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Arson attack on Franco-Turkish mosque Islamophobic, say officials

27th May 2022
Arson attack on Franco-Turkish mosque Islamophobic, say officials

(Photo credit: Anadolu Agency)

The arson attack on a Franco-Turkish mosque in the early hours of May 6 was Islamophobic, said the mosque official and local mayor.

The mosque, in Vallières-Les Bordes, Metz, northeastern France, suffered substantial damage after three Molotov cocktails were thrown and set ablaze by unidentified assailants.

Ali Durak, President of the Franco-Turkish federation (the DITIB), which runs the Metz Central Mosque Association, said cocktails had been attached to the windows of the mosque. Despite extensive damage to the mosque’s exterior, including its windows, the mosque was saved from being annihilated at the last minute.

“We did not expect this because we are not an introverted association. We are an association that carries out activities together with the French people here. Along with Islamic activities, we also work as a charity organisation,” he said.

Durak said that this is the first time a mosque has been attacked in the city of Metz. He noted that officials from the municipality, including the mayor, contacted the association.
The Turkish Muslim Associations Coordination Committee (CCMTF) in France released a statement underling that anti-Muslim, racist and xenophobic ideas are on the rise in the country and the Muslim community has become a target.

CCMTF stressed they believe the attack was Islamophobic, due to the rise in Islamophobic rhetoric during the presidential election. The attack coincides with an increase in Islamophobic attacks and the closure of places of worship, especially mosques, in the country recently, it said.

The mosque administrators are calling for the perpetrators of the attack to be found as soon as possible.
Earlier, the governor’s office had rejected the request of the religious association for security cameras to be installed around the mosque.

Metz Mayor François Grosdidier condemned the attack, which he described as Islamophobic, and expressed solidarity. “I strongly condemn this act of Islamophobia. I deeply regret this in a city that has always been, in its history, a city of religious tolerance and in which interreligious dialogue lives today,” he wrote. He called on “all citizens, whether they have religious convictions or not, to condemn this act and to come together to express their solidarity with our attacked compatriots and to defend tolerance, freedom of belief and cult as well as republican concord.”

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