Martin Parr, a British photographer, has spent months wandering thew streets of Paris taking pictures of life, in particular, the lives of Muslims in the French capital. Even as President Nicolas Sarkozy has pushed through Parliament a law which makes illegal the wearing of a niqab or burqa in public buildings, the Parr photos depict Muslim men on their knees praying. The anti-Muslim hysteria which is sweeping France has resulted in an inability to build mosques for prayer so the men have to just get down on the pavement and pray. Marine Le Pen, the right wing anti-Muslim, now uses these photos of men at prayer in the streets of Paris as evidence Muslims want to take over the streets of France and turn them into an open air mosque.
If Ms. Le Pen or Sarkozy do not want Muslims praying in the streets all they have to do is allow Muslims to build mosques where the praying can be in private. But, there are more votes to be obtained by forcing Muslims to pray in public. Oh well, wars, economic disasters, earthquakes might appear to be important topics. However, the sight of one of the 2,500 of the 2,000,000 Muslim women wearing a veil is undoubtedly the opening shot in the war to end France as we know it.