A collective prayer session, visibly Muslim, took place on Sunday in the middle of Paris's Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. A photo of this scene was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Noëlle Lenoir, former minister responsible for European Affairs under Jacques Chirac (2002-2004). “What does the CEO of Aéroports de Paris do when his airport turns into a mosque? Is the change of assignment official????,” she wrote in a comment on this photo, in which we see around thirty people kneeling in rows on the red carpet of the airport.
The reaction of the boss of Groupe ADP (formerly Aéroports de Paris) was quick. After Renaissance MP for Paris Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet re-shared the photo on “This is a regrettable first,” he said, recalling that “dedicated places of worship exist” in the terminals of Roissy and Orly airports and that “the Border Police have been instructed to prohibit this and will redouble our vigilance.”
The CEO of the airport group, however, called on the Macronist MP to exercise restraint, not deeming it “necessary to highlight this unprecedented episode at this time”. Understand: in the middle of the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, and the risk of its importation into France weighs. The Minister Delegate in charge of Transport welcomed the position taken by Augustin de Romanet, citing “firmness and a reminder of the necessary rules, the teams at our airports are fully committed to it”. An airport source confirmed to AFP that a prayer by Muslim travelers departing for Jordan was held for ten minutes at Terminal 2B of Charles-de-Gaulle airport on Sunday.
On the left, some elected officials did not appreciate Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet trying to stir up controversy around this collective prayer. Luc Carvounas, socialist mayor of Alfortville (Val-de-Marne) and former deputy and senator, estimated that “a deputy of the Nation must not participate through clumsy expressions in what could resemble Islamophobia. MPs from the majority tried to defend their colleague, like Frédéric Valletoux, Horizons MP for Seine-et-Marne. “What awkward expression??? There is secularism and the rules that contribute to it. Then there are the little renunciations that we experienced in the name of