Foreign money enters France to build mosquesJune 26, 2012
From Vlad Tepes on a Moroccan-funded mosque in Blois, France:
Translation by Hermes from:
According to article 220 of the moroccan criminal code, christians who engage in proselytism in the moroccan kingdom have to face penalties of up to 6 years behind bars, churches are closed and foreigner christians are expelled if they dare to publicly display their faith. Moroccans have no right to convert to another religion, and according to the constitution, a christian is not allowed to get moroccan citizenship.
Meanwhile the building of mosques in France and its control by Morocco (and other muslim countries) increases. This is about a territorial conquest of the zones under muslim colonization which are multiplying mainly in France, but also in other european cities.
After the building of the great mosques in Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Etienne, which were financed by Morocco, now it is the turn of the town of Blois. A mosque and a madrassa in being built on a 1500 square meter plot of land. The king of Morocco donated 787.000 euros to help finishing the building of the complex.
The building of the “Bilal cultural and religious centre”, begun 2 years ago, was at a standstill. The first 600.000 euros collected by the regional muslim community were entirely spent. On the occasion of a private visit of the King of Morocco to one of his numerous properties in France, he was handed over a report explaining the details about the project and the difficulties the project was going through. The king’s reaction was positive and he donated the money needed to end the project
More than 30.000 muslims live in that region: Moroccans, Argelians [Algerians], Turks and Africans of different nationalities. The founding stone was laid down in december 11, 2009. The mosque will have an area of 1500 square meters,including a prayer hall of 450 square meters and a 9.20 meters high minaret.
And from Al Arabiya on the Saint-Étienne mosque:
A new mosque bearing the name of Moroccan King Mohamed VI is now open in France amid praise of the cooperation of the French authorities.
President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman- CFCM) Mohammed Moussaoui inaugurated the Mohamed VI Mosque in the southwestern French city of Saint-Étienne.
The mosque, built on an area of 10,000 square meters, boosts a 14-meter high minaret and accommodates more than 1,000 worshippers.The mosque bears the name of Moroccan king Mohamed VI who donated five million Euros of the total eight million of the construction cost.
The inauguration was attended by Moussaoui, mosque manager al-Arabi Marchich, Moroccan Minister of Endowments Ahmed Tawfik, and representatives of Saint-Étienne’s municipal authorities.
The mosque includes a cultural center which is intended to act like a branch of the famous Paris-based Arab World Institute, according to Marchich.
The construction of the mosque, said Moussaoui, offered a proof of the cooperation of French authorities with the Muslim community in France to promote freedom of worship.
“This mosque replaces an old one built on a land the municipality of Saint-Étienne became in need of,” he told Al Arabiya. “So we gave up the land and they gave us another one to build a new mosque in addition to an amount of 180,000 Euros.”
The construction of the mosque, he added, was also not faced with any objections on the part of the French population in the city.
The mosque became popular as soon as it was opened. In fact, Muslims in the area started praying in it even before its construction was complete. The imam of the mosque is a Moroccan who speaks fluent French.
The Saint-Étienne mosque joins a long list of French mosques whose numbers have been on the rise in the past few years. In 2005, the number of mosques whose area exceeded 1,000 square meters was only 34 while now the number has reached 200.
According to CFCM reports, more than 1,000 mosques have been constructed in France in the past 10 years.
Apart from big mosques, the number of small and medium prayer halls exceeds 2,300, compared to 1,600 in 2005.
A French law issued in 1905 and which aims at protecting the secularism of the country forbids the state from funding the establishment of places of worship regardless of the faith to be practiced in them.
Mosques in France are usually funded by donations from members of the Muslim community in France in case of small mosques while big mosques are usually funded by other Muslim countries especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Morocco, Algeria, and Turkey.
In some French cities, Islamic associations can rent rooms or halls to be used for prayers for amounts as small as one Euro per month. Those contracts usually last for several years after which those halls are returned to the French state.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)