• France's news in English

Muslims agree to stop praying on Paris street

Matthew Warren · 15 Sep 2011, 08:14

Published: 15 Sep 2011 10:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Sep 2011 08:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-09-17 15:43:21 by willowsdad
So do I understand correctly, never having been there, that there are no open-air demonstrations of religious sentiment in France other than those practiced by Muslims? I seem to recall seeing photos of picturesque Catholic saints-day processions in Brittany or Aquitaine. Or is this merely tourist-brochure hype?
2011-09-17 06:33:17 by imnokuffar
Well, well what a suprise ! PARIS -- Hundreds of Muslims defied a French ban on outdoor prayer -- which came into force Friday --and took to the streets and sidewalks of Paris to pray. The French government announced Thursday it was banning praying outside, with officials pledging to enforce the ban from Friday. But 200 Muslims ignored the ban and prayed on the streets in the neighborhood of La Goutte d'Or, Le Parisien newspaper reported. French interior minister Claude Gueant said he had nothing against Islam but wanted it out of the public eye because France was a secular state. He added, "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." Although officials would persuade people to pray in mosques, Muslims who continued to pray in the street would be arrested, Gueant warned. The ban angered French Muslim leaders who said Muslims only prayed outdoors because of a lack of space in mosques in France." Get the bloody water cannon and tear gas out, send in the riot police and sort the buggers out. If they want to riot let them but make sure the army is surrounding the Muslim areas and crush them like the cockroaches that they are. Let them burn down their own areas and then let the buggers live in it. After the last lot of disturbances (as the French like to call them) they gave these scum hundreds of millions of Euros to rebuild but like the turds that they are all of this was soon wrecked and a lot of the money was misappropriated. The French Gendarmes strut their stuff when it comes to arresting people for parking offences or other minor stuff but are complete cowards when it comes to anything else. It is a regular occurrence to see THREE armed Gendarmes coming to arrest someone or serve a warrant for some minor infraction of the law. The bloody cowards. Just like our British police who stand by and let people riot, loot, burn and murder because they are afraid of being called racist. But they are quick enough to arrest BNP, EDL or Front National members because they know we will not riot and will use due process to oppose them. There is undoubtedly one law for poppy burning, Muslim scum and thieving, murdering bastards who riot and destroy communities and another for law abiding, patriotic decent people. May the people who have let this situation come to pass suffer just as we and ordinary decent law abiding White/Black/Asian and other people have. But they won't because they all live in ivory towers or nice areas well away from where the fruits of their criminally irresponsible and traitorous actions have ripened.
2011-09-17 05:37:18 by imnokuffar
Hundreds of them did not obey this ban. The only reason the others did is because they are not yet ready to take over France.
2011-09-15 23:40:01 by MOI
I suppose this could be ANY European city nowadays.
2011-09-15 23:38:49 by MOI
2011-09-15 15:40:29 by bramblebush
Perhaps those street prayers might consider relocating to a country that is more receptive to street pryaing?
Today's headlines
France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

French cheer police, reviving Charlie spirit
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available