France: Islamophobic attacks up sharply last year

28th Jan 2020
France: Islamophobic attacks up sharply last year

By Yusuf Ozcan

 

PARIS (AA):  Islamophobic attacks in France rose by 54% in 2019, the president of the National Observatory of Islamophobia said Monday.

In a written statement, Abdallah Zekri said there were 100 attacks against Muslims in France in 2018 and this rose to 154 in 2019.

The attacks mostly occurred in the Ile-de-France, Rhones-Alpes and Paca regions of the country, Zekri said.

He said there are no links between Islam and terrorism and Muslims in France should be able to practice their religion freely like members of other religions.

For example, in November last year, in Bayonne, an 84-year-old man attempted to set fire to a mosque. When two passersby tried to stop him, he shot and wounded them both.

However, Muslims in France do not get support by the Government. On the contrary they are demonised by being accused of being extremists

On the same say as the mosque attack took, place, President Emmanuel Macron met Muslim leaders at the Elysee Palace. Instead of discussing increase in Islamophobia in France and attacks on Muslims, Macron told the Muslims to combat religious extremism in their community.

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe at around five million, mostly from North Africa.

*Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of France. Creative Commons]

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