Praying in Paris Streets Outlawed
Praying in the streets of Paris is now against the law, after Interior Minister Claude Guéant warned that police would use force if Muslims, and those of any other religion, disobeyed the new rule to keep Paris' public spaces secular, the Religion News Service reports. After a controversy arose in December when a French politician brought to national attention "more than a thousand" Muslims blocking streets every Friday to pray, and likened them to a "Nazi occupation," President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a debate on Islam and secularism and went on to say that multiculturalism had failed in France. "The street is for driving in, not praying," Guéant said, adding that the ban could be extended to the rest of France. France has Europe's largest Muslim population, an estimated total of five million.