France: Attacks on mosques, racist graffiti signs of rising Islamophobia
By Alaattin Dogru
ANKARA (AA): Multiple Islamophobic attacks were recently witnessed in France, as two mosques were attacked in the country’s southeast and racist graffiti targeting Muslims were written on the street walls in the country’s west.
According to local media, racist attacks target two mosques in the cities of La Mure and Domene on early Tuesday.
The congregation arrived at the mosque in La Mure, which is run by the Turkish Muslim community, and found the trash bins in front of the building overturned, the mailbox and door handle damaged, and a small Turkish flag pennant was partially burned.
On the wall of the mosque, Islamophobic graffiti such as “Muslims are harmful” was written.
Security forces have launched an investigation into the incident.
Separately, a person believed to be drunk entered a mosque in the city of Domene on the evening of Dec. 27, damaged the place and wrote statements on a paper tablecloth accusing the imam and the community of inciting terrorism.
The attacker managed to escape from the mosque.
While prosecutors have launched an investigation into the attack, the security forces are investigating whether there is a connection between the two attacks.
Islamophobic, racist graffiti on town walls
Racist graffiti targeting Muslims and other minorities were also written on the walls in the center of the town of Chateau-Gontier in the Pays de la Loire region.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the Islamophobic and racist attacks.
On Twitter, French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said that he supports the affected Muslims in La Mure and Chateau-Gontier, and that such heinous acts are against the republican values.
In a statement, the Coordination Committee of Turkish Muslims in France (CCMTF), said that anti-Muslim, racist and xenophobic ideas have been on the rise in the country, especially recently, and Muslims have been exposed to direct attacks.
Pointing out that Muslims have witnessed an escalating hatred towards them with the closure of mosques, attacks on places of worship and Islamophobic graffiti, the statement called for the condemnation of these attacks and for bringing the perpetrators to justice.
France shuts down mosques
With a controversial “anti-separatism” law adopted in August, Paris tightened the controls on Muslim establishments, places of worship and well-known Muslim individuals.
The international community, especially the UN, as well as non-governmental organizations and human rights organizations have criticized the government for targeting and marginalizing Muslims.
As a result of the inspections carried out in 99 mosques this year upon the instructions of the French Interior Ministry, 21 of them were closed, and legal proceedings were initiated against six of them.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
[Map of France/Creative Commons]
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