PARIS - France's umbrella Muslim organization has called for banning a far-right group behind the occupation of a mosque in the western city of Poitiers and for protecting the sizable minority and their worship places.
"We demand the dissolution of this group," Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) told reporters on Monday, October 22, Reuters reported.
Far-rightists from a group called Identity Group stormed and occupied the site of a mosque being built in Poitiers on Saturday in protest at the building of the Muslim worship place.Mosque Occupation' Outrages France
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They climbed on the mosque's roof and unfurled two banners, one identifying their organization while the other proclaiming Charles Martel beat the Arabs at Poitiers in 732.
That battle is remembered by French for halting the advance of Islam into Western Europe.
The far-rightist attackers remained in the mosque site for six hours before police ejected them.
Moussaoui said the far-rightist protestors had come from as far away as Lyon and Nice, near France's eastern borders.
Four protestors were placed under judicial investigation for spreading racial hatred and discrimination.
In a video posted on its website, the far-right group 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.
France is home to a Muslim minority of six million, the largest in Europe.
French Muslims have described the occupation was an unprecedented escalation against the sizable minority.
Moussaoui said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied like that, represented "a new escalation in violence against Muslims".
He complained that racist attacks against mosques and Muslim cemeteries in France have sharply increased.
He said 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.
Moussaoui called on the French government to provide better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries in the country.
Saturday's attack is the latest of a series of attacks on mosques in France.
In August, two pig heads were hung on two pillars outside a mosque in the southwestern town of Montauban.
In January, vandals attacked a French mosque in the GlonniÃ¨res district of Le Mans, covering its walls with graffiti reading Islam out of Europe, No Islam and France for the French.
Three days earlier, another mosque in Miramas was daubed with Islamophobic slogans along with the name of Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
Fascist graffiti was also painted on the wall of a mosque that is under construction in Montigny-en-Ostrevent reading President Adolf or Hei in reference to the Nazi salute. Heil Hitler.Two pig heads were also left at the site a mosque is being built in Nanterre.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net