Protest against new mosque in France

Oct. 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM

POITIERS, France, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Anti-Muslim protesters gathered at the future site of a mosque in France, saying they did not want new mosque construction on French soil, authorities said.

The extreme right-wing group called Generation Identity climbed to the roof of the building Saturday morning in Poitiers, displaying banners reading "732 generation identity," public television station France 3 reported. The banner is a reference to the year 732, when military leader Charles Martel halted an invading Muslim army from reaching north of Poitiers.

A statement on the group's website says, "We do not want more immigration from outside Europe or new mosque construction on French soil."

Protesters said they would not leave the mosque unless removed by authorities, but by midday, they reached an agreement with police, France 3 reported. Police arrested three members of Generation Identity.

Prosecutors were evaluating whether to press charges against members of the group for "holding an unauthorized protest and inciting racial hatred."

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