Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • A radio station preaches peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

France

France sees 'alarming' rise in Islamophobia

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-21

French Muslims have become the target of a marked increase in Islamophobic violence and actions, as well as incendiary statements by politicians, over the last two years, according to a report by a leading anti-racism observatory.

The number of racist acts against Muslims in France is increasing “alarmingly”, according to the country’s National Observatory of Islamophobia, whose president has called for overt Islamophobia to be taken as seriously as anti-Semitism, which is a criminal offence in France.

According to a report by the Observatory, which claims to fight “all forms of racism and xenophobia”, “in 2011 the number [of anti-Muslim attacks] was up 34% on the previous year ... but what is happening in 2012 is alarming. Between January and the end of October there were 175 reported Islamophobic acts, a 42% increase compared with the same period in 2011.”

The report highlighted the occupation of a building site of a new mosque in Poitiers, near Paris, by 74 members of the extreme-right splinter group “Generation Identity”, who chanted hostile “warlike” slogans against Islam and Muslims.

The Observatory’s President Abdallah Zekri told FRANCE 24 that the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in France could be partly explained by “the tense socio-political atmosphere in France being driven by a resurgence of the far right”.

This resurgence was demonstrated in the 2012 presidential election, when Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Europe National Front (FN), won 17.9% of the vote in the first round, a record for the party.

Politicians exploiting racial tension?

“This tension has also contributed to a radicalisation of the political rhetoric of some mainstream politicians who exploit racial tensions for populist political gains,” Zekri said.

Zekri also blamed the debate on “national identity that was launched by former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the law (pushed through under Sarkozy’s government) banning the wearing of face-covering Islamic veils."

He added that the killings of seven people, including a young rabbi and three Jewish children in and around Toulouse in March by an al-Qaeda-linked French gunman, “had been seized upon by political figures to target the Muslim community, the vast majority of which condemned these murders.”

Furthermore, Zekri explained that the figures in the Observatory’s report only include “actions or threats against French Muslims that are directly linked to the fact that they are Muslims and when those people or their property are physically threatened.”

The report stipulates: “The figures do not include acts of discrimination against Muslims or Islam generally, such as the rhetoric and declarations of certain politicians and their parties who openly stigmatise the Muslim faith, or in protests by “Identity” groups chanting slogans that are openly hostile to Islam.”

“All forms of racial and religious intolerance are contrary to the values of the French Republic and should be dealt with accordingly,” said Zekri.

Zekri told FRANCE 24 that he had asked President François Hollande to create a parliamentary commission to study the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in France and to make it an issue of national importance “to bring Islamophobia in line with anti-Semitism, which is punishable under French law.”

 

 

Date created : 2012-11-20

  • FRANCE

    Survey exposes French anxieties over Islam

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's racism watchdogs demand action after mosque stormed

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French far-right group storms site of new mosque

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)