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The Mosque of Notre Dame by E. Chudinova and the Image of Islam in Europe

Nikolas is very interested in the problem of Arab refugees in Europe today

Number of Mosques in Europe

Mosques in Europe

Mosques in Europe

Mosque in Germany, Cologne. Capacity of 1.200 People

Mosque in Germany

Mosque in Germany

Mosques in European Landscape

  • Mosques have been present on the European landscape for hundreds of years, dating back to the time of the Moors in Spain, the Ottomans in the Balkans, and the Tatars in the Baltic region. Thanks to the modern surge of migration and the influx of refugees from Muslim countries, new mosques are springing up in Europe. Architects and engineers recognize mosques as one of the architectural wonders of the world, adding aesthetic value to European cultural heritage.
  • To integrate new religious structures into the existing architectural ensemble, specific criteria should be established for the construction of mosques and minarets. This would ensure that proposals to erect mosques in the public space would receive a more favorable public response, and there would be fewer reasons to reject building permits. In contrast, this does not mean that European mosques should have nothing to do with their long and rich history. For example, minarets are not fundamental to mosque construction, but for the identity of many immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries. They have a symbolic meaning and help them overcome their sense of cultural exclusion.

To gain Confidence

  • The construction of large mosques in Western Europe means that the Western Muslim community is finally beginning to gain confidence in itself and its strength after decades in the shadows. The emergence of these new architectural buildings in the public space has often provoked criticism from mainstream society. Moreover, it fostered heated debates about the role of Islam in Europe. While some unequivocally reject the construction of mosques, tolerant voices point out that mosques can also serve as places for interreligious and cultural exchange and the transmission of experience.
  • . Mosques also make Islam's presence felt in Europe, replacing nameless prayer houses set up in basements and former warehouses. They show that Islam has become part of Europe.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Where did Muslim violent riots break out in France some years ago?
    • In Marseille
    • In Nantes
    • In Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris
  2. What does racism mean in France?
    • You are called a dirty Arab
    • The whites always have priority over the Blacks and the Arabs
  3. What happened in Nice on July 14, 2016?
    • There were fireworks for French national holiday
    • A truck plowed at high speed into the spectators
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Answer Key

  1. In Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris
  2. The whites always have priority over the Blacks and the Arabs
  3. A truck plowed at high speed into the spectators

The Mosque of Notre Dame by E. Chudinova

Elena Chudinova, a Modern Russian Writer



Anti-Islamic Views in Mosque of Notre Dame

The novel caused a very wide public discussion, becoming a scandalous book.

This is large because the novel supports anti-Islamic views. First Oriana Fallaci expressed them in her book "Fury and Pride". Describing the tragedy of September 11, 2001, in New York this work arose the scandal on both opposite sides of readers. According to the author, the conflict of civilizations in the development of events is inevitable. It is associated with excessive political correctness.

Orthodox publicist Vladimir Karpets believes this book, which has an anti-Islamic bias, to be harmful and destructive. Since, in his opinion, only an alliance with the Islamic world is suitable for Russia. In particular, this is possible due to the large percentage of Muslims in Russia.

If it has been published later...

French publishing house Riposte laïque notes Chudinova to have little understanding of French social reality. In contrast, at the same time, it considers her book a fair warning that should be heeded. If something like this had been published in 1979 and had been heeded, perhaps the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the September 11 tragedy, and other upheavals associated with radical Islam would have been avoided. According to Jean Robin, who published the book, readers first read the free version online, calling it excellent. As to Chudinova's statement, her opponents accused her of bias, xenophobia, focus only on radical Islamism. Here, to add superficial knowledge of the Koran. In response, Chudinova pointed out that a Christian cannot recognize Islam as an equal right. This is because the Bible explicitly calls Christianity the only true religion. As for tolerance and political correctness, they are already stigmatized in the author's commentaries to the novel.

A Brilliant and Scary Book

  • Andrei Burovsky believes Chudinova's book to be "brilliant and scary," sharing the author's views: that to fight, one must have something to fight for. He also admits that the events described can happen in reality. Contrary, to do so one must "preserve oneself."
  • The book is also criticized from a literary point of view. French notes the poor quality of the translation, as well as the specific, difficult-to-read narrative style. Galina Jozefowicz remarks on the "hastily realized" plot. Chudinova was not concerned with literary achievements, but with ideological ones.


1. Mosques in Europe - Social, Theological, and Geographical Aspects 2. Chudinova E., Maxwell Anderson D., Ivanišević de Berthet, S. The mosque of Notre Dame. — Forest Lake, Minnesota: The Remnant Press, 2015. — 267 p. — ISBN 9781944241049.


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