French Muslims demand ban of far-right group after attack on mosque

The Globe and Mail – October 22, 2012


The French Muslim Council (CFCM) has urged the government to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque and issued a “declaration of war” against what it called the Islamisation of France. CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said the Council also wanted better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries against racist attacks, which he said jumped sharply in 2011 and continued to rise this year.

Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on October 20th and unfurled a banner referring to Charles Martel’s historic defeat of advancing Muslim troops there in 732. They stayed for more than six hours before police ejected them. In a video posted on its website, the movement issued what it called a “declaration of war” on multiculturalism. It also called for a referendum to block further immigration from outside Europe and further construction of mosques in France

Moussaoui said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied, represented “a new escalation in violence against Muslims”. Violent acts and threats against Muslims rose by 34 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, and went up again by 14 percent in the first half of this year, he told reporters.

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