It's odd, isn't it? We all know (on pain of charges of "Islamophobia") that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Yet its glorious and unparalleled complexity renders it so susceptible of being misunderstood by its most devout adherents that they are constantly misunderstanding it, and -- oddly enough! -- always in exactly the same way. Yet -- yes, oddly! -- mainstream, peaceful, tolerant, loving Muslim groups like Hamas-linked CAIR and its counterparts in Europe have done nothing within their communities to try to teach young Muslims how to avoid this all too common misunderstanding. One would almost think they didn't care to protect their own!
"Raids across France net 19 suspected Islamist extremists," by Thomas Adamson and Cecile Brisson for The Associated Press, May 9 (thanks to Twostellas):
PARIS -- Police led pre-dawn raids across France on Friday in a crackdown against suspected Islamist extremists, arresting 19 people and carting off automatic rifles and other guns in authorities' latest response to a wave of terrorism that has shaken the country. President Nicolas Sarkozy, intent on showing an all-out fight against terrorism as his re-election contest nears, promised more such raids as his conservative government responds to a spate of shootings in southern France by a radical Islamist that left seven people dead and two wounded.One man's "self-defense" is another man's jihad terror.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant said there was "no known link" between those detained Friday and Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old Frenchman who claimed responsibility for the killings in Toulouse and Montauban. Mr. Merah was killed in a shootout with police after a 32-hour standoff last week.
The raids in or near the cities of Toulouse, Lyon, Marseille, Paris and Nantes involved the arrest of members of a radical Islamist group known as Forsane Alizza -- the Knights of Pride -- that was banned last month.
Mr. Gueant said several assault rifles and other guns were seized. The roundup was part of a judicial operation ordered by France's powerful anti-terrorism judges, who opened an investigation into the group in October....
But Philippe Missamou, a lawyer for Forsane Alizza, said those arrested in the sweep all were French citizens, raising questions about where Mr. Sarkozy might have such suspects sent.
"This is a purely political maneuver ... linked to the presidential election," Mr. Missamou said of the arrests. "These people have been known to authorities for two years -- why weren't they arrested earlier? They weren't hiding."...
Mr. Missamou said the group, formed about two years ago, "has never advocated violence, but on the other hand, they have called for legitimate (self)-defense." Most French media coverage of the relatively unknown group has focused on its street demonstrations in favor of the right of Muslim women to wear face-covering veils -- a practice that France banned last year.