The Grande Mosquée de Paris (English: Great Mosque of Paris), located in the 5th arrondissement, is one of the largest mosques in France.
The mosque was founded in 1926 as a token of gratitude, after World War I, to the Muslim tirailleurs from France's Colonial Empire, of whom some 100,000 died fighting against Germany. The Mosque was built following the mudéjar style, and its minaret is 33 meters high. It was inaugurated by President Gaston Doumergue on July 15, 1926. Ahmad al-Alawi (1869–1934), an Algerian Sufi, founder of the modern Sufi order Darqawiyya Alawiyya, a branch of the Shadhiliyya, led the first communal prayer to inaugurate the newly built mosque in the presence of the French president. Initially sponsored by the king of Morocco, it was reassigned to Algeria in 1957 by the French Foreign Minister. During World War II (in which France was occupied by Nazi Germany) and The Holocaust, under its rector Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the mosque served as a secret refuge for Jews, being persecuted by the Axis powers, providing them shelter, safe passage, and fake Muslim birth certificates. The mosque is currently led by mufti Dalil Boubakeur.
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