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Muslims clash with lawmakers on Paris streets

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By Euronews
Muslims clash with lawmakers on Paris streets

A Muslim association in France is taking legal action against French lawmakers after clashes with worshippers on the streets of a Paris suburb.

The lawmakers want to stop muslims praying on the streets, saying it is an unacceptable use of public space.

Carrying a giant banner and singing the national anthem, the officials tried to push past a police cordon.

Valerie Pecresse, President of the Paris, Ile-de-France region, says the French state needs to face its responsibilities and help to find a solution, but not at any cost.

“We need places of worship and decent ones for everyone,” she explains. “But at the same time, we need for everybody to live in a respectful manner with each other. And the public space cannot be unlawfully occupied.”

Muslims have been praying outside in Clichy since the closure of a place of worship in March.

Hamid Kazed, head of the Clichy Muslim Union says the situation is unacceptable.

“You think it’s luxury to pray on the street?” he asks. “But that’s what he (the mayor of Clichy) wants, to divide citizens, to divide so that the finger is pointed at us. We are not Salafists, we are not fundamentalists, we are for an Islam of France, we are for an Islam that respects the republic.”

The growth of the Muslim population in recent decades has prompted calls for limiting the public visibility of Islam.