Obama Admits His Deportation Numbers Are “Deceptive”

Some truth slipped out the other day when the President held a Q&A session in the White House for hispanic journalists.

Obama used that chat session to admit that his administration’s supposedly high numbers of deportations are “deceptive” because the stats count the quickie voluntary repatriations that occur every day on the border. These are the guys who keep trying until they make it past the Border Patrol and into the interior to steal US jobs.

At a time when jobs are among the top issues for American citizens, Obama doesn’t think job theft by illegal aliens is a problem and he even encourages it to inspire his illegal alien base.

Remarks by the President in an “Open for Questions” Roundtable, September 28, 2011

[. . .]
MR. LERNER:  Just to follow up, Mr. President, you just mentioned enforcement of immigration laws in the subject of deportations, and you said that many of those — or it’s aimed at criminals.  But until now, and until recently, it hadn’t been just criminals, or a majority of criminals, those that have been deported.  And also, you have been deporting much more immigrants than the previous administration did in eight years.  So laws didn’t change; enforcement was done even then.  Why that emphasis on deportation during your administration?

THE PRESIDENT:  Actually, what happened, if you look at the statistics, two things happened:  Number one is, is that there was a much greater emphasis on criminals rather than non-criminals.  And there’s been a huge shift in terms of enforcement, and that began as soon as I came into office.  That change has taken place.

Secondly, the statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is with the stronger border enforcement we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.  So we’ve been much more effective on the borders.  But we have not been more aggressive when it comes to dealing, for example, with DREAM Act kids.  That’s just not the case. Continue reading this article

Mexican Corruption Observed on Houston Construction Sites

In Texas’ largest city, construction workers are nearly all hispanics, but not because building is job Americans won’t do. On the contrary, Mexicans have somehow taken over those jobs and keep citizens out while demanding bribes (mordida in Spanish) of their countrymen. A man who wants a job has to pay a bribe just to start, plus a weekly payoff to keep his position.

When Mexicans come to America in the millions, they bring their diverse culture of corruption with them. Crime permeates Mexican society. Kiddies learn to bribe by paying teachers for better grades. One survey found that 87 percent of Mexicans have paid a bribe sometime in their lives.

Mexican racism plays a part in keeping out blacks; whistleblower Ricardo Charles said, “Blacks are out of the question.” White Americans are not hired either, because Mexicans prefer to be around others of their tribe.

The whistleblower says job-site bribery goes on across Texas, but it’s likely that the same sort of corruption occurs in other areas of high Mexican residence, based on cultural patterns of behavior.

This is job theft and corruption by Mexicans on an industrial scale. It directly harms American workers during a wretched recession in which accumulating years of unemployment has pushed some into poverty. Is there an official investigation, somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know.

Corrupt Mexican Construction Gangs Steal Millions in Texas: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

Corrupt Mexican Construction Gangs Steal Millions in Texas, Fox News Houston, September 19, 2011

HOUSTON – These days, it’s just something you rarely, if ever, see: African-Americans laboring within the largely Hispanic construction crews working the Gulf Coast’s heavy industrial projects. 

Ricardo Charles says he knows exactly why and after 33 years in the building trade, he’s blowing the whistle.

== Black and White ==

Charles says those who run organized, largely Hispanic crews almost never hire willing African-American laborers.

“Oh no, blacks they are out of the question. Blacks are out of the question. Nobody wants a black person in there,” Charles insisted, a Mexican-American man.

The practice of rejecting black labor is deeply entrenched discrimination which extends to white workers as well, Charles says.

These men and women are effectively cut off from decent-paying construction jobs by secretive Mexican labor gangs.

“They are afraid that white people are not going to put up with their unethical acts,” Charles explained.

== The Mordida ==

He’s talking about bribes. They call it “Mordida” in Mexico, the bite.

“This is actually just like in Mexico. It’s not how much you know, it’s who you know,” Charles said.

For years, on nearly every major industrial construction site in Texas, workers have been quietly forced to pay the leaders of Mexican labor gangs hundreds of dollars up front just to obtain a job.

With each weekly pay-check, the kick backs from workers to gang leaders continue.

