web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



The New Mega-Mosque in Paris: ‘Building a French Islam’

The Grand Mosque of Paris

The Grand Mosque of Paris
Photo Credit: Gérard Ducher/Wikimedia Commons

The Socialist government in France has inaugurated a new mega-mosque in Paris as a first step towards “progressively building a French Islam.”

The new mosque, located in the northern Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise, is not only vast in its dimensions (photo here), but is also highly visible and symbolic: its towering minaret, which has purposely been designed to change the suburb’s skyline by being taller than any church steeple in the neighborhood, is supposed to become the “new symbol of Islam in France.”

The blue-domed mega-mosque also has an important political dimension. French President François Hollande owes his May 6 electoral victory to the large turnout by Muslim voters, who cast the deciding votes that propelled Hollande into the Élysée Palace. It is now political payback time, and the mosque at Cergy is one of at least 150 new mosque projects that the Socialist government has pledged to support.

Speaking on behalf of President Hollande at the inauguration ceremony of the mosque in Cergy, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls articulated the Socialist government’s policy vis-à-vis the construction of new mosques in France. He declared: “A mosque, when it is erected in the city, says a simple thing: Islam has its place in France.”

The 2,000 square meter (21,500 square foot) three-story mega-mosque in Cergy can accommodate up to 1,500 worshippers at a time; it has two main prayer halls (one for men and one for women), ablution rooms, two kitchens, a tea room, an apartment and office for the imam, a funeral hall, classrooms and a multipurpose room.

The mayor’s office in Cergy, which is controlled by the Socialist Party, has tried to downplay local concerns about the size of the mosque, which has a price tag of €3.7 million ($4.5 million). It has justified the project by arguing that the mosque is being financed exclusively through local donations (many if not most of the major mosques in France and other European countries are financed by foreign governments such as Morocco and Saudi Arabia).

But the Socialist Mayor of Cergy, Dominique Lefebvre, has actively worked to make the mosque project a reality by circumventing French laws on secularism. Under his leadership the town council agreed to provide the mosque with a lease of land at very low rent for a term of 99 years. The town council also agreed to provide the mosque with a bank guarantee so it could obtain a €2.5 million loan for construction.

Lefebvre has justified his efforts on behalf of the mosque by saying he wants to “ensure the free exercise of religion.” But at the ceremony inaugurating the mosque, he also joked: “I am often asked if the minaret is higher than the steeple of the church.”

Separately, a French appeals court has granted permission for the construction of a mega-mosque in the southern city of Marseille, home to the largest Muslim community in France.

The ruling, which overturns an October 2011 decision by a lower court to annul the construction permit for the mosque, represents a major victory for proponents of the mosque, long touted as the biggest and most potent symbol of Islam’s growing place in France.

The €22 million ($27 million) project would have the Grand Mosque – boasting a minaret soaring 25 meters (82 feet) high, and room for up to 7,000 worshippers in a vast prayer hall — built on the north side of Marseille’s old port in the city’s Saint-Louis district, an ethnically mixed neighborhood that suffers from poverty and high unemployment.

Several decades in the planning, the project was granted a construction permit in November 2009. At the time, city officials said the new mosque would help the Muslim community better integrate into the mainstream and foster a more moderate form of Islam.

The first cornerstone of the 8,300 square meter (90,000 square foot) project was laid in May 2010. The elaborate stone-laying ceremony was attended by Muslim religious leaders and local politicians, as well as more than a dozen diplomats from Muslim countries.

Full-scale construction of the Grand Mosque — which will include a Koranic school and a library, as well as a restaurant and tea room — was scheduled to begin in February 2012.

About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “The New Mega-Mosque in Paris: ‘Building a French Islam’”

  1. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Jews….get out of France! Come home to Israel!

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    It would be nice were France to relax its rigid secularism. There is no eruv anywhere in France and the government will not permit one. Religious headgear cannot be worn in government buildings.

    That said, the French government pays a very substantial part of the cost of Jewish schools. The quid pro quo is that the schools have to teach the government-mandated secular studies curriculum. Would that we had that in America.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Usually the French wait for the first shot to be fired before surrendering.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    The Germans did not find that to be true at all in 1914.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_the_Marne

  5. leave me alone, I don't want to hear anymore of your whinning on what other countries did to you, how about the countries you have hurt?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ashkelon home damaged in missile attack from Gaza on the eighth day of Operation Protective Edge, in July 2014. (archive)
Massive Rocket Barrage Blankets South
Latest Indepth Stories
MK Moshe-Feiglin

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

Sgt. Sean Carmeli, ZT"L

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

(Reposted with permission from author’s website) Moderate truth-teller Daniel Pipes (Dream) has further moderated his stance on Islam by actually entertaining the idea of “Moderate Islamism”, with Andrew C. McCarthy- whom I’ve debated about this- giving it some credence. We’ve gone from Naming the Enemy -Nazism, Communism- to Renaming the Enemy – “Islamic Totalitarianism”, “Radical Islam”, “Islamism”, […]

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

In other words, how by any rational playbook can one even begin to explain anti-Semitism?

Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you Mr. Hannity are the tenth.

Entire movements within “orthodoxy” propagate a Judaism of outlandish folklore and Jewish mysticism

More Articles from Soeren Kern
One of the schools found to be indoctrinating students with radical Islam in Birmingham, England.

Inspectors: pupils in some English schools are systematically exposed to radical Islamic propaganda.

Muslim young woman wearing hijab in Paris.

In Paris, the Union of Islamic Organizations congress was turned into a platform for Muslim anti-Semitism.

Instead of integration, “parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.”

Adebolajo said there was an ongoing “war between Muslims and the British people” and he was a “soldier of Allah.”

” All this new law does is create a raft of civil servants being paid to move mountains of papers round all day.”

“I find it shocking they won’t list everything they’ve found.” — Lawrence Kaye, Art Lawyer, New York.

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

In a separate but related matter, the Al-Madinah School is being investigated by the government over alleged financial irregularities.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-new-mega-mosque-in-paris-building-a-french-islam/2012/07/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: