Controversy Erupts Over Charles de Gaulle Prayer: Operator’s ‘Regrettable’ Remark – Read the Full Story to Learn More
A recent collective Muslim prayer at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris has stirred controversy and sparked a debate on social media. The incident, which took place at terminal 2B of France’s largest airport, involved around 30 travellers and lasted for approximately 10 minutes.
🇫🇷 FLASH – Une prière collective musulmane ayant eu lieu hier à l’aéroport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle suscite la polémique. Cette photo diffusée par Noëlle Lenoir, ancienne ministre des Affaires étrangères, se demande ce que fait le PDG des Aéroports de Paris "quand son aéroport se… pic.twitter.com/KCpEF9hdwO
— AlertesInfos (@AlertesInfos) November 6, 2023
Airport Rules and Reactions
In response to the collective prayer, the French airport operator, Aeroports de Paris (ADP), has described it as “regrettable.” Dedicated prayer spaces are available at the airport for people of all faiths, and France typically prefers to limit public displays of religious belief in places like schools and public buildings, including airports.
Transport Minister Clement Beaune expressed his disapproval of the incident on social media. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), he confirmed that airport authorities were committed to enforcing the rules and promised to act with “firmness.”
ADP’s chief executive also emphasised the existence of designated worship areas and announced that border police had been instructed to prevent such incidents and increase vigilance.
Social Media Controversy
Images of the collective prayer went viral on social media and elicited a variety of reactions. Some individuals accused those criticising the incident of spreading Islamophobia, while others argued that it was an “attack on the West.”
Former minister Noelle Lenoir sarcastically questioned, “What does the CEO of Aeroports de Paris do when his airport is transformed into a mosque? Is the change in status official?”
French MP Astrid Panosyan Bouvet emphasised the importance of adhering to the rules in France, including at airports, and noted the presence of dedicated places of worship.
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On social media, various comments were made about the incident. One user wrote, “Paris airport: If you were wondering why aeroplanes are not falling from the sky, it’s thanks to them,” while another user argued, “This is Paris airport, not a mosque.”
The incident at Charles de Gaulle Airport has ignited a debate about the balance between religious freedom and maintaining secular spaces in France, amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
As the controversy continues to unfold, the incident serves as a reminder of the complex discussions around religious expression in public spaces and the diverse perspectives within society.
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