French nationalists occupy major mosque construction site

The media is not covering this, likely out of fear of angering Muslims. It won't do much good though, it is being picked up by Christian and Islamic news organizations. Furthermore, this doesn't look like a one-off event, but rather the possible start of a movement.

French Youth Occupy Mosque over the Islamization of France
The mosque is in the city of Poitiers, where Charles Martell drove away Muslim invaders in 732. The protesters hung a banner on the mosque that read "Generation Identitaire" and demanded a referendum on immigration and mosque construction. The banner also included the number 732.

After police arrived, the protesters left peacefully and three were detained for "incitement of racial hatred" and damage to property.

Muslim leaders, who aren't used to this kind of thing in France, expressed incomprehension over the stunt.

"We are thunderstruck ... these are people who are stuck in the year 732, and who don't see that the world has changed," Poitiers imam El Haj Boubaker told France's BFM-TV. "People can live differently than in a mindset of war and conflict."

French activists occupy mosque building site
Condemnation came from the French government which described the action as "hateful provocation, and from the Muslim national umbrella organisation, the French Muslim Council (CFCM), which spoke of its "strong indignation" and condemned an occupation "without precedent in French history." Around midday the demonstrators agreed to leave after negotiations with the local authorities. A spokesman for the activists, Damien Rieu, confirmed that they were "going calmly to the exit" after "negotiating."

"We were planning to stay longer but as we had no intention whatsoever of a physical confrontation we are leaving," Rieu said. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is in the Philippines "firmly" condemned a "provocation that reveals an unacceptable religious hatred." Interior Minister Manuel Valls also condemned "hateful and inadmissible provocation" and "questionable confusions" of the group which on its Internet site refers to Charles Martel, who "nearly 1,300 years ago stopped the Arabs at Poitiers."

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