17 July 2015

Islamophobic attacks rise fourfold in France

Islamophobic attacks in France - home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim population - rose fourfold in the first half of 2015, the French Observatory Against Islamophobia said on Friday.

Citing Interior Ministry figures, the group said there were 274 attacks on Muslims and Muslim sites in the six months of the year, compared to 72 in the same period last year.

Attacks during the first quarter, in the immediate aftermath of the killing of 17 people around Paris in January, were much greater than in the second quarter - 222 between January and March and 52 in the following three months.

Abdallah Zekri, head of the observatory, said the number may be higher as many Muslims were reluctant to file a complaint with the police.

He accused French politicians of being “insensitive to Islamophobic attacks” and called on them to condemn incidents such as violent attacks on individuals and vandalism of mosques.

An estimated five million Muslims, mostly of North African origin, live in France. [Anadolu Agency] Read more