Fadela Amara, a French federal minister of Algerian origin, calls the implicit protest against Muslims "hateful, racist, and xenophobic."
The idea to gather at the Arc de Triomphe is described by Identity Block as symbolic, since it was where 2,000 schoolboys defied a Nazi ban on protest and marched against the occupying forces some 70 years ago.
The plan to hold a pork-and-wine bash in Goutte d’Or, where the overcrowded mosque spills into the streets on Fridays, was considered provocative enough to cause a riot. Islam forbids the consumption of pork and alcoholic beverages.
But it is also the latest and most public example of France’s current identity and culture wars aimed mainly at Muslims. In the past year, a controversial “national identity” debate run by the ruling party has gone along with a nearly completed federal ban in public places of the full-length veil or burqa worn by Muslim women. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, some 4 million, most of whom are of North African origin.
The pork bash and protest is also seen as an example of Facebook’s power to quickly mobilize large crowds. The right-wing pork party is a further morphing here of a new fad called “apéro géant” – huge binge-drinking parties organized overnight on Facebook. Apéro is short for apéritif, and geant means giant.