“It’s not only how much you pay to go in. You pay anything from $50 to $70 a week while you are in the project,” Charles insisted.

Anyone who objects to paying the price is quickly isolated and almost as rapidly cut loose from the job without cause.

“They have these groups that are going to harass you, they want to insult you, degrade you. They want to make it very, very hard on you. They want to make false accusations about you: that you don’t know how to do the job, you don’t know how to talk to them, but they are all in the same conspiracy. It is a gang, like organized crime,” Charles said. Continue reading this article

New Report Warns of National Security Threat from Narco-Mex

Serious national security experts say that the southern border is dangerously insecure, and Washington is in denial about the danger, ignoring Mexican narco-terrorism at America’s peril.

Texas border sheriffs participated in a press conference for the roll-out of a new report, Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment, written by Barry McCaffrey and Robert Scales who were also present.

The report warns that Mexico’s crime syndicates have escalated their aims and now want to control territory within the United States (as they already have succeeded in doing in southern Arizona) to make narco-business easier: “In effect, the cartels seek to create a “sanitary zone” inside the Texas border — one county deep — that will provide sanctuary from Mexican law enforcement and, at the same time, enable the cartels to transform Texas’ border counties into narcotics transshipment points for continued transport and distribution into the continental United States.”

Below, an illustration from the new report.

Texas Border Security Report, KFDM-TV, Beaumont TX, September 26, 2011

AUSTIN — From Texas Department of Agriculture – In an effort to protect U.S. citizens from spillover cartel violence while continuing to emphasize the critical need for enhanced Texas/Mexico border security, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today released “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment.” The independent study, co-authored by retired General Barry McCaffrey and retired Major-General Robert Scales, was unveiled as part of the Protect Your Texas Border Summit at the Capitol.

Click here to read the entire Texas Border Security Report.

“Washington keeps telling us our border is more secure than ever, but this detailed military assessment, by two of America’s top generals, offers proof to the contrary,” Commissioner Staples said. “It’s time to shed the cloak of denial and protect our citizens and national security. Would Washington stand by and allow terrorists from Canada to make daily incursions into New York? The answer is a resounding, ‘No.’ We expect and demand that same level of protection in Texas. It’s time for Washington to uphold its constitutional duty to protect Americans on their home soil.”

Commissioned jointly by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the report offers a military perspective on how to best incorporate strategic, operational and tactical measures to secure the increasingly hostile border regions along the Rio Grande River. It also provides sobering evidence of why Texas landowners and officials have called for increased federal support to defend our southern border.

“During the past two years, the southwestern United States has become increasingly threatened by the spread of Latin American and Mexican cartel organized crime,” said Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.). “I congratulate Commissioner Staples for his vision in creating awareness of the inadequate attention paid to violence stemming from the drug cartels in Mexico and Latin America.”

“The violence and ongoing threat to our security reflect a change in the strategic intent of the cartels to move their operations into the United States,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Scales (Ret.). “American cities and rural areas now have Latin American drug, gun and human smuggling cartels operating inside our borders.” Continue reading this article

Romney Smacks Perry on Immigration Permissiveness

Mitt Romney is a smart politician who knows an opportunity when one pops up.

Rick Perry’s clumsy defense for taxpayer subsidies of illegal alien college tuition was a complete failure in the Tea Party debate (where he was booed by the audience) and later in last Thursday’s Fox debate when other candidates slammed his laxity. Press commentary has followed, calling Perry’s coddling of foreign lawbreakers a critical flaw.

The response from Romney’s campaign is a new video ad, demonstrating Rick Perry’s similarity to President Obama on the topic of illegal immigration. Sweet.

Vicente's Valentine to Mexico Friend Rick Perry

Here’s an item of historic interest, a video of Mexican Presidente Vicente Fox thanking his compadre Governor Rick Perry for American taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition for illegal Mexicans in Texas state universities, dated November 6, 2003:

Another measure of Gov. Perry’s generosity toward non-Americans is that “of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal),” according to a recent study from CIS. Perry has touted Texas as a powerful job creator under his governorship, but apparently very few of those jobs went to Americans.

Does Perry even like Americans? He castigated normal frugal citizens who object to subsidizing the college educations of illegal aliens, calling us “heartless” in last week’s Presidential debate:

“But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.”

