|Franciscan allows Muslims to pray facing Mecca, so|
that Christians children, "learn how a man prays in Islam."
(Paris) The imam of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur said it frankly: "The currently existing mosques are not enough. Their number must reflect the faithful of our religion." And as the construction of new mosques costs and it is not always easy to obtain building permits, why not take advantage of the many vacant Catholic churches standing around in the country of Franceg you?
"This is a sensitive issue, but why not?" Boubakeur wrote in his book "An Open Letter to the French". Previously, the father of Algerian Boubakeur was imam of the Great Mosque of Paris. The family derives its descent from Abu Bakr, the first caliph after Muhammad's death.
Ultimately, says the Imam, who was the President of the Islamic umbrella organization, Conseil Francais du Musulman, from 2003 - 2008 and 2013 - 2015 (Muslim Cultural Advisory of France), founded by the French Ministry of Culture, there is a model already, which could be applied large-scale nationwide. In Clermont-Ferrand, the chapel of the Good Shepherd was left to the Muslim community for free for more than 30 years. Ultimately, "it's the same God", as the local superiors stressed.
After criticism the Imam Pulled Back
Given the immediate and above all unexpected protests, Boubakeur backtracked, claiming that he was misrepresented, he had never asked for like.
The editor of the French magazine La Vie, Jean-Pierre Denis commented a few days ago, ironically: "I was surprised by just how I must confess that the media have taken this lie, although these ideas appear in black and white on pages 270 / wrote down 271 of his book."
While the media willingly accepted Boubakeur's lie, there is a reaction from the people: More than 40,000 French people already signed the petition, launched a few days ago: "Stay away from my church."
Among the first signatories there are 25 politicians of the Gaullist right and some intellectuals. Even ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy supports the call.
A survey reported by the Washington Post, emphasized that 80 percent of supporters of Sarkozy's UMP party reject the proposal of the would-be Mosque transfer.
Among the supporters of the National Front (FN) it is as high as 83 percent.
But even among the voters of the ruling Socialist Party (PS), the enemies of the Boubakeur proposal with 58 percent are clearly in the majority.
Catholic Church itself split on this issue
Unforeseeable was the split on this issue within the Catholic Church.
Various bishops responded immediately with sharp tones on the proposal and kept them up.
The traditional friendly bishop of Frejus and Toulon, Msgr. Dominique Rey, whose diocese is one of the best placed of France, took the first position. Without further adieu, he called Boubakeurs foray as an "insult to our collective memory", describing the proposal as an attack on "our culture and our roots." Bishop Rey made it clear that "the Churches are neither interchangeable nor omnicultic."
Along the same lines followed Bishop Stanislas Lalanne of Pontoise: "I am absolutely against the idea, that churches could be sold to Muslims and converted into mosques. I understand the need to have places for prayer, but the proposal of Boubakeur is the wrong answer. "
However, some dissenting voices were heard.
Msgr. Michel Dubost, the head of the Department of Religious Affairs of the French Bishops' Conference made it known that it would preferable for him to have the unused churches as mosques instead of bars and restaurants.
Dubost criticized the petition by stating, "to preserve the church from this fate" the best way is to "participate regularly in the Mass.".
"Churches are sacred places, they can not be used for other purposes"
Opposition came from Bishop Lalanne, who is also member of the Standing Council of the Bishops' Conference: "The churches are holy places. Even if they are not open every day to the faithful, they can not be used for other purposes that are not an expression of the Christian faith. We must not play with the symbols. These places are the memory of generations and generations of believers who have visited to pray," said the bishop.
It is noteworthy that Dalil Boubakeur is by no means an Islamist but is a representative of a "Euro Islam" or "liberal Islam". The imams of the Boubakeur family come from a Sufi tradition. In his interfaith efforts, his proposals and his dialogue with the state, Christians, Jews, and also with the Dalai Lama, he seamlessly blends into the secular state doctrine of France. From the Muslim side he is accused of being, as was his father, a Freemason. Evidence can be only so much that he was already a guest of honor in Masonic lodges, in 2002 in Loge Aequitas of the Grand Orient of France, whose roots are in France and Algeria.
Messa in Latino makes Boubakeur a suggestion: "Our proposal is: Every church that is to meant to be made to the mosque, should be given to a community of tradition. The fruit will not fail. "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mil / Riposte catholique
Image: Mil / Riposte catholique
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org