In a Europe Torn Over Mosques, A City Offers Accommodation

Next June, the French town of Creteil’s Muslims are scheduled to move into a new $7.4 mosque able to accommodate more than 2,500 worshippers. For many European Muslims, many of whom were born here as second-generation immigrants, new mosques denote a sense of recognition and acceptance of their growing numbers and rising status after decades of praying in informal buildings. Creteil’s mosque, however, is not without much controversy. French authorities are attempting to deport the mosque’s planned imam over inflammatory and radical comments, and anti-immigrant city council members are protesting the use of public funds for its adjacent cultural center. Despite challenges, the mosque remains on track, with an 84-foot minaret, soaring dome, and hybridized architecture of French and classical.