A mega-mosque, the largest in Europe, is being built in Mulhouse in eastern France. Here’s what one of our French-speaking correspondents has to say about it:
It will be the largest Islamic centre in Europe (in the Alsace region of northern France), with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a project of Qatar Charity’s “Ghaith Initiative”:
2015 — Qatar Charity has announced the launch of its global Ghaith initiative to serve Islamic projects worldwide. The GHAITH initiative aims to introduce the Islamic culture and strengthen its presence in Western communities in particular and the world in general, the statement notes, adding: “It also seeks to sustain the economic resources of Islamic educational and cultural organisations, marketing its programmes professionally and implementing various initiatives to keep pace with upcoming developments.”
Qatar Charity’s chairman, Sheikh Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassem Al Thani, said the project reflected the charity’s eagerness to “strengthen the Islamic identity of Muslim communities in Europe, supporting the idea of peaceful coexistence between different cultures, promoting a proper understanding of the values and principles of Islam and reflecting a moderate interaction with Muslim communities”.
It was stated that the centre is being overseen by Qatar Charity UK, whose deputy chairman, Salah al-Hammadi, is the son of the Qatari missionary preacher Sheikh Dr Ahmed al-Hammadi, the driving force behind the Ghaith Initiative.
In June 2015, shortly before the launch of the initiative, Sheikh Ahmed could be seen tweeting, with Islamic chauvinism, that “the historic impact of the Muslims on Europe remains to this day, and cannot in fairness be denied”, and that “leading scholars in Europe testify to the major role of the Muslims in its renaissance”.
He was already fundraising on Twitter and on local TV channels for Islamic schools in France, where he said there were 12 million Muslims (at least double most other estimates) and that 10,000 people a year were being brought into Islam. “The Al Noor Centre is a quantum leap in terms of projects in Europe,” the younger al-Hammadi said at the French delegation’s press conference.
Qatar Charity says the centre will be “strategically located in the border region between France, Germany and Switzerland” and serve 200,000 Muslims in the area.
The project will cost €27 million ($29.4 million), of which nearly half had been raised by June 2016, and it has the backing of Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf (Islamic endowments) and Islamic Affairs.
It will cooperate fully “with all local authorities and institutions working for the public benefit and fighting against Islamophobia, racism and incitement to hatred, contributing to Muslim community service, helping them to practise their religious duties, meeting their cultural needs and activating the spirit of active citizenship and positive partnership and commitment. It will also teach Arabic language and Islamic education to more than 800 children and young people — including Quran memorisation — and incorporate a regular school which will accommodate 300 students, providing them with a good level of education which will allow them to ultimately enter the most prestigious local universities.”
The French nationalist group Génération Identitaire is protesting the new mosque in Mulhouse, and has made the following video in response.
Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
|00:00||On May 6th 2019 the giant mosque behind me will be inaugurated in Mulhouse for the first|
|00:04||day of Ramadan. It covers more than 1500 square meters and is integrated with|
|00:08||an Islamic Center An-Noor that covers more than 10,000 square meters. It’s one of the largest|
|00:12||projects in Europe, and no-one, or almost no-one, has heard about it. It’s a true scandal|
|00:16||because this mosque belongs to AMAL — the Association of Muslims of Alsace.|
|00:21||An affiliate of the UOIF — the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — an organization considered|
|00:25||to be terrorist in many countries. Among the supporters of the an-Noor mosque we find|
|00:29||Hani Ramadan, the brother of Tariq Ramadan, who signed an article [defending shariah] in 2002|
|00:33||justifying stoning, and who was banned from French territory in 2017. We also find|
|00:38||[Yusuf] Al-Qaradawi, the principal religious reference of the Muslim Brotherhood,|
|00:41||wanted by Interpol and known for legitimizing suicide attacks and the jihad in Israel.|
|00:45||But that’s not all: the an-Noor mosque was partially financed by the association Qatar Charity,|
|00:50||a pseudo-NGO, which is regularly accused of supporting terrorist groups|
|00:54||in Syria or in Mali. Worse: AMAL has been very closely linked to|
|00:58||jihadism, since it counted among its employees Hanane Aboulhana, the woman|
|01:02||who was killed on March 5th in the Islamist attack on the prison Condé sur Sarthe,|
|01:06||where she produced a ceramic knife to attack the guards.|
|01:11||Faced with elements this overpowering, how can the responsible public officials allow this mosque|
|01:15||to open its doors? What is the Mulhouse mayor Michèle Lutz doing?|
|01:19||Why are the media silent? We know perfectly well the ideology|
|01:23||that will be spread in this Islamic Center. More than two hundred dead in France,|
|01:27||those recent years’ victims of Islamist terrorism were clearly not enough.|
|01:31||We refuse to abandon the fight. For a week now Génération Identitaire has been in the field|
|01:36||to inform the inhabitants of Mulhouse and call out public officials.|
|01:39||NO to the Islamization of our country! NO to the Islamization of Europe!|
|01:42||For all young French and European people.