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France to ban Muslim street prayers

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French Interior Minister Claude Gueant seeks to ban praying in the street as part of a continuation of recent actions against Muslims in the western European country.

Gueant said that he plans to make praying in the streets for Muslims illegal, although all public prayers in France receive government approval beforehand.

“Here we have the hypocrisy of the French right. On one side, they authorize in the street and on the other side, they say ‘look French people, Muslims are taking over our streets and speak of invasion’,” French lawmaker Axel Urgin told a Press TV correspondent.

Even though France has the greatest Muslim population in Europe, Paris has only one mosque. This lack of mosques leaves French Muslims no choice but to attend Friday prayers at about a dozen street locations across France.

“If we are praying in the street, it’s because we have no other choice. We are using what we have, and that is the street,” the president of Muslim Association of Openness, Moussa Niambele said.

French politicians use the country’s 1905 secularism law as reasoning why Muslims cannot be financially assisted by the government to build mosques. Right-wing mayors also allegedly refuse issuing construction permits to those who have the money.

Although another large mosque is currently under construction in the French capital of Paris, many say it will not be sufficient.


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