Anti-mosque demonstration in French Polynesia

Des pétitions circulent pour s’opposer à la construction de la mosquée de Papeete, et Gaston Flosse, élu de la République, Président de la Polynésie française autonome, a annoncé samedi qu’il aurait signé une pétition lancée sur une page Facebook (“Pas de mosquée à Tahiti“) mais aussi une pétition pour l’expulsion de l’imam Hicham el Berkani, qui aurait déjà réuni 2500 signatures.

Une marche de protestation contre la mosquée de Tahiti est prévue le 12 juillet à Papeete. Continue en Français

Tahiti: Ouverture de la première mosquée  Le Figaro

About 1,000 people in French Polynesia have staged a demonstration marching through Papeete in protest at plans to build Tahiti’s first mosque.

The rally was directed mainly at the 23-year-old imam, Hicham El Barkani, from Seine-Saint-Denis, who last year set up a prayer room in town, and is now asking for donations from Muslims in France for a Tahiti mosque.

Some attending the demonstration say El Barkain’s form of Islam is dangerous while some women at the rally have been quoted as saying they fear losing their rights.

Hicham El Berkani did part of his theological training in Egypt and at the mosque of Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The mosque of Medina is associated with Salafism, a radical branch of the Sunni Moslem religion.

It is said to advocate a return to the original Islam and the implementation of Sharia.

On his return to France, El Barkani also attended the Bilal mosque in Saint-Denis, another place of worship affiliated with Salafism.

Authorities in French Polynesia have shown interest in Hicham El Barkani as a result of his connection with these radical circles.

French Polynesian authorities are also concerned that the United States has refused the presence of Hicham El Berkani on American soil.

This demonstration is the most recent of a number of protests, and attacks that have been made on Muslim property, in Papa’ete. Read more

Last year a prayer room at a Muslim Centre in was desecrated. A pig’s head was deposited there and pig’s blood was splashed on the walls.

According to a report in the Journal des Mosquees de France another act of desecration was said to have occurred on 27 June.

El Berkani told the Journal that a pig’s head was thrown in front of the centre located 11 Rue Paul Gauguin in Pape’ete.

Read report  in original French and view photographs


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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