September 16, 2011
France bans public Muslim prayers | The Australian
By Adam Sage, The Times
September 16, 2011
MUSLIMS will be banned from praying  outdoors in France from today in the latest move by officials to remove  Islam from the public sphere. 
The ban, announced by the government yesterday, infuriated French  Muslim leaders, one of whom accused President Sarkozy’s government of  treating them like cattle.
They say that Muslims, who pray outdoors only because of a lack of space in mosques in France, feel stigmatised.
But  Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, said that the sight of hundreds  of people gathering in the streets of Paris and other cities for Friday  prayers was “shocking”.
It comes after laws to prohibit pupils  from wearing headscarves in schools and women from wearing the niqab,  the full Muslim veil, in public.
Mr Gueant described outlawing  street prayers as the latest brick in the wall that is shoring up the  secular nature of the French state. He said that he had nothing against  Islam, but wanted it out of the public eye.
"Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of  our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space  for a religious practice," he said.
Police could be asked to  arrest Muslims who continue to pray in the street, Mr Gueant warned, but  officials will initially try to persuade them to move into a mosque.
Debate  has focused on the Goutte d’Or district in northern Paris. Dozens and  sometimes hundreds of Muslims pray in the surrounding streets.
Marine  Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, was accused of racism when  she said that the worship amounted to an “occupation” - a word that for  many French is associated with the Nazi invasion during the Second World  War.
But the government now appears to be on the same  wavelength, with Mr Gueant agreeing that street prayers would “upset”  his fellow countrymen.
He said that officials had made  available a disused fire station in the Goutte d’Or with room for 2700  people for a rent of €30,000 ($A40,330) a year.
But Muslim leaders said that the site would be open to worshippers only on Fridays.
Mohamed  Salah Hamza, imam at a mosque in the Goutte d’Or district, said: “We  are not cattle. Our demands have not entirely been satisfied.”
He said that he feared worshippers would continue to pray outside.
"I am in an uncomfortable position and I am afraid there will be a climate of anarchy," he said.
THE TIMES
Image: French Muslims pray in the street outside an overcrowded mosque in Paris. (Exploring Islam in Paris: Pt 1 | Life and a Lens)

France bans public Muslim prayers | The Australian

By Adam Sage, The Times

September 16, 2011

MUSLIMS will be banned from praying outdoors in France from today in the latest move by officials to remove Islam from the public sphere.

The ban, announced by the government yesterday, infuriated French Muslim leaders, one of whom accused President Sarkozy’s government of treating them like cattle.

They say that Muslims, who pray outdoors only because of a lack of space in mosques in France, feel stigmatised.

But Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, said that the sight of hundreds of people gathering in the streets of Paris and other cities for Friday prayers was “shocking”.

It comes after laws to prohibit pupils from wearing headscarves in schools and women from wearing the niqab, the full Muslim veil, in public.

Mr Gueant described outlawing street prayers as the latest brick in the wall that is shoring up the secular nature of the French state. He said that he had nothing against Islam, but wanted it out of the public eye.

"Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice," he said.

Police could be asked to arrest Muslims who continue to pray in the street, Mr Gueant warned, but officials will initially try to persuade them to move into a mosque.

Debate has focused on the Goutte d’Or district in northern Paris. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of Muslims pray in the surrounding streets.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, was accused of racism when she said that the worship amounted to an “occupation” - a word that for many French is associated with the Nazi invasion during the Second World War.

But the government now appears to be on the same wavelength, with Mr Gueant agreeing that street prayers would “upset” his fellow countrymen.

He said that officials had made available a disused fire station in the Goutte d’Or with room for 2700 people for a rent of €30,000 ($A40,330) a year.

But Muslim leaders said that the site would be open to worshippers only on Fridays.

Mohamed Salah Hamza, imam at a mosque in the Goutte d’Or district, said: “We are not cattle. Our demands have not entirely been satisfied.”

He said that he feared worshippers would continue to pray outside.

"I am in an uncomfortable position and I am afraid there will be a climate of anarchy," he said.

THE TIMES

Image: French Muslims pray in the street outside an overcrowded mosque in Paris. (Exploring Islam in Paris: Pt 1 | Life and a Lens)

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    Wow, France, fuck you. You are starting to rival America in the Islamophobia department and that takes goddamn effort.
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    lol Marine Le Pen in all her glory. if she become president we are all screwed I’m french and I’m muslim but I think...
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    ^
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