(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/07/islam-france.gif)When foreigners think of the French city of Marseille they think of the national anthem, of Renoir sketching the old port in slashes of yellow and blue, and of castles and cafes overlooking the water. But the old port will now be overshadowed by a Grand Mosque.
The Grand Mosque project has cast a shadow over Marseille since 1989; its location on the site of a former slaughterhouse where pigs were once butchered and the Saudi money going into the project has only given the whole affair a more ominous air. The prolonged legal battle over its construction has gone on through the years even as Islamic terrorism in Marseille has grown to dangerous proportions.
In 1994, Marseille was where the Christmas Hijacking of Air France Flight 8969 came to its bloody end. Muslim terrorists from the Armed Islamic Group had hijacked the plane on Christmas Eve shouting “Allah Akbar” and informing the passengers that this particular deity had chosen them to wage war in his name. The terrorists forced the stewardesses to veil themselves with cabin blankets, recited verses from the Koran and murdered a number of passengers.
But the Armed Islamic Group had bigger plans than a few burkas and a few murders. Their plan was to ram Air France Flight 8969 directly into the Eiffel Tower. Marseille was supposed to be a refueling stopover before a final fatal flight to Paris, but with no sign of the extra fuel that would allow them to inflict maximum damage, the terrorists tried to kill a member of the crew who had told them he was an atheist. Instead French authorities took down the terrorists and prevented an earlier French version of September 11.
Islamic terror however wasn’t done with Marseille or the Eiffel Tower. More recently French authorities broke up another terrorist ring which had targeted the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. The Grand Mosque of Marseille is a more indirect form of architectural attack. Rather than blow up Marseille‘s Notre-Dame de la Garde church, considered by Catholics to be the guardian and protectress of the city, it will overshadow it instead.
Between a quarter and a third of Marseille’s residents are Muslim and demographics suggest that the city may be on its way to becoming the first majority Muslim city in Europe. Marseille’s coat of arms may still bear the azure cross, but not for long. There are already 60 mosques in the city, but many of them are underground. When it is completed, the Grand Mosque will act as a claim of ownership to the city.
Muslims had attacked the port city in the 9th century capturing it and enslaving its native inhabitants. That which Muslims once took, their theologians insist is theirs in perpetuity. The Muslim return to Marseille is seen as a reconquista, a return to the land that was once theirs. Building a mega mosque is a way of sealing the deal and making it clear to any infidels that the religion of peace is back with a vengeance.
Last week, a woman in Marseille wearing a niqab, a Muslim garment that covers the entire face except for the eyes, was asked for her identification by the police. “I don’t obey the laws of the French Republic,” was her reply. Some of the Muslims near the mosque attacked the police, who defended themselves and are now facing an administrative inquiry for doing so. Their Muslim attackers however were released, according to the prosecutor, as a “gesture of appeasement during Ramadan.”
Last year in Marseille, a Muslim man had been sentenced to six months in jail for punching a female nurse who had tried to remove his wife’s burka during childbirth. On sentencing him the judge had said, “Your religious values are not superior to the laws of the republic.” But whether or not the laws of the republic are indeed superior to the laws of the caliphate still remains to be seen as the struggle over the Islamization of France continues. And that struggle is felt keenly in Marseille.
Nearly half of all immigrants to France are Muslim. In Marseille 41.8 percent of those under 18 were of foreign descent. And so it was in Marseille that Sarkozy chose to deliver an election speech in which he warned, “These are foreigners more and more sure of their rights, who arrive each year to impose their way of life. Marseille knows about this. The customs and way of life are openly displayed, or imposed on the French, in a way which seems to be more and more a form of provocation or arrogance.”
The French right has traditionally done well in Marseille because the city’s French working class along with some Eastern European immigrants have seen it reflecting their daily sense of outrage at what their city is becoming. But the rising number of Muslims has slowly tilted the political balance helping Hollande eke out a marginal victory over Sarkozy in the second round of the presidential election.
Despite pandering to working-class native voters with an immigration cap during the election, Hollande has shown that he knows exactly where the credit for his victory lies. Foreigners living in France will shortly be able to vote in local elections and the new Interior Minister Manuel Valls, formerly mayor of Evry, home of the Grand Mosque of Evry, which has crime rates that are some of the highest in France, has begun a pandering tour, praising the Grand Mosque and Islam.
The French police will no longer be able to arrest illegal aliens and Muslim immigrants no longer need to bother learning anything about the country. Valls has announced that he intends to scrap a test of French history and culture, which had asked such challenging questions as, “Whom do you associate with the Arc de Triomphe? a) Napoleon b) General de Gaulle c) Julius Caesar?”
La Marseillaise, France’s National Anthem, got its name when volunteer revolutionaries from Marseille sang the song. Now Marseille is at the center of a new revolution. The Islamic Revolution. Muslim volunteers from France have been identified training with the Taliban and after Mohammed Merah’s massacre at a Jewish school, a group of Jews in Marseille were attacked by Muslim men shouting, “Vive Mohamed Merah, F— the Jews, Palestine will win.”
As in 1994, Allah Akbar has become the new Marseillaise, replacing the song of the Army of the Republic, with the guttural cry of the Caliphate eager to be born.
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