The Grand Mosque of Paris Trappped by its Contradictions

Emmanuel Macron (left) with the rector of the Grande Mosque of Paris, Chems-eddine Hafiz (right) during the presentation of the Legion of Honor on October 19, 2022. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP

As we look behind the white walls of the Grande Mosque of Paris, we find lush gardens. But at the end of the 1445 year of the Muslim calendar, their tranquility is shattered by an unexpected storm. This institution, once praised in the public opinion, is now facing a barrage of criticism. The attack by Hamas in Israel and its consequences have sparked an hour of truth: an “unjust ordeal” for this venerable institution according to some, the end of a “double language” erasing an “illusion” for others.

Indeed, doubts arise about the fundamental orientations of the Grande Mosque of Paris, which proudly claims its attachment to the French republican values. The attack by Hamas has revealed a lesser-known aspect of the institution: a structured, intimate, and exclusive alignment with an Algerian vision of Islam, the interests, and the solidarity of this country in the Arab-Muslim world.

This revelation is not surprising for some experts…

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