News Agencies – January 15, 2012
French Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen lashed out at Qatar for investing in “Muslim” areas of French cities and for taking over Paris Saint-Germain football club. “I think this situation could be very dangerous,” she said. “We are letting a foreign country choose its investments with regard to the religion of this or that part of the French population or of French territory.”
The tiny but very wealthy Gulf state of Qatar late last year set up a 50-million-euro ($67-million) fund for entrepreneurs from France’s often-deprived suburbs to set up businesses. Le Pen said that in general Qatar was “playing a double game” by presenting itself as an “enlightened” country while at the same time supporting Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.
News Agencies – December 10, 2011
The extreme right Bloc Identitaire, or Identity Bloc, has lashed out at Islam while dining on pork roast and local wine — off limits to practicing Muslims. The group, an emerging force on France’s far-right scene, likens Muslim immigrants to invaders threatening the identity of the French heartland and menacing European civilization. The movement — with a wild pig as its logo — is gaining traction through its blend of Islam-bashing and romanticizing of French rural culture.
Increasingly, it is being used as an “idea box” for the National Front, a well-established far-right party and force in European politics that could play a crucial role in French presidential elections five months away. The Bloc’s campaign against mosque building and its wine-and-pork strategies are also finding a more mainstream audience in the country.
Bloc Identitaire militants ferret out plans by Muslim communities to build mosques and campaign to stop them. An “identity guerrilla” pamphlet spells out how to raise awareness of Muslim initiatives, from mosques to halal food restaurants, and infiltrate culture or sports clubs popular with Muslims.