chapter  4
Religious Authority, Social Action And Political Participation: A Case Study of The Mosquée De La Rue De Tanger In Paris
Pages 26

Compared with other religious leaders active in France or in Europe, Larbi Kechat is certainly not a celebrity for a non-Muslim audience. 1 Names like those of Tariq Ramadan, the notorious and controversial Muslim intellectual now living in Great Britain, or Dalil Boubakeur, the director of the Great Mosque of Paris (Grande Mosquée de Paris), are much more familiar than Larbi Kechat’s. He does not lead a national federation and he did not take part in the highly publicized 2002-3 discussions that led to the creation of the French Council of Muslim Worship (Conseil français du culte musulman, hereafter CFCM). 2 He rarely participates in talk shows and does not make public statements when something happens in the Muslim world. As he once said to me when I asked him to introduce himself at the beginning of a round-table discussion I had organized to discuss a report dealing with the discrimination of Muslims in Europe, 3 ‘I can’t be classifi ed’ (‘je suis inclassable’). The man’s position, relatively popular among Muslims in Paris and its neighbourhood, but also among journalists, local politicians, researchers, and academics can indeed hardly be located on the Islam de France map, which at the time of our exchanges and conversations was in the process of being completely reshaped by the implementation of CFCM.