On the whole, the number of Islamophobic acts has decreased by around 30% in France between January and September 2014, in contrast to figures from 2013, according to The National Observatory Against Islamophobia. The Observatory notes, however, that there has been an increase in actions (+12.5%) and a decrease in threats (-44.9%). It reports 110 acts (actions and threats) for the first nine months of 2014, compared with 158 during the same period in 2013.
Based on registered complaints, these numbers “do not reflect reality, because numerous Muslims do not want to continually complain when subject to xenophobic acts, convinced that there will be no follow-up, which very often is the reality,” contends the Observatory’s president Abdallah Zekri in a published statement.
In addition, the overall decline in acts masks a rise in actions (defacement of places of worship by insults and Nazi tags, pigs’ heads left in front of mosques, letters mailed to Muslim leaders with ham slices enclosed, harassment of veiled women, etc) for which the number has risen from 40 to 45.
While threats have dropped from 118 to 56 reported incidents, “Even the National Observatory Against Islamophobia no longer files complaints when the CFCM receives hate mail and insults, because these complaints are still filed without action by the prosecution on the grounds that those who have committed these offenses are not identified,” said Zekri.
Although it is impossible to quantify, Islamophobic “cyber hate” has increased, especially within email chains. “With the Muslim community’s increasing concern, Islamophobia must be fought and denounced not only by Muslims, but also by the national community in its entirety,” Zekri affirmed.
While it is a member of the CFCM, the Observatory is often in contention with the actions of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which “takes a more militant position.” Adding to the complaints registered by the Minister of the Interior, the CCIF submits a list called “Islamophobia of the State,” which lists discriminatory acts committed by public servants.
[PDF DOWNLOAD: CCIF Annual Report on Islamophobia in France (ENGLISH)]