• France's news in English

French teen 'attacked for wearing Muslim veil'

Dan MacGuill · 13 Aug 2013, 18:09

Published: 13 Aug 2013 18:09 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The teen victim was leaving a friend’s house in Trappes, the same Paris suburb that saw violent clashes between youths and police last month, at around 5.45pm on Monday,  when two “European-looking” men confronted her near Square Berlioz, according to reports in French media.

The victim reported her assailants shouted racist and anti-Muslim insults at her before brandishing a boxcutter. She said they then tore off her veil, pushed her to the ground, and hit her.

The victim was saved when a third man intervened, and the attackers – one of whom was describd as having a shaved head,– fled the area by car.

The teen victim was driven to hospital in Trappes, in the department of Yvelines, where she was found to have “light scratch marks” on her face and throat, a source told French daily Le Parisien.

She reported the incident to local police on Tuesday, who have opened up an official investigation and are studying CCTV images and trying to track down any witnesses to the attack.

It was not clear whether the victim was wearing a headscarve or a full Islamic veil, known as the niqab, which have been banned from being worn in public in France since 2011.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls later condemned the attack on Tuesday, expressing his “indignation” to French television BFMTV.

“I severely condemn this newest demonstration of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance,” Valls said.

“Police services have been fully mobilised so that the authors of this unacceptable attack are identified, found, arrested and handed over to the courts,” he added.

The attack is the latest incident in recent weeks of Muslim women being set upon while wearing the Islamic veil.

In July, The Local reported how two days of rioting in Trappes were sparked when a woman in Islamic attire was stopped by police.

A month earlier, a Muslim woman had a miscarriage after allegedly being attacked by skinheads in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil, although it was not determined whether the assault caused the loss of her baby.

The alleged assault on the woman came just three weeks after another veiled Muslim woman in Argenteuil was targeted in a similar manner, and one week after Muslims in the neighbourhood clashed with police after officers attempted to arrest a woman in the street who was wearing the full Islamic veil in public. 

The incidents come as Muslim leaders express concern about a rise in Islamophobia in France. 

Story continues below…

On Monday the rector of the Grande Mosque in Lyon spoke out after it emerged a French soldier had been planning an armed attack on a mosque.

Elsewhere on Tuesday a man was arrested for writing Islamophobic tags across several buildings in the southern city of Avignon.

The suspect was stopped by a police patrol unit after being caught on security camera.

More than half a dozen of the racist tags were daubed across buildings, including one on Unesco World Heritage site the “Palais des papes.”

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available