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Islam: Paris; Hangar-Mosque to Avoid Praying on the Street
A large hangar on the outskirts of Paris could be turned into a place of worship for Muslims, with the city's police keen to stop members of the community from praying on the streets. Police authorities have already identified a former barracks that could hold the large number of worshippers who meet every Friday in Rue Myrha and Rue Polonceau, in the multi-ethnic Goutte d'Or area in the north of the city. Prayers take place in the middle of the road because the nearby mosques are too small to deal with the numbers.
The situation, which has been going on for some time, has led to traffic and public order problems, with some local residents on a war footing. The leader of the far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, has even drawn on the issue as part of her campaign for the 2012 Presidential elections. The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, mindful of losing votes, has promised to resolve the issue.
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