PARIS - The French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged the government on Monday to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque on Saturday and issued a "declaration of war" against what it called the Islamization of France.
Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on Saturday 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
In response, CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said his group was "demand[ing] the dissolution of this group." He said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied like that, 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, Moussaoui told reporters.