News Agencies – June 21, 2012

A new mosque bearing the name of Moroccan King Mohamed VI is now open in France amid praise of the cooperation of the French authorities. The president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil français du culte musulman), Mohammed Moussaoui, inaugurated the Mohamed VI Mosque in the southwestern French city of Saint-Étienne. The mosque, built on an area of 10,000 square meters, boosts a 14-meter high minaret and accommodates more than 1,000 worshippers.

The mosque bears the name of Moroccan king Mohamed VI who donated five million Euros of the total eight million of the construction cost. The mosque includes a cultural center which is intended to act like a branch of the famous Paris-based Arab World Institute.

The construction of the mosque, said Moussaoui, offered a proof of the cooperation of French authorities with the Muslim community in France to promote freedom of worship.

The Saint-Étienne mosque joins a long list of French mosques whose numbers have been on the rise in the past few years. In 2005, the number of mosques whose area exceeded 1,000 square meters was only 34 while now the number has reached 200. Mosques in France are usually funded by donations from members of the Muslim community in France in case of small mosques while big mosques are usually funded by other Muslim countries especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Morocco, Algeria, and Turkey.

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