Incidentally, wasting $100K to provide an illegal alien with a college education only creates a very expensive “drag on society” who is still ineligible to work legally, like the useless law school graduate in California.

Gov. Perry shouldn’t listen to the liberal media when it endlessly intones that immigration enforcement is a far-right concern. On the contrary, an end to immigration anarchy is much desired by mainstream Americans, as demonstrated by numerous polls.

On the subject of subsidized tuition, an August Rasmussen survey found that 81 percent of likely voters opposed lower tuition in their state for illegal alien students. Interestingly, the same poll discovered that 53 percent do not believe that illegal immigrant children should be allowed to attend public school at all.

Americans are clearly tired of paying the freight for lawbreaking foreign mooches, and are looking for politicians who will enforce the law.

Formerly Middle-Class Americans Move into Tents

It’s amazing the suffering that goes on in this miserable economy, and how little attention it gets in the American press. The article posted below about middle-aged, formerly middle class people living in tents in New Jersey with cold weather coming on appeared in a British newspaper.

Even so, Washington continues to admit a million legal immigrant workers annually. Why is there no time-out on legal immigration while so many citizens are jobless and running out of savings, unemployment insurance and other resources? The best we have gotten out of the Republican House of Representatives is a flawed e-verify bill crafted to please the Chamber of Commerce.

Below, Marilyn Berenzweig lives in a New Jersey tent city, a far cry from her earlier lifestyle.

Recent CIS research (Who Benefited from Job Growth in Texas) found that “Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).”

Massive job loss is worsening as economic pundits forecast a double-dip recession, while the few jobs that are available are given to cheap and exploitable foreigners. Americans are getting hosed by open borders, and nobody will name the enemy, specifically a federal government addicted to open borders and disinterested in the well-being of American citizens.

Once prosperous New Yorkers forced to live under canvas in New Jersey woods, London Telegraph, September 25, 2011

The white picket fence and manicured flowerbeds outside 1 Paradise Lane are straight from a picture postcard of idyllic suburban American life in the 1950s.

But its walls are no more than canvas. Its porch overlooks smouldering bonfires and scrawny hens scratching at dirt. And mail never arrives in the letterbox that was hand-painted by Marilyn Berenzweig.

Mrs Berenzweig, 61, used to make $100,000 (£63,333) a year as a designer in New York’s garment district. Now she and her husband Michael are down and out in ‘Tent City’ in Lakeland, New Jersey. There is no electricity or running water and racoons steal their food. “It’s not an easy life,” she said.

She and Mr Berenzweig, a former radio producer, are two of the 27 million Americans out of work or under-employed as recession stalks the US once more.

New census figures this month showed that more than one in seven is now in poverty, surviving on less than $11,139 (£7,054) a year each or $22,314 (£14,132) for a family of four.

The couple had to leave their $2,000 (£1,266)-a-month house after Marilyn lost her job. They lived with their 40-year-old daughter and her family for four months before a row drove them out.

After reaching the 90-week limit for unemployment benefits, they now receive less than $100 (£63) per week between them in food stamps. “The nearest supermarket is 2.5 miles away,” she said. “Usually we walk”. Social security will kick in only when she is 62, and her modest pension at 65.

“I’m scared about how life is going in America,” said Mrs Berenzweig. “I hope we’ll move into an apartment again one day. But we need money.” Continue reading this article

English-Speaking Americans Suffer Discrimination for Jobs

Add “bilingual” preference on the part of business to the increasing ways that Americans face unfair treatment in our own nation. More and more, citizens are expected to know the language of the invader while Spanish speakers do not need to speak English.

We already pay for translations of official documents into various languages for the convenience of immigrants, as the city of Oakland has been doing for a decade.

Last year the federal government made the standards more stringent for the already required services of translators for medical treatment. The dubious “right” to medical interpretation came about through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has also brought us expensive multilingual ballots, despite the legal requirement that immigrants must speak English to be naturalized.

Of course, such “rights” add enormously to Americans’ tax burden and to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare.

