Au Fait Maroc – August 26, 2011
180 imams have arrived from Morocco to assist in the gatherings around the month of Ramadan, a tradition that has taken place over a number of years according to CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) leader, Mohamed Moussaoui. 25,000 copies of Qur’an edited in Morocco have come with these holy leaders. Many will go to the newly opened Mosque of Strasbourg whose 8.7 million euro cost was partially funded by the government of Morocco, assistance which is possible because of the exceptional legal status of the Alsace-Moselle region.
The debate on national identity in France became more focused on young French Muslims following the comments of Nadine Morano at Charmes. The president of the CFCM (the French Council of the Muslim Faith), Mohamed Moussaoui, critiqued the stereotypical image promoted by Morano.
A spokesperson for the Union of French Jewish Students called the debate on national identity a “theatre for the expression of prejudicial racism”. Leftist parties in France have also pointed to how “dangerous” the debate is for cohesive national identity.
Along these lines, Dominique de Villepin called for the end of the “terrible” debate which should have never begun. The former prime minister stated, “In a period of crisis, we have more important matters to attend to than creating further division.”
France’s first Muslim cemetery has opened in Strausbourg. Roland Ries, mayor of Strasbourg, will sign the contract for the cemetery with Mohamed Moussaoui, President of the French Council for the Muslim Faith and Driss Ayachour, President of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith.
In 1973, spaces for those who wished to be buried in the Muslim tradition were created within existing cemeteries in Strausbourg. But as more Muslims migrated to the area, needs outgrew the space.
In 2003 the town’s Conseil of Muslims proposed a plan to create an all-Muslim cemetery, but it was not until summer 2008 when Roland Ries put together a working group that real progress was made to make it happen.
Ries worked together with representatives of Muslim associations in the town: Deputy Mayor Delegate of the civil state Anne-Pernelle Richardot, and Deputy Delegate of Culture Olivier Bitz to create a plan. Eighteen months later, a contract was drawn up and was signed on Wednesday, October 7.
Rules and regulations governing the space are similar to those used for cemeteries of other religions. Care for graves/tombs will rest with the families.
French authorities are filing preliminary charges of “attempted murder with anti-Semitic motives” against three suspects charged with beating a Jewish teenager on June 21st in Paris, who later spent two days in a coma. Libération newspaper claims that such altercations are on the rise among youth gangs in the 19th district of Paris.
The June attack was immediately condemned by President Sarkozy, who was on a three-day visit to Israel at the time and “assure[d] the victim and his family of his support and renews his total determination to fight all forms of racism and anti-Semitism.” Mohamed Moussaoui, the new president of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) stated in Le Figaro that he was concerned about the attack like “All other French people. Not especially as Muslims. We live in harmony with the other religions. The isolated incidents of anti-Semitism carried out by Muslims should be not over generalized.” France has the largest populations of Muslims and Jews living in close proximity outside of the Middle East.
See full-text articles:
International Herald Tribune
More details on the attack here.
International Herald Tribune
Moussaoui’s comments in Le Figaro available here .