News Agencies – June 19, 2012
A French appeals court has approved the construction of a large mosque in the city of Marseille, home to an estimated 250,000 Muslims. The mosque, seen as a symbol of Islam’s growing presence in France, has attracted national controversy.
The court overturned an October ruling by Marseille’s administrative tribunal that cancelled the project’s construction permit for supposed failures to meet urban-planning requirements. A community association led by a local butcher had filed a complaint against the building permit, saying the mosque project did not fit with the surrounding urban environment. The 22-million-euro ($28-million) project would see the Grand Mosque, boasting a minaret soaring 25-metres (82-feet) high and room for up to 7,000 worshippers, built in the city’s northern Saint-Louis area.