Furthermore, polls show Americans still expect newbies to learn English and don’t appreciate language diversity when immigrants disrespect the country by not learning English. Nobody asked them to come, and their attitude of entitlement and non-assimilation is an insult to all of us.

Today’s example of diminishing American rights in our own country comes from a letter to the Odessa American, illustrating that jobless citizens in hispanic areas have yet another obstacle to employment — the requirement to be “bilingual,” more accurately described as “Spanish speaking.”

LETTER: ‘Bilingual preferred’ means discrimination, Odessa American, September 25, 2011

Bilingual preferred, what does that really mean? As I look in the Odessa American for a job this is all I come across. Does this mean if I’m not bilingual I don’t qualify for the job?

Shouldn’t they already have employees there who can speak English and Spanish?

If I can’t speak Spanish, why does that disqualify me from a job? Can I help that I wasn’t born to speak another language? Should I be penalized or discriminated against because of this? Why should I have to learn another language because there are so many people who don’t know or want to learn English? Is this fair?

They offer free classes at Odessa College to learn English but they charge to learn Spanish or another language. I was born a U.S. citizen in the United States of America where English is our first language. Why should I have to learn another language just to “fit in” when this is the first and only language I know.

I know I have a lot of questions and I need answers, the thing is I don’t know who to ask. I feel “bilingual preferred” is a form of discrimination for the people who can’t speak or read Spanish. Does job performance even count anymore? I guess as long as your “bilingual” you can get the job. What about the rest of the people who don’t? How are we supposed to provide for our family, get a job just because we don’t talk the right language. I thought I was.

– Cathy Kelly

Republicans Debate Immigration in Orlando

It was certainly a pleasure to see a substantial chunk of the Fox News Republican debate devoted to immigration — a far cry from the 2008 election in which the subject was barely mentioned.

The use of interactive technology, including Youtube questions asked by average citizens, livened up the debate format and brought subjects of genuine importance to Americans. Nearly 20,000 questions were submitted by concerned citizens.

Fox posted nifty word cloud graphics on the major topics of debate. Below is the one for immigration:

The debate was doubly pleasing because open-borders creep Rick Perry got a serious smackdown by other candidates after he continued his excuses for extreme permissiveness. He is particularly rabid on the subject of taxpayer subsidies for illegal alien college students. Gov Perry had the nerve to characterize the friends of taxpayers and sovereignty very negatively, saying, “But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

The guy is Mexico City’s dreamboat candidate. But not so much for American citizens. We don’t need another Mexichurian Texas Republican, full of faux compassionate conservatism (aka screwing Americans to help illegal aliens and foreigners), in the White House. Been there, done that.

Now that even basic national sovereignty is under attack by globalists, we need a President who will defend America and Americans as Job #1.

Gov Perry got knocked around during the Tea Party debate for his unacceptable views on borders and sovereignty earlier this month, including boos from the audience. Yet he didn’t adjust his presentation to reflect the American mainstream opinion that wants immigration laws and borders to be enforced. Polls show that voters don’t want benefits going to illegal aliens. Perry’s stubborn attachment to squishy borders with Mexico indicates he is a dedicated Mexichurian, perhaps even worse than George W. Bush.

Back to the college tuition subsidy, I remain mystified why no Republican candidate pointed out that spending nearly $100k (in Texas) to educate illegal aliens is a complete waste of money because those foreigners will not be eligible to work legally after graduation. Plus, the illegal student takes a slot that should go to a citizen who will work and pay taxes upon getting a degree.

I couldn’t find a single video that included all the immigration issues brought up, so here are several, starting with Rep. Bachman:

Former Speaker Gingrich was quizzed on e-verify:

Gov. Perry stuck to his open-borders globalist ideology, while he still claims to be a conservative. Gov. Romney was not afraid to use the phrase “illegal alien” to refer to the perps:

Here is the transcript from Fox of the immigration segment:

TRANSCRIPT: Fox News-Google GOP Debate, September 22, 2011

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Congresswoman Bachmann, as you well know, a number of states are trying to crack down on illegal immigration. We got a bunch of questions on immigration like this one from Tim Emerson, this is a text question so you don’t need to look up there. Tim Emerson of California.

He wrote this, “would you support each state enforcing the immigration laws since the federal government is not?”

