President Emmanuel Macron praised French Muslim leaders on Monday after they agreed on a “charter of principles” aimed at combating sectarianism and radicalised teachings blamed for a surge in jihadist attacks in France in recent years.

The charter offers “a clarification of how the Muslim community is organised,” Macron said after a meeting with representatives of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), his office said.

It will also provide a framework for a new National Council of Imams that will be responsible for vetting imams practising in the country.

“This is a clear, decisive and precise commitment in favour of the republic,” Macron said, hailing “a truly foundational text for relations between the state and Islam in France.”

Macron had urged the council to act against “political Islam” in November after the killing of Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded outside his school after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed as part of a free-speech lesson.

The attack prompted a crackdown against extremist mosques and Islamist associations, along with a vigorous defence of French secularism.

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