Friday, September 16, 2011

Public prayer in the streets banned in Paris/Muslim Imam fears anarchy

The Ministry of the Interior of France has banned public prayer in the streets of Paris which immediately affects 1,000 Muslims who meet at one site for prayer every Friday at 2pm. The ban may be extended to all of France including Marseille and Nice. The Minister also said that force would be used to stop such public prayers because it breaches the French understanding of separation of church and state and shocks citizens who are not Muslims. In the public arena the French expect secularism to control. The Muslims have been meeting for Friday prayers in the street for several since a large mosque closed and the local police did nothing to restrict the practice. I am told that the police will not go into areas of Paris because of fear of Muslim and gang violence against them. One resident said that she would have to call for fire department to come when she needed the police because of the lack of police response in her neighborhood. One Imam commented that there were difficulties in moving to a new place provided by the city and that Muslims were "not cattle." He also said he "fear(ed) a climate of anarchy." (Photo and quotes from 9/16/11, The Connexion, Shalom from Paris. David Schneier

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