Congresswoman, could you answer Tim’s question? And if your answer is yes, how do you square that with the constitution which says that congress has the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization?

BACHMANN: Well, the reason why he’s asking this question is because the federal government has failed the American people and has failed the states. It’s reprehensible that President Obama has sued the state of Arizona and the governor of Arizona for trying to protect the people in Arizona. That’s wrong.

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: As president of the United States, I would do what my job would demand of me. That’s to uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.

To do that, I would build a fence on America’s southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that’s what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.

And here’s the other thing I would do. I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children. Continue reading this article

North African Illegal Aliens Riot on Lampedusa

Lampedusa, the southernmost island outpost of Italy has been overwhelmed for months by thousands of North Africans, who are mostly young males who don’t want to fight for freedom in the celebrated Arab Spring. They are using the chaos to pose as refugees in order to enter Europe and avail themselves of its wealth and generous welfare system.

Over the last year, more than 48,000 illegal alien opportunists have at various times deposited themselves on Lampedusa, which covers less than 8 square miles and has the unlucky position of being only 70 miles from Tunisia.

Below, North Africans created a tent city of trash on the island of Lampedusa.

Tensions have accumulated on the island as the faux refugees have demanded better treatment from their unwilling hosts as well as entrance to the full refrigerator that Europe represents. When a recent batch of 1500 Muslim boaters were told that they would be repatriated, they burned down the immigration center and proceeded to riot. Perhaps they were trying to say that Italy’s immigration system is broken, or is insufficiently celebratory of diversity.

A Pew poll from January 2010 showed that Italians had among the highest “anti-immigrant” sentiments on earth, although Pew didn’t bother to specify illegal immigration. Whatever the specifics of public opinion, the images of hostile demanders of entry can’t be going over well in Italy.

The video below describes attacks by the North Africans against local people, and the mayor said he had armed himself with a baseball bat and was prepared to defend himself and the citizens. Too bad the mayor isn’t better equipped for self-defense.

Italy riot police clash with refugees after Lampedusa centre is burned down, London Telegraph, September 21, 2011

Eleven people have been injured after refugees clashed with riot police on the Italian island of Lampedusa after hundreds of protesters burned the reception centre down.

The devastating fire started on Tuesday night when the Tunisian migrants, protesting against their immediate repatriation, allegedly set fire to their bed mattresses. The blaze reduced much of the controversial centre to a smoking ruin.

On Wednesday violence broke out between riot police and refugees on the island. Three Italian Carabinieri, a policeman and seven Tunisians have been injured.

The fire dealt a heavy blow to Italy’s ability to deal with a continuing flood of refugees from North Africa in the wake of the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and the civil war in Libya.

More than 48,000 have reached the shores of southern Italy since the start of the year.

Many of the 1,200 migrants held in the centre fled when three fires broke out late on Tuesday.

As police stationed on the island rounded them up, the fires blazed out of control and destroyed three buildings in the complex.

The fires were allegedly lit deliberately by Tunisians protesting against their imminent return home, having been ruled to be economic migrants rather than bona fide asylum seekers.

Bernardino De Rubeis, the outspoken mayor of the island, said he had been warning the government in Rome for days that tensions among the migrants were increasing to breaking point.

“In the past few days I raised the alarm more than once. Enough is now enough,” he said, calling for Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister, to call an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the crisis.

He said islanders were fed up with having to host so many migrants. “We’re in a war, and the people will react. There are people here who want to go out into the streets armed with clubs.”

The mayor demanded that Italian navy ships be sent to the island “immediately” in order to transfer the migrants to camps in Sicily and the mainland.

He said police and paramilitary Carabinieri officers should have responded to the arson much more forcefully.

“We can’t understand why police and Carabinieri go in hard against fans in football fans – their own compatriots – while on Lampedusa it’s completely different. We need a strong hand on the island too. People are tired of all this, they want to get back to living in peace.” Continue reading this article

Poll: Citizens Support Congress Investigating Islam

When Rep. Peter King held his three investigative hearings about hostile Islam, the squawking from the usual fifth-column suspects was loud and long. As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, King’s inquiries pursued the threats that diverse Islamic unfriendlies pose for the nation now. But protecting national security didn’t sound like a good reason to enemies such as CAIR, which supports the terrorist Hamas group.

