Le Parisien – May 13, 2011
According to the CRCM Rhone-Alps (the regional representative of the CFCM, the French Council of the Muslim Faith), 84% of mosques in the region, which includes the Mosque of Lyon, will not participate in the June elections of the CFCM. Associations in the region had until May 11 to sign up to cote in the June elections. Azzedine Gaci, president of the regional group, claims that mosques in this region do not feel represented by the larger CFCM body. Gaci suggested that the elections be suspended until after the 2012 presidential elections so that issues of representativity can be addressed in the organization.
Civil weddings are a concern for some imams in France. Increasingly, young Muslims want to get married without having a prior civil wedding ceremony. According to the penal law, this procedure is illegal and can carry a sentence of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and 7 500 euros’ fine. Recently, the MP Etienne Mourrut (UMP Party) expressed concern about these claims in a letter addressed to the Minist_re de l’Int_rieur. “In the majority of the counties, the town councils are rarely asked to pronounce a wedding when the brides and grooms are Muslims. Therefore, we can assume that there are either no Muslims marrying, or that [the civil ceremonies were skipped” Azzedine Gaci, president of the Conseil Regional du Culte Musulman in the Rhone-Alps region says, “I sometimes receive this kind of claim, but I always explain that the civil wedding is mandatory. I also have to explain this to the parents, as the wedding of a Muslim bride cannot be celebrated without her father’s consent”.