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France

Islamophobic acts soar in France after Charlie Hebdo attacks, watchdog

media Forensic police examine the scene of an attack on a mosque in Le Mans the day after the murders at Charlie Hebdo's offices AFP

Nearly as many attacks or insults against Muslims have taken place in France since the Charlie Hebdo attacks than in all of 2014, according to an Islamophobia watchdog. For the first time shots have been fired and grenades thrown at targets identified as Islamic, it says.

Some 128 “anti-Muslim acts” have been registered with police in France, not counting Paris and its close suburbs, since Islamist gunmen murdered 17 people in their 7-9 January killing spree, according to statistics gathered by the National Islamophobia

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Observatory, which is part of one of France’s two large Muslim groupings, the CFCM.

That breaks down as 33 attacks, mainly against mosques, and 95 threats or insults.

The total compares with 133 in the whole of 2014, which saw a 41 per cent fall from the 226 recorded in 2013.

The figures are an underestimate, according to the observatory, because many Muslims consider it pointless to file complaints with the police.

“Islamophobic acts have reached a never-before-recorded summit of hatred against French people of the Muslim religion,” commented the watchdog’s president Abdallah Zekri. “This is the first time that grenades being thrown or gunshots have been registered.”

The organisation complains that, apart from condemnation by government representatives, France’s “political class has not criticised these vile acts or given reassurance to citizens who are Muslims, of course, but also part of the national community”.
 

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