France: Court Cancels the Permit to Build the Mosque in Marseille

Source: FSSPX News

The administrative court in Marseille announced on October 27, 2011, that it has cancelled the permit to build the grand mosque of Marseille.  The source of this change was the anxiety of storekeepers and residents concerning parking, particularly on the days of large gatherings and throughout the month of Ramadan.  If the creation of 450 parking places was included in the building permit, it has not yet been made the object “a formal commitment or scheduling from the owner,” said the Court.  “This cancellation is bad news for the Muslims of Marseille,” bemoans the website

This makes ten years that the 250,000 Muslims of Marseille, a quarter of the population of the city, have been waiting for this place of worship.  The project would have started in February 2012 at Saint Louis, the site of the old slaughterhouse north of the city.  The construction costs are estimated to be 22 million Euros, of which only 300,000 have been collected so far in the form of donations.

The initial project was launched in 2001 with the backing of Jean-Claude Gaudin (UMP), Mayor of the city.  He temporized for eight years because of divisions within the Muslim community and administrative difficulties notably raised by the Front National (FN).  The mayor ended up issuing the building permit in November of 2009.  On May 20, 2010, the foundation stone was laid, but the FN took the case to the Administrative Court because of the lack of parking spaces for a place of worship that would attract a great number of faithful.  Similar appeals have been added to this one by residents and merchants in the Saint-Louis area.  In May 2011, after an initial request to cancel the building permit, the Muslim association that controls the project presented an amended plan including 450 places for vehicles, close to the future mosque.  Unconvinced, local residents filed a new appeal in June that led to the October 27th decision. (Sources: apic / Le Figaro / - DICI No. 244 of 11/11/11)