Saturday, September 24, 2011
France Bans Muslim Street Prayers; Muslims Protest, Chant 'Death To The Jews'
A huge issue in France has been the de facto takeover of whole streets from Paris to Marseilles as Muslim worshipers turn them into what amounts to mosques by taking them over during prayer times.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's National Front Party scored widespread approval with a controversial speech that compared the situation to the wartime occupation of France.
"For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it's about occupation, then we could also talk about (that), because that is occupation of territory," she said at a political rally in Lyons.
"There are, of course, no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents," she said.
In response, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who is expected to face le Pen in the upcoming election announced he was planning to ban the practice and finally did so last month, with the ban taking effect September 16th.
In response, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets in defiance of the ban and marched in protest, as the above video courtesy of Vlad Tepes via Gates of Vienna shows.
The protestors threatened viokence throughout France, and the old cries of 'Allahu Akbar' and 'morte aux Juifs!' ( death to the Jews) were chanted.
France's police have thus far not trued to enforce the law, fearing they would set off widespread unrest. However, French Interior Minister Claude Guéant told Le Figaro newspaper that Muslims who continue to pray in the street will be arrested: "My vigilance will be unflinching for the law to be applied. Praying in the street is not dignified for religious practice and violates the principles of secularism. If anyone happens to be recalcitrant we will put an end to it."
So far, the French government has attempted to bribe the protesters by giving them the right to set up a temporary mosque in an abandoned fire station in the Goutte d'Or district in Paris until a new, larger mosque is built at the French governments expense in 2013.
The widespread construction of mosques is a major issue in France. There are currently at least 6.5 million Muslims in France, the largest Muslim community in Europe and the number of mosques has doubled to more than 2,000 in the past decade. There are currently a number of mega-mosques under construction in Paris, Marseilles, Lyon and Strasbourg.
President Sarkozy has been fairly outspoken in calling multiculturalism a failure and calling for Muslims to assimilate if they want to be welcomed in France. In a live-broadcast interview with French Channel One television, Sarkozy said: "I do not want a society where communities coexist side by side … France will not welcome people who do not agree to melt into a single community. We have been too busy with the identity of those who arrived and not enough with the identity of the country that accepted them."
Sarkozy was also instrumental in pushing through a ban on burkas in France last year.