Paris Mosque in Paris
The Grande Mosquée de Paris ("Great Mosque of Paris"), located in the 5th arrondissement, is the largest mosque in France and the third largest in Europe. It was founded after World War I as a sign of France's gratefulness to the colonies's Muslim tirailleurs, 100,000 of whom died fighting against Germany. The Mosque was built following the mudéjar style, and its minaret is 33 meteres high. President Gaston Doumergue inaugurated it 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. Under its rector and clerics during World War II, the mosque served as a secret refuge for those persecuted by the Axis powers, providing shelter, safe passage, and fake Muslim birth certificates for Jewish children. The mosque is currently led by mufti Dalil Boubakeur.