The inevitable backlash has arrived. After years of encroachment on French secularists’ values, citizens are pushing back. Not simply through social media or the press, but the very streets themselves. Their target? Perhaps the most visible symbol of the deepening cultural divide: Friday street prayer.
In fact, things are getting so testy that Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has intervened. In a move meant to quell secularist anger over religion creeping into society, France announced an immediate halt to street prayer in the Paris suburb of Clichy-la-Garenne. “They will not have prayers on the street, we will prevent street praying,” Collomb told Questions Politics.