France sees sharp increase in anti-Muslim acts
Paris — At least as many anti-Muslim acts have taken place in France since the terror attacks this month as for all of last year, a leading Muslim group reported Friday.
The French Council for the Muslim Religion said 128 anti-Muslim actions or threats were reported from Jan. 7-20 — a number that does not include the densely populated Paris region. That’s compared to 133 in all of France, including Paris, in 2014.
Three Islamic extremist gunmen carried out the attacks, which began on Jan. 7 with the killing of 12 people at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which lampooned religion and had been threatened repeatedly after publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Since then, mosques have suffered a grenade attack, shots and repeated vandalism, and stores owned by Muslims have been burned. At least one person was assaulted and hospitalized, said Abdallah Zekri, of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, which worked with the group to produce the total.
Zekri said the report only included those attacks that were reported to police.
The French government last week deployed security forces to protect mosques and synagogues, as well as other places deemed in danger since the terror attacks that left 20 people dead, including three gunmen killed in stand-offs with police.