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France sees more anti-Muslim acts after terror attacks

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France sees more anti-Muslim acts after terror attacks
File photo: AFP
10:18 CEST+02:00
While the government and religious leaders are preaching unity between communities the country is still witnessing several acts of Islamophobia with mosques targeted.

The most serious incident since the jihadist killing of a priest during mass was an attack on an elderly Muslim man near the city of Rouen in front of his family.

The unprovoked beating occurred the day after the murder of the priest at Saint-Etienne-de-Rouvray.

The French Muslim of Senegalese origin who was dressed in a traditional Djellaba was attacked outside his apartment early in the morning, after an apparent dispute over a parking place.

His attacker allegedly called him a “dirty black” and threatened to cut his throat “like you did to us”, referring to how the priest was killed.

He was hit on the head and left semi-conscious until he was later found by his family.

Other incidents of Islamophobia have been less violent but have occurred on a regular basis.

This week racist graffiti was scrawled across the walls of a mosque in the town of Ghisonaccia in Corsica, where tensions have been high between immigrant and local communities.

The words “Arabs out” were just some of the Islamophobic messages tagged on the mosque.

According to BFM TV other mosques around the country have also been targeted by racist graffiti.

A mosque in eastern France was hit by a different kind of anti-Muslim act.

Last week a box of pork lardons was emptied into the letter box of the mosque near Nancy and on Thursday the same place of worship was sent an envelope containing white powder.

Police set up a perimeter cordon but later confirmed that the powder did not contain any dangerous substances.

Nevertheless the rector of the mosque was left highly concerned.

“Given the serious context we are facing we call upon the Muslim community to have the utmost vigilance with to attacks and threats which it is subject,” he said in a statement.

Despite the incidents there has also been a more positive reaction to the spate of terror attacks and in particular to the slaying of the Father Jacques Hamel, which led to an outpouring of inter-faith solidarity.

Last Sunday, Muslims attended Catholic mass in churches around France, responding to a call by the French Muslim council to show "solidarity and compassion" over the priest's murder.

Many Muslims and Jews also attended Tuesday's funeral of Father Hamel.

Archbishop Lebrun said the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities have "decided to come together to say 'never again'."

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