Street prayers are often the subject of comments on social networks, especially during Ramadan. For the past few days, a video that has gone viral has been circulating on social networks. We see a large number of people, all lined up, praying in the streets. “Believe it or not, this is Paris. Yes, the city of fashion Paris in secular France”, writes in English one of the Internet users who published the film.
It was enough to agitate Internet users. While some French people deplore “the omnipresence of Islam in France”, it is mainly people who identify with India who comment on the video. From abroad, it is the astonishment that prevails: “I imagined Paris as a beautiful city with roadside cafes, the Louvre, the Champs de l’Élysée, the Eiffel Tower and beautiful women. »
The video was actually not shot in Paris. Some Internet users had actually noticed that the architecture did not resemble that of the French capital. Far from the Haussmann buildings, the imposing building could put the flea in the ear. Visible at the twentieth second of the film, it is the mosque of the cathedral of Moscow. Located in Russia, far from Paris.
Every year thousands of Muslims pray around the mosque on the occasion of Eid. Its inauguration took place in September 2015, and it was a real day of celebration for many Muscovites. Islam is indeed the second religion in number of followers in Russia, after Orthodox Christianity. However, there are discrepancies in the figures put forward. The Muslim community is estimated at 7% of the population by some polling institutes, while this figure is 30% according to the country’s religious leaders.
The construction of this great mosque was, among other things, to put an end to tensions between Muslims and residents of Moscow. The three million faithful of the capital had, at the time, only five mosques. It is therefore impossible to welcome everyone during prayers, on Fridays and on feast days. The sidewalks and roads of the city were therefore transformed into huge prayer areas, as can be seen on the video. The leaders of the Muslim community in Russia believe that many more places are needed to accommodate all the faithful.