Muslim Prayer angers Mayor

Casalpusterlengo – Back again to the forefront is the question of an Islamic cultural center in a stable in Via Fugazza and, after months of silence, there could ignite a tug of war between Muslims and the administration. At issue is the use of a building on Via Fugazza, which was used as a place of worship until the center-right, who came to power in the spring of 2009, began a long struggle, which culminated in November 2010 with the pronouncement of Council of State who declared the space “unfit” as a center of prayer. To date, however, faithful Muslims still pray in the space.

“The activity of worship is not possible” reiterates the mayor of Casalpusterlengo, the Northern League’s Flavio Parmesani. “I believe that the eviction of more than two years ago is clear: at this point I will urge them to get out of the space.” The measure would be at risk of appeal which has already happened before, but the mayor intends to proceed anyway.

The story now has its roots in time: August 26, 2009, the head of the a Private Construction Service in the town of Casale, performed an inspection, after which the service ordered the demolition of illegal works and the restoration of a commercial use building.  Following this, the building was used for worship, of which the Administrative Court of Lombardy had decided to “freeze” the case after which the Council of State has decided to pursue again.

Toronto Protesters Oppose Muslim Prayer in Public School

The Toronto Star – July 25, 2011


About 100 protesters, many from groups such as the Jewish Defense League, the Christian Heritage Party and Canadian Hindu Advocacy, came to the Toronto District School Board to protest its approval of formal Friday prayer services for Muslim students at Valley Park Middle School.

Previously those students had left their school to attend prayers at a nearby mosque on Fridays. Bringing an imam into the school was a means of preventing some of the approximately 300 Muslim students from failing to return to classes after those prayers, said school board director Chris Spence. It also meant they don’t have to cross a busy street. Valley Park has been holding the prayers in the cafeteria for three years and there have been no complaints within the school community of about 1,200.

Speaking to reporters inside the board office, Spence said schools have an obligation to religious accommodation. But, “accommodation is fluid. It’s not written in stone,” said Spence, who added the board is feeling its way on the difficult issue.

French Politician Compares Muslim Prayer to German Occupation

News Agencies – December 11, 2010

The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who hopes to succeed her father as head of his Front National party, has compared Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation during World War II. Claiming that Islamic prayers are held in the streets in 10-15 locations in France, Marine Le Pen told a meeting of about 300 party faithful in Lyon that “… neighbourhoods where religious law applies, that’s an occupation”.
Earlier in the meeting, Le Pen had compared the war to the economic crisis, which the Front blames on globalisation and immigration, Le Monde reports.

Vandalism in a Muslim Prayer Room in the Rhone Valley

A small fire in the mosque’s washroom as well as Nazi inscriptions were among the vandalism found in a Muslim prayer room in Meyzieu in the Rhone region of France. The mayor of Meyzieu, Michel Forissier, told the press that these degradations should not impede the official inauguration of the prayer hall at the beginning of Ramadan. Forissier added that there was no official opposition to the building of the 300 m2 mosque in the commune.

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Council of State to Rule on University Residence Request for Muslim Prayer Room

The French Council of state will soon make a decision regarding the request by Muslim students at the Antony student residence in the Hauts-de-Seine for a prayer room, which has been closed since January 2nd. While the space had previously been used for more than 30 years as a prayer room, it was evacuated at the beginning of this year due to electrical and fire code concerns. The residence which houses more than 2,000 students is the largest in France.

Sarkozy: All Clandestine Muslim Prayer Rooms At Orly And Roissy Have Been Closed

By Xavier Ternisien PARIS – According to the French Minister of the Interior, all clandestine rooms of Muslim prayer at Orly and Roissy airports have been closed. At the beginning of July there were still eight of them left at Orly, and one at Roissy. Hazem El-Shaffei, the Muslim chaplain for these airports, is pleased with the announcement: “I can only agree. For obvious reasons of security, it is necessary to control these places of prayer”, he said. There are three official prayer rooms at Roissy, one at Orly Ouest, and another at Orly Sud. {(continued below in French)} PARIS – Selon un _tat des lieux _tabli le 24 juillet par le minist_re de l’int_rieur, toutes les salles de pri_re musulmane clandestines des a_roports d’Orly et de Roissy ont _t_ ferm_es. D_but juillet, il restait encore un local de ce type _ Roissy et huit _ Orly. “Depuis lors, l’action de la direction centrale de la police aux fronti_res (DCPAF) s’est poursuivie afin de convaincre les responsables des soci_t_s dans lesquelles _taient implant_s ces lieux de les fermer le plus rapidement possible, affirme le minist_re de l’int_rieur. Sur la plate-forme d’Orly, la situation apparaissait plus d_licate, en raison des r_ticences de certains dirigeants _ agir, par crainte de possibles conflits sociaux.” A la date du 17 juillet, 5 salles de pri_re clandestines restaient ouvertes _ Orly : deux au sein de la soci_t_ SAP/Servisair, une dans la soci_t_ Alyzia Handling, une chez ISS Abilis et une chez Eliance. Les d_marches entreprises par la DCPAF ont permis de convaincre les responsables de ces entreprises. Les dirigeants des soci_t_s concern_es ont accept_ de faire cesser la pratique religieuse dans ces salles et ont fait enlever tout objet et signe religieux, en concertation, pour certains, avec les responsables syndicaux. L’aum_nier musulman des a_roports d’Orly et de Roissy, Hazem El-Shaffei, se f_licite de la d_cision du minist_re de l’int_rieur : “Je ne peux qu’_tre d’accord. Pour des raisons de s_curit_ _vidente, il faut contr_ler ces lieux de pri_re”, d_clare-t-il. Il existe trois salles de pri_re officielles _ Roissy, une _ Orly Ouest et une _ Orly Sud. Une autre salle, plus grande, est en cours d’am_nagement dans cette derni_re a_rogare. En th_orie, ces salles con_ues pour accueillir les passagers musulmans peuvent recevoir _galement les personnels qui travaillent dans les a_roports. Sauf _ Roissy-terminal 1, o_ la salle de pri_re se trouve sous douane. Cependant, un doute subsiste sur l’efficacit_ de ce “nettoyage”. M. El-Shaffei admet que l’action du minist_re de l’int_rieur n’emp_chera pas le d_veloppement de ce qu’il appelle des “salles de pri_re spontan_es” : “Prenez cinq personnes qui travaillent ensemble sur un site. Elles s’arr_tent de travailler quand c’est l’heure et d_cident de faire la pri_re sur place. Cela peut _tre dans un couloir, un bout de jardin ou sur un trottoir… C’est quelque chose d’in_vitable. En islam, il n’est pas n_cessaire de prier dans un lieu consacr_.” M. El-Shaffei admet qu’il serait pr_f_rable que le personnel musulman regroupe ses pri_res, comme cela est permis, et les accomplisse chez lui _ la fin de la journ_e. Pour sa part, le minist_re de l’int_rieur affirme que la police aux fronti_res assurera un suivi r_gulier et veillera _ l’application effective des directives pr_fectorales.