Skip to Content

Marine Le Pen, still from BBC interview

France approves visas for 300 imams despite vows to cut numbers

The French government approved visas for 300 imams from Algeria and Morocco to lead Ramadan services in French mosques. The government had previously vowed to reduce foreign influences on the practice of Islam in France.

Published: June 20, 2018, 10:43 am

    Paris

    The decision sparked a furious outcry from across the political spectrum.

    The leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, called the move “unacceptable” and said that the Ministry of the Interior “organises the arrival of 300 foreign imams in our country for Ramadan; it is a violation of the principle of secularism (laïcité)”.

    Her former ally in the 2017 presidential race, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, demanded that foreign imams be required to swear an “oath of loyalty to France and the Republic” before being allowed to enter the country.

    Even former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has pledged to “cut all bridges” between Muslims in “third countries” and France. “To ask Algeria and Morocco to send us imams during the month of Ramadan is unacceptable,” Valls said.

    In Chambourcy, the managers of a Carrefour hypermarket have complied with Muslim demands to remove Israeli dates from the store’s “Ramadan department”. Customers complained that the presence of Israeli products was “an affront to Muslim customers”.

    Europe 1 radio meanwhile reported that Ramadan has been a “commercial bonanza” for French retailers. Mimoun Ennebati, the head of a French Muslim association, said that “a priori, large distributors do not want to offend a certain clientele” during Ramadan.

    It is estimated, Ennebati said, that practicing Muslims increase their spending by 30 percent during the month of Ramadan, while spending by pro-Israeli customers is negligable.

    France has also banned street prayer, but sharia law has imposed different requirements that the French government conveniently ignores. The open-air prayer, which took place at around 6 am at the Ariane quarter of Nice, was condemned by Mayor Christian Estrosi of the conservative Republicans who took to Twitter to post a picture of the incident.

    Estrosi slammed the street prayer, saying: “I condemn with the utmost firmness the street prayers which have been held at the Ariane since 6 a.m. this morning. The laws of the Republic must be respected everywhere.” The group had used loudspeakers to attract worshipers, but Estrosi said “nothing can justify street prayers and the disturbance of public order”.

    Street prayers have become a major issue in France. In the Paris suburb of Clichy, local Muslims were evicted from a building they had illegally turned into a mosque. They prayed on the street each Friday for months in protest of the eviction.

    In the city of Orléans in April of this year, police were forced to intervene after continued street prayers outside of the Ibn-Badis Mosque angered residents. The city’s deputy mayor promised to post police officers in the area to stop the practice.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    UK faces policing crisis as cops quit in huge numbers

    Law enforcement chiefs in Britain are struggling to find enough specialist detectives with three-quarters of stations admitting that they cannot fill vacancies because of the rate at which experienced officers are quitting the force.

    French official criticises British resolve to stop illegals

    In the fight against networks of human traffickers in the English Channel, the president of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France has pleaded for stronger cooperation between France and Britain to end illegal immigration.

    Smartphones stolen in Barcelona turn up in Marrakesh

    A profitable black market in smartphones is encouraging the theft of mobile phones in the coastal city of Barcelona.

    Bertelsmann study: Does Germany really need more immigrants?

    Germany supposedly needs 260 000 immigrants each year, a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has recently found. But the findings have drawn much criticism and incomprehension.

    Number of migrants in German prisons at a record high

    BerlinMigrant inmates in German prisons have skyrocketed, a new survey of the Justice Ministries in in Germany's 16 federal states show.

    Hungary launches seven-point family plan

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a family protection plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest on Sunday.

    Act XIII: Protester’s hand torn off by police grenade

    ParisDuring the clashes that took place in front of the National Assembly in Paris over the weekend between police and Yellow Vests, a protester lost his hand. Tensions rose a notch in Paris on Saturday, February 9 on the occasion of Act XIII of the protest movement.

    UK Counter Terrorism interviews 8-year-old

    LondonIn Britain, an eight-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker at a school in east London because he had become so radicalized.

    French border officials caught forging migrant applications

    French border officials have been accused of forgery in order to send young migrants back to Italy.

    Smørdland-like knife murder attempt in IKEA Hamburg

    HamburgIn Hamburg-Schnelsen, Germany, a young man, 22, was stabbed on Saturday evening shortly after 6pm by a "Southerner" in the cashier area of IKEA.

    Go to archive