of secularism and (European) freedom.

Changing stereotypes about Muslims

Regarding his political party's program to compete in the upcoming presidential elections, Azraqi told Al Jazeera Net, "The major principles on which our party was founded and strives for, belong to the core values ​​on which the French Republic was founded, which is justice, freedom and brotherhood."

He continued, "We are struggling today on the ground in order to achieve social justice and brotherhood among members of the same people and freedom to choose and practice religious beliefs, especially with what we see in recent years in France of the escalating and fierce attack on citizens' rights and individual freedom based on their religious beliefs."

Azraqi added, "Here comes the program of our party, which is trying to create a pedagogical and political rift with the stereotypical political discourse enshrined in the French political arena, which gives the impression that we are facing first-class citizens and second-class citizens who are mainly Muslims. The goals of our party are not an attempt to Islamize the republic or replace its values. By Sharia, but we are addressing all the French, regardless of their beliefs or origins. Our goal in all of this is to unite them in order to live together in one solidarity and love society.”

He explained in the same context, "Today, we see on the ground an attempt to distinguish between an open woman and a veiled woman. We also note the attempt to exclude female students who wear the veil from public space, study and research centers in universities, and it is strange that all this is happening under the banner of living together. This is wrong and a distortion of secularism." and freedom."

The symbolism of candidacy despite the impossibility of the task

Regarding his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections despite his knowledge of the difficulty of the task and the impossibility of winning chances, especially with his Arab and Islamic origins, the head of the Democratic Union of French Muslims stressed that citizenship rights in France are not linked to the citizen’s origins, color or belief, and from the moment a person obtains French citizenship, he enjoys With full rights like other former citizens, it does not matter if he is of Portuguese, Italian, Moroccan or Arab origin.

He continued in his statement to Al Jazeera Net, "My candidacy comes in order to move the stagnant waters and change the mentality of society and the wrong stereotyped view of Muslims, as well as this dangerous drift and distance from the main purposes of the values ​​of the republic."

Azraqi pointed out that all this deviation is about sowing the seeds of division in French society and hatred towards some citizens who carry an Islamic identity, through speeches of hate, discrimination and incitement adopted by candidates such as Éric Zemmour and Republican candidate Éric Ciotti.

He stressed that his party's central role is to modify these discourses, strike a balance in the political and media discourse, defend the image of Muslims and Islam in French society, and publicize locally and internationally the problems of discrimination against them.

The head of the Democratic Union of French Muslims believes that Muslims and immigrants represent a significant electoral force, although they are often unaware of this, and they need someone to defend them and their causes.

The Islamist separatist bill proposed by Macron drew criticism from Muslims, who considered it targeted (European)

Regular harassment

Given the Islamic identity that it carries, and raising the banner of defense of Arabs, Muslims, immigrants and minorities in French society, the Democratic Union of Muslims of France was harassed by the Ministry of the Interior in the May 2019 municipal elections, as its list was initially rejected on the grounds that there was no handwritten sign In which the candidate expresses his consent to appear on the list.

Azraqi confirmed this by saying, "Our party is periodically subjected to harassment and attacks, especially with the name of Muslims that it bears. Although many French parties make democratic Christianity a reference to it, a statement and an allusion, when it comes to Islam, the name often shocks them."

He continued, "Everyone knows that many right-wing deputies tried to raise issues and incite the state against us in order to freeze the party, especially Deputy Bruno Retailleau, who submitted an official request to dissolve our party, but the Supreme Council of State rejected this request and said the Democratic Union of French Muslims is a political party and can Anyone who objects to his ideas may discuss them politically.”

Macron's speech, spreading division and discrimination

Azraqi concluded at the end of his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that since Macron's speech in 2020, his speech about Islamic separatism and his call to fight terrorism and the image of Muslims in France has been in decline.

He considered that the dangerous law proposed by Macron and adopted by the two chambers of Parliament, caused a great rift in French society, and introduced division and discrimination, and every Muslim citizen became accused only because he was a Muslim.

According to French media reports, the path ahead for the DFMF candidate to the Elysee is still long, as he must have the support of 500 elected representatives from 30 electoral districts to be able to run, according to the French presidential election law.

This is something that Azraqi does not deny either, who said, "It is true that this condition may make the task of candidacy more difficult, but I am optimistic about the future and in the world of politics there is nothing impossible. I believe in serious work and intelligent planning, and through our experience and our network of relations in the previous regional and regional elections, we have many promises." With support, we hope that the officials will fulfill their promises so that we can achieve the required conditions.”