Shortage of mosques in France: The everyday consequences for French Muslims

The Great Mosque of Paris or Paris Central Mosque is the most visited mosque in France. Its construction began in 1922, with the aim of thanking Muslim soldiers who fought for France in World War I. Back then, the state financed the building of the edifice. But a century later, the context is quite different. Financing the construction of a mosque in France today can prove a challenge. We take a closer look.

The Great Mosque of Paris is not only the oldest, but also one of the largest mosques in mainland France. The Hispano-Moresque building has a 33-metre-high minaret, prayer rooms with intricate decoration, not to mention spectacular gardens. We look back at how this impressive European project came to fruition.

Despite the symbolism of the Great Mosque, the construction of places of worship for Muslims in France remains a dilemma. There is a lack of mosques, since projects to expand or build them can sometimes be met with a refusal by authorities, citing administrative or funding concerns. We discuss this issue and more with Chems-Eddine Hafiz, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris.

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