150,000 Muslims near Paris for their annual pilgrimage

  •     Since Friday, the faithful, men on one side and women on the other, have listened carefully to the speeches in the conference room of the exhibition ‘Bourget’ (north of Paris), happy to meet in what they consider a small pilgrimage.

        The financial crisis: an Islamic approach, the contribution of Islamic civilization to humanity and religion in modern society: values to share, to take specific, were among the themes of this gathering organized by the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF).

        The UOIF is considered close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a branch of the French of Muslim religion: Francais de culte musulman: (CFCM), established in 2003 by current President Nicolas Sarkozy, while he was interior minister, to organize the Muslims worship in France, but who knows deep divisions.

        Principal intervention was that of the controversial Islamist Tarik Ramadan, Saturday, grand son of Hassan El-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

        We must ensure that our beliefs do not colonize the beliefs of others. We do not impose on anyone to believe what we believe, said Swiss professor of Islamic studies of Egyptian origin, to the applause of the public.

        You are there to be faithful to yourself, he said in a room filled of people. Do not isolate. Only this way you will not be feared, he added.

        Citing the Qur’an, Islamologist said that Muslims should face the side of Mecca, however, that in modern society, the rule of law is required to live together.

        Citing the economic crisis, he said that in an economy without morality, the raptors dominate.

        In the alleys, women coexist with or without a veil, fathers of families with babies, young and old, listening to lectures, gather and enjoy a convivial place, in the words of M’Hamed Ed Dyouri, director of a private Muslim school in Vitry-sur-Seine (south of Paris). There are friends that I do not see except here. They come for the religious aspect but also for buying books, CDs, DVDs and clothing.

        In the middle of an alley, Ahmed Naim calls visitors to raise funds to finance the construction of the new mosque in Mulhouse. Here, it reminds a little pilgrimage. You meet people you can’t see elsewhere, says a member of the Association of Muslims in Alsace (east).

        A few meters away, at the Palestinian bazaar, women in hijab are wondering what memories they will be able to buy and finally cast their sights on key rings.

        France has nearly 5 million Muslims of which 1.5 million Algerian nationality or origin, 1 million Moroccans, 400,000 Tunisians, 340,000 sub-Saharan Africa (Senegal and Mali mainly), 313,000 Turks, 70,000 Muslims in Asia, not counting the converted Muslims and those without documents.

    Ennaharonline/ M. O.


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