France has closed twenty mosques since December

French authorities shut down 20 mosques and prayer halls they found to be preaching radical Islamic ideology since December, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday.

“Fight against the #radicalization: since December 2015, twenty Muslim places of worship have been closed,” the Interior Ministry tweeted.

Of the country’s 2,500 mosques and prayer halls, approximately 120 of them have been suspected by French authorities of preaching radical Salafism, a fundamentalist interpretation of Sunni Islam.

“There is no place … in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques, and who don’t respect certain republican principles, notably equality between men and women,” Cazeneuve said, adding, “That is why I took the decision a few months ago to close mosques through the state of emergency, legal measures or administrative measures. About 20 mosques have been closed, and there will be others.”

The announcement came days after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for a temporary ban on foreign funding of French mosques.

Cazeneuve also announced Monday that French authorities would be working with the French Council of the Muslim Faith to launch a foundation to help finance mosques within France.

“By October, a foundation will be created to finance the cultural aspect of cultural institutions and scholarships for secular education #islam,” he tweeted.

 

Vatican representative meets with Islam scholar in Cairo

December 4, 2013

 

Vatican City – The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Msgr. Miguel Angel Ayuso, met Tuesday in Cairo with a senior scholar specializing in the Sunni Islam faith, said a Vatican spokesman. Ayuso met for 45 minutes with Abbas Shouman, the second-highest official with Al Azhar University, a world-renowned center of religious research of Sunni Islam, emphasizing the strong relationship between the pontifical council and the Islamic university, said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. The meeting was positive and encouraging, said Lombardi. “The result is a willingness to resume…dialogue and collaboration,” he added. The Vatican has worked to mend fences with the university that suspended relations after the former Pope Benedict said in late 2011 that Christians were the world’s most persecuted religious group. Benedict’s comments came after a year of incidents including a bombing in Alexandria, Egypt in early 2011 where 23 Copts were killed.

 

Gazzette del Sud: http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/71338/Vatican-representative-meets-with-Islam-scholar-in-Cairo.html

Moderates attack ‘fundamentally wrong’ approach to teaching Islam

Riyadh ul Haq, who has preached of the evil influence of the West, may be a faithful representative of the Deobandi school of Sunni Islam but he does not speak for all Islamic scholars, let alone all Muslims. No one knows that better than Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra. Mr Mogra, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain’s interfaith relations committee, is a graduate of the same Deobandi seminary in Bury, Greater Manchester, that Mr ul Haq attended, but he does not like to call himself a Deobandi. Andrew Norfolk reports.