Paris: Tabligh preachers preach Islam

Muslim preachers have been stopping for prayer outdoors in Buffon square Thursday, in the Fontenay-le-Fleury suburb of Paris.  They're looking to discuss Islam with the local residents.

Wearing long white djellabas, Koran in hand, the members of the Tabligh movement roam the neighborhoods of Yvelines the past few days.

Thursday night, it was in Fontenay-le-Fleury where they set up their mats to transform Buffon square into a place of worship.  By the buildings a dozen activists look towards the East, gathering in prayer from 6:15 to 7:30.

The locals looked at these preachers from their windows, curiously, without any surprise.

A resident of the square says that he's already seen them in this same public place last year.  He was a little scared of these men with a long beard walking with a cane, but in fact they sit on the ground, talking with passerbys and praying.  They aren't violent in any way.  Moreover, he says, one of his neighbors, about 22 years old, belongs to the group, and he's never caused them any trouble.

Another local adds that his wife saw these men in traditional clothing.  It isn't clear who they are.  If he had been there, he would have gone praying with them.  The practice of those men isn't shocking because 'here, everybody is Muslim'.

The police, having been warned, visited the area at around 7pm.  The police says that the men were at the corner and didn't disturb the public order. They had asked the men to leave because they had no authorization.  They dispersed without problems.

They are traveling preachers who roam the neighborhoods to get the youth acquainted with Islam.  The Tabligh preachers don't reveal their plans.  However, they commonly stick to the suburbs with a large immigrant population.

Source: Le Parisien (French)

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