eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà


In December 2000, the High Council for integration published a report entitled "Islam in the French Republic" in which it evaluates the number of Muslims in France. Out of 4 million Muslims, 2.9 million originate from North Africa (1.55 million Algerians, 1 million Moroccans and 350,000 Tunisians), 315,000 are Turks, 250,000 are Africans, 100,000 come from the Middle East, 100,000 are Asians and 100,000 others not counting 40 000 converts and 350 000 asylum seekers and illegal immigrants (download the report).
According to the report of the Machelon Commission, "Islam, in all its diversity, has become the second religion in France".
The French Council of the Muslim Religion (CFCM, Conseil Français du Culte musulman) was founded in 2002 with the aim of representing the Muslims before the government. It participates in issues related to the construction of mosques and Muslim squares in cemeteries, organisation of religious feasts (especially issues related to ritual animal slaughter), nomination of chaplains and the training of imams. However, it has neither real prerogatives nor coercive powers. In 2015, the French government has set up the instance de dialogue avec l’islam (body of dialogue with Islam). Its aim is to "set in motion and build French Islam by reflecting, amongst others, on the training of imams and the financing of mosques".
The ministry of Interior has registered about 2,400 places of worship for Muslims in France. There are 24 minareted mosques, and about 120 chapels while others are regular premises used for worship. Even though, normally, with the exception of Alsace, separating places of prayer in cemeteries is considered illegal, Muslim squares were opened in many big cities such as Montpellier and Marseille for example. The oldest square is that of Bobigny which was opened in 1937.
In 2012, an Islamic cemetary was opened in Strasbourg, where the local law allows the establishment of confessional burial spaces.

For more information :
 Bertelman Stiftung, Intégration islam en Europe, 2017.
 GODARD Bernard, La question musulmane en France, Paris, Fayard, 2015.
 SIMON Patrick, “Le nombre de musulmans en France et en Europe : la fabrique des chiffres”, Dossier “La société française et la construction du ’problème musulman’”, De facto [En ligne], 6 avril 2019, mis en ligne le 16 avril 2019.
 ZWILLING Anne-Laure, "France", in O. Scharbrodt et al. (dir.), Yearbook of Muslims in Europe volume 11, Leiden, Brill, 2019, p 247-269.

D 4 septembre 2017    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

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