Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.Eugene Debs
By Adam Sage, The Times
September 16, 2011
MUSLIMS will be banned from praying outdoors in France from today in the latest move by officials to remove Islam from the public sphere.
The ban, announced by the government yesterday, infuriated French Muslim leaders, one of whom accused President Sarkozy’s government of treating them like cattle.
They say that Muslims, who pray outdoors only because of a lack of space in mosques in France, feel stigmatised.
But Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, said that the sight of hundreds of people gathering in the streets of Paris and other cities for Friday prayers was “shocking”.
It comes after laws to prohibit pupils from wearing headscarves in schools and women from wearing the niqab, the full Muslim veil, in public.
Mr Gueant described outlawing street prayers as the latest brick in the wall that is shoring up the secular nature of the French state. He said that he had nothing against Islam, but wanted it out of the public eye.
“Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice,” he said.
Police could be asked to arrest Muslims who continue to pray in the street, Mr Gueant warned, but officials will initially try to persuade them to move into a mosque.
Debate has focused on the Goutte d’Or district in northern Paris. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of Muslims pray in the surrounding streets.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, was accused of racism when she said that the worship amounted to an “occupation” - a word that for many French is associated with the Nazi invasion during the Second World War.
But the government now appears to be on the same wavelength, with Mr Gueant agreeing that street prayers would “upset” his fellow countrymen.
He said that officials had made available a disused fire station in the Goutte d’Or with room for 2700 people for a rent of €30,000 ($A40,330) a year.
But Muslim leaders said that the site would be open to worshippers only on Fridays.
Mohamed Salah Hamza, imam at a mosque in the Goutte d’Or district, said: “We are not cattle. Our demands have not entirely been satisfied.”
He said that he feared worshippers would continue to pray outside.
“I am in an uncomfortable position and I am afraid there will be a climate of anarchy,” he said.
Image: French Muslim pray in the street outside an overcrowded mosque in Paris. (Exploring Islam in Paris: Pt 1 | Life and a Lens)
I SO want to preorder the new Transit record
But I really can’t spend money on non-necessities right now.
WHY DID I PICK THE MOST EXPENSIVE COLLEGE MAJOR EVER ARGH.
A life update of sorts
I start school tomorrow, which I’m not really excited about but it’s better than work. On that note since it’s no longer summer we close two hours earlier, so I am REALLY happy about that. I started this photo project when I moved into this apartment where I take a picture of the same place everyday, and so far except when I have been away (in Greece and whatnot) I haven’t missed a day; go me. I only have three chapters left in the 650 page book I started in February. I think that pretty much covers it, so to make this post worthwhile here’s a picture of an installation in the Syntagma square Metro station in Athens:
I don’t really post things about my embarassing musical past, but this was too hilarious to pass up…
On 3D movies
- Rebecca: They're just trying to sell you something you don't need.
- Me: Welcome to America.
- Rebecca: Oh girl, you don't have to tell me.
Oh, and today at work a boy ordered a cup of whipped cream with hot caramel on top from me. Then when I was walking out of the freezer with a tub of ice cream I slipped in slow motion and did a half-split, and laughed at myself for like 10 minutes afterwards.
This is really exciting, internet…
I just found the extended editions of all 3 Lord of the Rings movies in my apartment. WIN.