Kahina Bahloul, the founder of the Fatima Mosque, was born to a Muslim Algerian father and a French mother with Christian and Jewish backgrounds and grew up in Algeria where she studied law before moving back to France where she earned her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the École Pratique des Hautes Études.
According to Bahloul, the main premise of her mosque that she named after prophet Mohammad’s daughter, is to be an example of liberal Islam.
At the Fatima mosque, men and women will be able to pray in the same room, unlike other mosques where they pray in separate rooms. Moreover, all sermons will be delivered in French by one of two imams: herself and Faker Korchane.Women will have the option of whether to wear the headscarf or not.
The Fatima co-ed mosque is the first one in France, but not in Europe. A mosque in Belgium was the first to have a female Imam in 2008 and a liberal mosque was opened in Germany in 2017 with female Imams and preachers.