‘Hands off my church’ petition plays on French worries about Islam

PARIS (RNS) More than 40,000 French have signed a rousing “Hands off my church” petition in recent days denouncing a Muslim leader’s casual remark that some of France’s many empty or underused churches could be turned into much-needed mosques.

The petition, initially signed by 25 conservative politicians and intellectuals, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was launched last week after the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris said that Muslims needed to double the number of mosques around the country to 4,000 and that using empty churches could help them do that.


Under President Ergodan, they are working to have large mosques placed everywhere even if the numbers of people are not there. In Turkey now imams are on the payroll. And you look at the history of Christianity in Asia Minor, what we see is so terribly tragic.

Catholics need to return to a more ascetic lifestyle, of more prayer and more modesty and less comfort and materialism…so much activity and busy ness and how much for the Lord?

We need to regain more depth and ardor of our faith…because I am seeing more devotion to God and every day life in the manner of greeting by good devout Muslims that shows we need to go back deeper to God…

I’m sure there are those looking forward to the day when Notre Dame - perish the thought - becomes a mosque. I see nothing wrong with such a petition.

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