Tensions brewing over Muslim street prayers north of Paris

Nov 13, 2017 by

from Straits Times:

Around 100 local French lawmakers attempted to block Muslims praying in a street north of Paris and called on the government to ban what they see as an unacceptable use of public space.

The lawmakers, led by the head of the regional government of the Paris area, Mrs Valerie Pecresse, disrupted the crowd of around 200 all-male devotees last Friday, and sang the national anthem in the multi-ethnic Clichy suburb.

“Public space cannot be taken over in this way,” Mrs Pecresse said at the demonstration alongside the right-wing mayor of Clichy, Mr Remi Muzeau, who like other lawmakers wore a sash in the national colours of blue, white and red.

Prayers in the street have taken place every Friday in Clichy since March to protest against the closure of a popular local mosque that had operated in a government building.

The Interior Ministry “must ban street prayers”, Mr Muzeau told reporters at the scene last Friday. “I am responsible for guaranteeing the tranquillity and freedom of everyone in my town.”

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