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.

Prayer call request ‘naked Islamic imperialism’

A row has flared in the city of Oxford after Muslims submitted an application to the council for the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcasted over loudspeakers. It followed Oxford Central Mosque (OCM) announcement that it would apply to the city council for permission to relay the call to prayer – adhan – from the minaret of its mosque three times a day. Spokesman, Sarder Rana, said OCM would be “happy” if they get permission to make the call to Friday prayers only. Unlike church bells that can be heard from some churches the adhan is called through the use of the human voice. The mu’athin summons Muslims five times a day: at dawn, at midday, in mid-afternoon, just after sunset, and at night about two hours after sunset.

Prayer held on lawns

Several hundred Muslim students gathered on the lawn of the a residence hall on January 4th to pray, one day after a designated room that served as a mosque-like prayer area was closed. The facility was used by the students for 30 years, but was closed on January 2nd at the request of Crous (Regional Centre works academic and school) of Versailles. The official reason for the closing was cited as a security reason.

Prayer Leaders From Abroad

Germany’s mosques are run by imams from Turkey, Bosnia, or Iran. No one controls them – for fundamentalists this is the chance for unmitigated agitation. On Sunday, April 23rd of this year, Islam seemed to arrive in Germany anew. The debate over Muslims and their beliefs had already taken place many times, but an Islamic theologian had until then never been present. On this evening, however, one appeared in the German Parliament: a real imam, a preacher of the Koran, with a doctorate in the bargain.

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.