Paris – Shortly before the beginning of Paris' recent ban on street prayer, the French government agreed to rent - at near-market prices - this unused army depot located near the main problem area. Derisively called “Grand Mosque Number 2”, this is now the second-largest mosque in Paris but many Muslims find its shabby condition, lack of space and military façade degrading and undignified.
According to Press TV, the Grand Mosque of Paris was partially funded by the French government in recognition of the sacrifices Algerian soldiers made for their colonial masters after World War I.
This was in direct violation of France's 1905 secularism law, but similar concessions today are in short supply despite a nationwide shortage of mosques.
Many outside observers have wondered why thousands of citizens who can congregate easily aren't doing something typically French: demanding action by organizing demonstrations, strikes and other political actions.
Coordination requires recognition of mutual interests and solidarity, but both are lacking among France's Muslims.
The street prayer ban, which has been largely respected in Paris, is planned to be extended to other heavily-Muslim cities along France's Mediterranean coast.
What Muslims are essentially asking for is a roof and a door. Many here still don't have a roof to keep them out of the frequent Paris rain, but there is a door, which will keep some Parisians from being bothered by the sight of poor, praying Muslims.