There’s bad news for the friends of jihad though: a recent poll showed that American citizens approve of King’s hearings. Bogus accusations of racism and/or Islamophobia from professional Islo-squawkers just aren’t working any more, looks like.

Rep. Peter King: Americans support hearings on Muslim radicals, Daily Caller, Sept 19, 2011

While New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s recent hearings on radicalization have sparked controversy among interest groups and in the media, a recent poll shows that a majority of Americans are supportive of his efforts.

According to a national poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted last month by Democratic pollster Pat Caddell and Republican pollster John McLaughlin for Secure America Now, 63 percent of Americans support the King hearings and believe “they need to continue because they are providing information which is valuable and important to stop terrorism in the United States.”

Twenty percent said the hearings should be discontinued because “they are offensive to Muslims and a waste of tax payer dollars.” Seventeen percent did not know, or refused to answer.

Rep. King welcomed the results, saying that they show his effort has broad support.

“The results of this poll demonstrate broad public support for the series of hearings that I convened in March to examine the ongoing and real threat of terrorist radicalization within the Muslim-American community,” King said, adding that the campaign to demonize him has not worked. Continue reading this article

Germany Counts Up Its Diverse Residents

For the demography-is-unforgiving file. . .

At the end of WWII, Europe thought it would be a good idea to import some Arab temp workers for the big rebuilding project, who would then return to their backward homelands in a few years. But how you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree? Or something.

Anyway, the Muslim immigrants stayed, had oodles of kiddies (helped by the polygamy force multiplier) and convinced numerous cousins to relocate to Europe also. It wasn’t too bad for a while when the numbers were small, but after a generation or two, the severe cultural conflict became evident. Now we see no-go zones for non-Muslims in major European cities and acts of mass-murdering terror by homegrown and immigrant Sons of Allah. A future civil war is now feared.

The desire for cheap labor has led to a world of hurt more than once.

The video below from Germany shows the future is now, and Muslim diversity is no longer celebrated.

Islamic Street Praying Diversity in Paris Is Now Really Truly Illegal; Hostile Muslims Ignore

In France, the government has made the massive blocking of Paris streets every Friday for Muslim prayers unlawful.

Praying in Paris streets outlawed, London Telegraph, September 16, 2011

Praying in the streets of Paris is against the law starting Friday, after the interior minister warned that police will use force if Muslims, and those of any other faith, disobey the new rule to keep the French capital’s public spaces secular. [. . .]

But the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security were already illegal, according to a 2010 report from CBN, the video from which is below.

The whole aim of the Muslims’ weekly pray-ins has been to intimidate Paris by showing their ability to overpower the streets whenever they please. The behavior is a reminder that annoying blockages could quickly spiral into civil unrest, like rioting for days or even weeks, as happened in 2005 all over France following the accidental electrocution of a couple of Muslim teens. When a gaggle of Muslims gets miffed, bad things can happen.

No surprise, the Muslims ignored the current proclamation. Perhaps the French authorities will organize some sort of enforcement next week to cope with their Muslim diversity.

Muslims defy outdoor prayer ban in France, New York Post, September 16, 2011

PARIS — Hundreds of Muslims defied a French ban on outdoor prayer — which came into force Friday –and took to the streets and sidewalks of Paris to pray.

The French government announced Thursday it was banning praying outside, with officials pledging to enforce the ban from Friday.

But 200 Muslims ignored the ban and prayed on the streets in the neighborhood of La Goutte d’Or, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

French interior minister Claude Gueant said he had nothing against Islam but wanted it out of the public eye because France was a secular state.

He added, “Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice.”

Although officials would persuade people to pray in mosques, Muslims who continued to pray in the street would be arrested, Gueant warned.

The ban angered French Muslim leaders who said Muslims only prayed outdoors because of a lack of space in mosques in France.

The outdoor prayer ban is the latest move by the French government to remove Islam from the public sphere. Laws prohibiting students wearing headscarves in schools and banning women from wearing the full Muslim veil — the niqab –in public came into force in April.