France: Islamophobic attacks on the rise

Liberation

01.05.2013

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) reports that Islamophobic attacks have risen in the first trimester of 2013. The rise accounts to 25% within the last 4 months, i.e. 50 anti-Muslim attacks registered with the French police since the beginning of the year in comparison to 40 last year. Last year alone, 201 acts against Muslims have been registered, amongst them 53 hate crimes and 148 threats against Muslims.  The number of Islamophobic attacks has increased in 2012 by 28% compared to 2011, while there has already been a 34% decrease between 2011 and 2010.

The rise of Islamophobia in the country is, amongst other reasons, the result of an increasingly populist discourse in France on Muslims and Islam. The Observatory against Islamophobia, a sub-organisation that is part of the  CFCM, has explicitly warned of the rise of cyber hate against Muslims. Its leader, Abdallah Zekri, has appealed a second time to French President Francais Hollande to ‘declare the fight against Islamophobia a national cause as he’s previously done for the fight against anti-Semitism’.