Anti-Islam groups is France are planning a protest later this month inspired by anti-migration ‘Pegina’ demonstrations held in Germany in late 2014 and early 2015.
The group are calling for supporters to oppose the apparent ‘Islamisation of France’ by gathering in the nation’s capital. Organisers claim the protests will be the ‘first step’ of a new movement against Islam in France.
The demonstration is backed by Riposte Laique, a French Islamophobic website that supports far-right and anti-diversity causes in the country. Riposte Laique are hoping to emulate the success of the Pegida movement and capitalising on growing anti-Islamic sentiment being seen across France.
The Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of The West) began in Dresden, Germany, in October 2014. Although initial support for the movement was small protests grew in size, with an estimated 18,000 gathering for an anti-Islam rally held in January.
Numerous social issues have led many French citizens to turn to the far-right as a proposed political solution. Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Front, have seen increasing support in recent months and are expected to become a significant political force in the run-up to France’s next elections.
The National Front, who style themselves as an anti-immigration party, have been careful to avoid accusations of racism, despite several members being found to have proven ties to Nazi and anti-minority groups.
Plans of the march were made in late 2014, before news of the recent attacks against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Just moments after the attack happened far-right groups and politicians across Europe eagerly shared their support for those affected. It is expected that the attack will help fuel anti-Islamic sentiment across Europe and will help organisers of the Paris march gather more supporters.