Thursday, 15 September 2011

[Video shows Muslims illegally blocking off a street in Paris and laying out their carpets to pray on it.]
Muslim community leaders reached an agreement with police on Wednesday to open a mosque in the north of Paris, aimed at bringing to an end prayers in the street in the Goutte d'Or quarter of the city.

The agreement was reached just before an official ban on prayers in the street is implemented across the country.

In an interview with Le Figaro, interior minister Claude Guéant confirmed the agreement had been signed on Wednesday evening and said he would remain "vigilant without fail" about ending street prayers.

"Praying in the street is not dignified as a religious practice," he said. "It contravenes our principle of secularism."

He said the new mosque would provide "an area of 2,000 square metres" and would be "rented for €30,000 a year."

A former fire station will be used for the mosque, which can receive up to 2,700 people.

On Wednesday, there were signs that the mosque might not be ready for prayers on Friday. Magazine Le Point reported that work was running late. "We are not cattle," it quoted one Imam as saying.

Prayers in the street became a national issue when Front National leader Marine Le Pen provoked outrage by comparing street prayers to the Second World War, likening them to an "occupation."

"There may not be armoured vehicles or soldiers, but it's an occupation all the same and it's hard for the locals," she said in December 2010.

The national ban on prayers in the street comes into force on Friday.

Guéant is also in the headlines thanks to a remark he made on his visit to Marseilles. When asked what lay behind the massive rise in criminal violence in the city, he replied:
I can tell you that in Marseilles there is a lot of Comoran immigration which is the cause of a great deal of violence.

The Comoros are 98% Muslim. Various Comoran associations announced that they would file hate speech complaints against him after he said this.


Feli said...

Wife of Stockholm bomber arrested in Britain: police

LONDON British police said Wednesday they had arrested the wife of a man who carried out a suicide bombing in Sweden in December on suspicion of carrying out preparatory acts for a terrorist attack.

Scotland Yard confirmed they detained Mona Thwany, the wife of Taymour Abdelwahab, on Tuesday in Luton.

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