The Muslim Democrats are set to contest local elections in parts of the department of Yvelines, located just outside of Paris, and claim to want to “give a voice to a part of the population that is not found in traditional parties,” Le Parisien reports. The group announced they would be fielding candidates in Mantes-la-Jolie, Les Mureaux, Guyancourt, and possibly in Mantes-la-Ville where the populist National Rally led by Marine Le Pen has led the local government since 2014.
While the UDFM claims to be secular, it has, according to Le Parisien, been targetting areas with higher proportions of Muslims from North African backgrounds.
Local resident Samir claimed that he has become disillusioned with the Socialist Party in recent years and said while he would not vote for the UFDM, he understood why others might, stating: “For me, this party is the yellow vests of the Arabs.”
Council of Muslim Institutions of Yvelines Aziz El Jaouhari said that not too many in the community were overly impressed with the new party but noted that “discourse on discrimination or Islamophobia may resonate with some”.