French Muslims demand protection

News Agencies – February 26, 2012

French Muslim groups have urged the government to take a stronger position against rising anti-Islam sentiments, calling for a modified legislation to tackle the surging Islamophobic crimes targeting the Muslim minority. “The actions and threats that have been the subject of formal complaints to the police and gendarmerie have increased from 116 in 2010 to 155 in 2011, an increase of 33.9%,” said Abdallah Zerki, head of the Paris-based Islamophobic Crime Monitoring Group. According to Zekri there were 38 major violent incidents and arson attacks aimed at French Muslims, mosques and Islamic centers, an increase from 22 in 2010.

Last January 31, vandals attacked a French mosque in the Glonnières district of Le Mans, covering its walls with graffiti reading “Islam out of Europe”, “No Islam” and “France for the French.” Three days earlier, another mosque in Miramas was also daubed with Islamophobic slogans along with the name of Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. On January 17 fascist graffiti was painted on the wall of a mosque that is under construction in Montigny-en-Ostrevent reading “President Adolf” or “Hei” in reference to the Nazi salute. “Heil Hitler”. Two days later on January 19 two pigs’ heads were left at the site a mosque is being built in Nanterre.

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