News Agencies – November 2, 2011
Politicians and Muslim leaders have denounced a firebomb attack that destroyed the offices of a satirical French newspaper after it “invited” the Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor. No one was injured in the fire at Charlie Hebdo weekly in eastern Paris, hours before the current issue hit the news-stands. The front-page of the weekly, subtitled “Sharia Hebdo,” a reference to Islamic law, showed a cartoon-like man with a turban, white robe and beard smiling broadly and saying, in an accompanying bubble, “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.”
Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council for the Muslim Faith, said his organisation deplored “the very mocking tone of the paper toward Islam and its prophet but reaffirms with force its total opposition to all acts and all forms of violence.” Dalil Boubakeur, who heads the Great Mosque of Paris, condemned “an act which can in no way represent the principles of liberty, tolerance and peace that are (our) message.” But he regretted the “anxious European climate of Islamophobia” fed in part by stigmatising Muslims through caricatures.
News Agencies – September 28, 2011
Free Men (Les Hommes libres) tells the little known story of a handful of Muslim agents who fought for the French Resistance, and who used the Mosque of Paris as the base for operations that included rescuing Jewish fugitives and assassinating Vichy informants. For this reason alone, writer-director Ismael Ferroukhi’s second feature is worth a look, though it’s unfortunately a far too academic affair that never surges with the suspense of many a WWII drama. Despite the presence of stars Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Michael Lonsdale (Of Gods and Men), these fighters may have a hard time busting out of Gaul. Pyramide will release in late September.
News Agencies – May 31, 2011
Despite a boycott by the Mosque of Paris and the UOIF, CFCM elections are going ahead. The Minister of the Interior has been active in seeking to save the organization. 43 chosen delegates will elect the 22 members of the organization, including the president. In 2008, 1, 221 mosques participated. This year 700 are expected to vote.
News Agencies –May 8, 2011
While recognizing tensions in the process, France’s Minister of the Interior Claude Guéant has indicated he will do all he can to ensure that elections take place for the CFCM (the French Council of the Muslim Faith). The Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) has announced its intentions not to participate in the elections and the Mosque of Paris’ rector Dalil Boubakeur has similarly voiced concern with the electoral process (wherein voting is determined based on the square footage of individual mosques). Guéant iterated that even if the election process is not perfect, the CFCM remains important in France to act on issues pertaining to Islam, “particularly the question of imam training”. These imams should also be in dialogue with the French justice system and in broader French culture, added the Minister. Elections are scheduled to take place on June 5th and 19th, 2011.
News Agencies – March 23, 2011
Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris, appears to have changed his position three times as to the merit of the proposed April debate on Islam and secularism in France. On March 23rd he noted that, “The Mosque of Paris declines the invitation to participate in this political debate which fosters stigmatization of Muslims.” The CFCM (the French Council of the Muslim Faith) has also declined to participate.
News Agencies – March 11, 2011
These articles outline the rector of the Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, and his position opposing the proposed debate on Islam by Nicolas Sarkozy.
News Agencies – February 11, 2011
The French food store Casino has announced it will pull Herta sausages (of the Nestle brand) off its shelves as the product is suspected not to be halal. The supermarket chain announced it would conduct independent testing to guarantee that pork products were not within the halal-certified food. The Mosque of Paris is in charge of the certification of halal products by Nestle.
News Agencies – November 9, 2010
Five people believed to have trained as Islamist militants in Pakistan’s troubled Afghan border region have been arrested in and around Paris. Some of those arrested were picked up in the suburb of Roissy, where France’s largest airport is located, security sources said on condition of anonymity. Police and intelligence officers have been questioning the suspects. Some of the suspects are apparently linked to death threats made a few weeks ago against the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden warned France last month that its planned ban on the Islamic full-face veil in public places and its involvement in the war in Afghanistan justified attacks on its nationals. French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux later said that the country faced a real terror threat and he urged “total vigilance”.
According to the French Minister of the Interior, there are between five and six million Muslims
living in France, where 33% are practicing, 10% attend Friday prayers regularly. There are
between 1,500 and 1,800 mosques and prayer rooms. The largest and oldest mosque in France is
the Mosque of Paris built in 1922 in the city’s fifth district.
This article claims that Muslims in the Northern French city of Lille feel that the recent Swiss ban on minarets sends a very bad message for the acceptance of Muslims in Europe. One man interviewed pointed to the positive incorporation of the Mosque of Paris’ minaret within local architecture.