Paris: Anti-Islamization conference

Paris: Anti-Islamization conference


French blog Bivouac-ID posted videos of the speeches.

Via the National:

Groups from across Europe yesterday gathered in the French capital to give voice to increasingly pronounced anti-Islam sentiments on the continent. Claiming to represent a wide range of political opinion, from Marxists and feminists to hardcore secularists and right-wing activists, the groups said they would coordinate their fight against what they call the Islamisation of Europe.

French Muslim and left-wing groups denounced the gathering that drew about 500 people as divisive. The president of the mainstream French Council of the Muslim Faith, Mohammed Moussaoui, said, "We are strongly in favour of the right to free expression but we feel that such a meeting is a threat to national unity and to our ability to live together."

He accused the organisers of incitement to hatred but the authorities rejected the council's appeal to have the meeting banned. The police cordoned off the area near the hall where the gathering took place but only a few dozen people showed up for a counter-demonstration.

Anti-Islam groups have gained political momentum in several European countries in recent years. In Denmark and the Netherlands, political parties with a strong anti-Islam element are crucial in supporting minority governments. And in Sweden, a similar party for the first time crossed the electoral threshold in September.

The key personality of the Paris meeting, unmistakably, was Oskar Freysinger of the Swiss People's Party who initiated the referendum last year in which the Swiss voted to ban the construction of minarets. The ponytailed politician, who was trailed by bodyguards in bomber jackets and black shades, was mobbed like a rock star by the crowd of mostly middle-aged and elderly Frenchmen and women.

Mr Freysinger said that he was excited to take part in an effort to jointly combat the forces of Islamisation in Europe.