French Muslim leader calls for number of mosques to double over next two years

Epigraph:

He (Allah) it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad), with guidance and the Religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all other religions. And sufficient is Allah as a Witness. (Al Quran 48:29)

Dalil Boubakeur, Rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of Muslim Faith

Dalil Boubakeur, Rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of Muslim Faith

Source: Yahoo News

AFP By Francois Becker; April 5, 2015 12:51 PM

France has long had a difficult relationship with its Muslim minority, that dates back to bloody struggles in its former North African colonies and the legacy of immigrants trapped in some of the country’s poorest districts.

Paris Mosque

Paris Mosque

One of France’s top Muslim leaders has called for the number of mosques to double over the next two years to remedy a shortage of places of worship for the country’s millions of faithful.

Speaking at a weekend gathering of French Islamic organisations, where participants asked for respect in the face of a rise in anti-Muslim attacks, Dalil Boubakeur said the 2,200 mosques in the country did not adequately represent Europe’s largest Muslim community.

“We need double (that number) within two years,” the head of the French Muslim Council and rector of the Paris mosque said in the town of Le Bourget near the capital.

“There are a lot of prayer rooms, of unfinished mosques, and there are a lot of mosques that are not being built,” he added yesterday at the Muslim gathering, billed as the largest in the Western world.

This annual convention of the Union of Islamic Organisations of France (UOIF), which groups together more than 250 Muslim associations, comes just months after jihadist gunmen killed 17 people in and near Paris.

Since then, there has been a marked rise in Islamophobia in France, with 167 acts against mosques or threats recorded in January alone compared to just 14 in the same month last year.

France has long had a difficult relationship with its Muslim minority — currently estimated at between four and five million — that dates back to bloody struggles in its former North African colonies and the legacy of immigrants trapped in some of the country’s poorest districts.

Long decades of insurgency against French rule in Algeria in the mid-twentieth century, followed by a spate of Algerian extremist attacks in France in the 1990s created difficulties for communal relations — which reawakened with the rise of global jihadism after 9/11.

Apart from physical acts, anti-Muslim sentiment in the country varies from mayors refusing to have mosques built to resistance to halal meals being served in prisons or schools.

Participants at the gathering — which while organised by the UOIF, a group close to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, ranged from liberal to ultra-conservative — denounced violence committed in the name of Islam.

“We are loyal to our country, France. We love God, we love our prophet, but we also love the French Republic,” said Amar Lasfar, UOIF head.

Boubakeur agreed, adding nevertheless that Muslims must also be respected in France.

“Islam is no longer an Islam stemming from immigration, it is a national Islam that has the right to the recognition and consideration of the French population, just like other communities in France,” Boubakeur said. — AFP

Reference

1 reply

  1. Muslim c0mmunity not only needs Masajid,halal meat and Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that ‘education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.’ The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes – it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.

    No one has any problem when: Jews keep beards and wear their traditional caps Christian priests and nuns wear their religious outfits Buddhist monks wear orange robes Sikhs keep beards and wear turbans Indian aunties wear Sarees (cross streets and hang out in Wal-Mart) Yeah but if any Muslim male keeps beard or if any Muslim girl wears hijab then everyone has problem. It’s Freedom when you go naked but it’s extremism when you wear hijab – just plain hypocrisy! Looking at the case of France, a major secular nation, I believe it is also not allowing women freedom by not letting her to wear her choice of clothing as it supposedly “clashes with French secular values”.

    Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.

    Indiscipline, incivility, binge drinking, drug addiction, gun and knife crimes, teenage pregnancies and abortion are part and parcel of British schooling. These are the reasons why majority of Muslim parents would like to send their children to Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Only less than 10% attend Muslim schools and more than 90% keep on attending state and church schools to be mis-educated and de-educated by non-Muslim monolingual teachers.

    The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is
    ignored.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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