14 Jul 2014

Anti-mosque demonstration in French Polynesia

4:48 am on 14 July 2014

About 1,000 people in French Polynesia have marched through Papeete in protest at plans to build Tahiti's first mosque.

The rally was directed mainly at the 23-year-old imam, Hicham El Barkani, who last year set up a prayer room in town, and is now asking for donations from Muslims in France for a Tahiti mosque.

Some demonstrators say his form of Islam is dangerous while some women at the rally have been quoted as saying they fear losing their rights.

There are about 500 Muslims in the territory, most of them teachers or members of the French military.

The church has denounced the demonstration while the imam has made no comment.