The French Republic is tarnished, said the mayor
As Muslims chanted “Allahu Akbar” and prayed in the public square in the Paris suburb of Clichy-la-Garenne on Friday, French citizens ultimately stopped them by singing La Marseillaise and waving French flags.
“I must assure the tranquility and freedom of the people in my city,” said the mayor, Remi Muzeau, who led the protest. “We must not allow this to happen in our country. Our country, the French Republic is tarnished.”
Mayor Muzeau, carrying a large banner that read: “Stop Illegal Street Prayers,” led more than 100 demonstrators in a show of force to stop Muslims from praying in the town’s market square.
The Muslims, who have been praying in public every Friday for several months to protest the shortage of mosques, carried their own banner that read: “United for a Grand Mosque of Clichy.”
As the Muslims spread their prayer rugs on the pavement, took off their shoes and began their prayers, riot police formed a human barricade between the two groups.
The tense confrontation was defused, but the mayor and the Muslims were equally adamant that they would be back again next Friday to conduct the same protest.
“We’ll do it every Friday if necessary,” said Muzeau.