PARIS - It was a political protest with shock value, the likes of which has never been seen on French TV news: a group of young people stormed a mosque in the city of Portiers, going to the roof and unfurling a banner calling for a national referendum on Muslim immigration.
The banner included the number 732, the year Charles Martel defeated the Islamic invasion in Portiers.
The group calls itself Generation Identitaire, or Generation Identity. They say they are at war with "the 68'ers," the baby boomers who run France, for wrecking their future with multicultural policies that some fear are turning France into a Muslim nation.
They released a video called "A Declaration of War."
In the video, members say, "We are Generation Identitaire. We are the generation of ethnic fracture, the total failure of coexistence, and the forced mixing of races. We have stopped believing in a 'Global Village' and the 'Family of Man.'"
Their rhetoric sounds racist, but they say they do not believe in racial superiority or racial stereotypes. Rather, they fear losing France to Muslim immigrants from Africa.
CBN News interviewed a leader of the group, Julien Langella, in the southern French city of Toulon.
"It's not about hate of other people," Langella insisted. "It's about heritage. It's about loving our people and our land. And we fight for this."
Groups like Generation Identitaire are symptoms of a nation that is coming unglued. They are an unintended but a predictable by-product of a failed multiculturalism that, instead of creating a melting pot, has created ethnic tribalism and dangerous "no-go zones."
"Assimilation is now impossible in France," Langella said. "It was possible when immigrants came from European countries because they are like us ethnically; they are like us culturally."
The Great Replacement
The French Republic, which is supposed to be strictly secular, has actively helped Muslims build mosques and spread Sharia law. Polls show most French are alarmed about it.
Renaud Camus, one of France's leading writers, said flatly that France is being colonized by Muslim immigrants with the help of the government and the media. He calls it "The Great Replacement."
"The Great Replacement is very simple," he explained. "You have one people, and in the space of a generation, you have a different people."
Camus accused the French media of covering up the situation in the name of political correctness, essentially telling the French that the Islamization they see happening with their own eyes is not happening.
"Television is saying every day and school is saying every day that what is happening is not happening, that it is all in your head, that it is an optical illusion," Camus told CBN News.
"Practically every day Catholic Churches are attacked, and people (are stoned) in a very old Muslim tradition. And if they can't deny that this has happened, they say that this is the result of racism," he said.
Boomer's Tarnished Legacy
Generation Identitaire is also upset that their future has been looted by the baby boomers' out-of-control welfare spending.
In their video, they say, "We are the generation doubly punished: condemned to pay into a social system so generous with strangers it becomes unsustainable for our own people. Our generation is the victims of the May '68'ers, who wanted to liberate themselves from tradition, from knowledge and authority in education."
Aurélie Lamacq, a member of Generation Identitaire, said she is angry with the baby boomers for leaving a mess for her generation "because they had everything."
"They had the cool job. It was easy at the time to buy a flat or house. Their children were secure, and they have taken everything from us," Lamacq charged.
She added that she too no longer believes in cultural assimilation between Christians and Arab immigrants.
"We can't live together because we are not the same ethnically," she said. "We don't have the same religion. We don't have the same way of life, the same values. We have nothing in common. Nothing."
Some believe France is on a trajectory toward more social conflict over immigration and perhaps, someday, civil war.
"The political elite has to understand that it's a fight to the death because it's a matter of survival," Langella said.
It seems likely that groups based on ethnic identity, like Generation Identitaire, will continue to attract more and more followers in France.