Marseille synagogue to be converted into mosque

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Marseille’s population of nearly two million includes around 220,000 Muslims (AFP Photo/Biju Boro)

 

Marseille (AFP) – A synagogue in Marseille is to be converted into a mosque, reflecting demographic shifts in the southern French city, a Jewish leader has told AFP.

A Muslim cultural association, Al Badr, is to purchase the Or Thora synagogue, which is used less and less by the Jewish community, the city’s top Jewish leader Zvi Ammar said Tuesday.

The site near the city’s main rail station was built as Jews flocked to Marseille from Algeria after the north African country gained independence from France in 1962 following an eight-year war, he noted.

Al Badr currently runs a mosque nearby that is too small for its congregation.

Marseille’s Muslims are still awaiting the construction of a Grand Mosque, but the project promised by the city’s mayor in 2001 is mired in financial woes as well as legal challenges by the far-right National Front.

At an estimated cost of some 23 million euros ($26 million), the mosque would be France’s largest if the project is finally achieved.

Full article: Marseille synagogue to be converted into mosque (Yahoo!)

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