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Islamic institute vandalised with Islamophobic graffiti in France

16th Jul 2021
Islamic institute vandalised with Islamophobic graffiti in France

(Photo credit: La Grande Mosquée de Paris)

Elham Asaad Buaras

An Islamic institute belonging to one of France’s largest mosques was defaced with highly Islamophobic and racist graffiti on July 4.

Vandals sprayed ‘Arabs from wh**es’ and ‘Muslim pigs’ at the Grand Mosque of Paris’s The Al Ghazali Institute’s in the southern city of Martigues, close to Marseilles. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin condemned the act as “unacceptable degradation” and assured to find the perpetrators of these acts.

The Great Mosque of Paris strongly expressed “concern over the increase in acts of intolerance” and urged the “authorities to reinforce in a concrete and consistent way the security of religious places in France.”

“These racist and anti-Muslim tags are an attack on the students who are the future imams of France and who, in the face of such acts, will not give up working for the unity of our society and our country,” it said in a statement.

Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the rector of the mosque, who also heads the Ghazali Institute, organized a support rally on July 11 in Martigues to show solidarity with the imams and students.

This is the fourth such incident this year wherein Islamic cultural and religious places were vandalized by hateful anti-Muslim inscriptions.
In April, the Avicenna Muslim centre in Rennes city and the Arrahma mosque in Nantes were attacked with Islamophobic graffiti and arson, respectively, ahead of the month of Ramadan.

Following the incidents, Darmanin had promised security for Islamic places of religion and culture. Also in February, the under-construction site of the Eyyub Sultan Mosque, which is expected to be Europe’s largest Islamic place of worship, was sprayed with racist inscriptions.

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