Friday, 30 March 2012

According to Europe 1, the arrests included Forsane Alizza’s leader, Mohammed Achamlane.

Founded in 2010, Forsane Alizza was banned on February 29, 2012, by French Interior Minister, Claude Gueant.

Before the Toulouse attacks, the group was known for its provocative demonstrations, such as last year’s protests against a French ban on worshippers praying in the streets.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim community, estimated at between 3 to 5 million people.

According to Jean-Yves Camus, a researcher at the Paris-based think-tank, IRIS (Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques), Forsane Alizza is a group comprised of mostly young people who have been recently radicalized.

“Members of Forsane Alizza espouse jihadism and Salafism, but they have very little knowledge of Islam. They are primarily an attention-seeking group that wants to get noticed,” said Camus.

Camus said he observed a recent demonstration outside the Paris mayor’s office against extremist Christians when Forsane Alizza members showed up in “Afghan outfits”.

“They did not try to hide, but rather they wanted to be filmed and photographed as much as possible," he said.

Forsane Alizza first made the headlines in June 2010, when ten of its members organized a boycott of McDonald's in the central French city of Limoges, accusing the US company of being a “slave of Israel”. A few months ago also, the group burned copies of France’s civil codes to protest the law banning the burqa, the full Islamic veil.

In early 2012, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant called for the banning of the group as it was "intolerable to have a group calling for armed struggle in our country."

But Achamlane has denied that his movement is violent. The February banning of the group, the Forsane Alizza website bore the notice, "The Forsane Alizza group is dissolved; however, we still face severe pressure despite the end of our activities."
Source: France24


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