Police in the French city of Orléans will be making sure that Muslim worshippers cease using the public street to pray after residents wrote to the city’s government to complain.
The main complaint against the street prayers came from an angry resident living on the Rue de Limare on which the Ibn-Badis Mosque is located, Magcentre reports.The resident sent a picture of Muslim worshippers praying outside the mosque on the street asking, “Is this allowed by law? If not, what will be your action to ensure that Republican law is respected?”
Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Olivier Geffroy is said to have immediately been in contact with the heads of the mosque to deal with the street prayers which are unlawful due to French public secularity laws, known as Laïcité.
“This morning I received the persons in charge of the prayer room. I told them the impossibility of prayers in the public space, with which they completely agreed,” Geffroy said.
“They told me that the phenomenon was very punctual and they would strengthen their presence at the entrance, on Rue de Limare, so that the phenomenon ceases,” he said.
“The vice-president of the Ibn Badiss association, Mr. Benhammou, told me that he himself would be present with two other people. They also pledged to reiterate the ban with the faithful, under penalty of exclusion of the mosque,” Mr. Geffroy added.
The deputy mayor also said that the police would also be on hand to make sure the street prayers stopped.
Muslims praying on the streets in French cities has been a consistent issue for years despite the practice being illegal.
Most recently, in the migrant-heavy suburb of Clichy, Muslims prayed in the street
ever,y Friday for months following a forced eviction from a building they were illegally occupying and using as a mosque.
The protests were also met with counter-protests
from politicians and supporters of the conservative Republican party late last year which demanded the street prayers stop.