Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria mosque blast: Scores die in attack during prayers in Kano

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarko Bites Back: Ex-President Determined to Reclaim UMP Leadership

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

No Deal: Iran Nuclear Talks End Without Agreement

Read more

FASHION

"Cloakroom Vestiaire Obligatoire" a tender and hypnotic performance by Tilda Swinton and Olivier Saillard.

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Learning the language of love

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Calls for probe into 1998 murder of journalist

Read more

FOCUS

Is this the end of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Movement'?

Read more

#THE 51%

France marks 40th anniversary of abortion laws

Read more

#TECH 24

Virtual insanity? Artist to 'experience life' through Oculus Rift headset for 28 days

Read more

France

Racist graffiti targets new mosque site near Paris

© AFP archive photo shows graffiti in Paris-region mosque, Feb 2013.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-17

The building site of a new mosque near Paris was daubed with racist graffiti - including Nazi swastikas - over the weekend, amidst escalating anti-Muslim sentiment in France.

The building site of a new mosque in the city of Coulommiers, east of Paris, was defaced with racist graffiti – including Nazi swastikas -  over the weekend.

“A pig’s head and Nazi tags were found inside the site,” Abdallah Zekri, president of France’s Observatory of Islamophobia told the AFP news agency.

Pork is considered off-limits for Muslims, a practice that is derided by anti-Muslim groups in France.

“It’s the same thing every time,” Zekri said of the act of vandalism, calling on harder sanctions for those found guilty of racially-motivated crimes.

Public defamation of a racial or religious nature carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and 45,000-euro fine in France.

Franck Riester, the mayor of Coulommiers and a member of the conservative UMP party, confirmed the building site had been targeted and firmly condemned the act.

“We must work to ease tensions and to respect every citizen, regardless of religion,” he told French media, adding that the new mosque is expected to open “within a few months”.

“Currently Muslims pray in inhumane conditions, in a room that used to serve as the city’s old slaughterhouse. [The city] is leasing them the land to build a new mosque,” Riester explained.

The construction of new mosques is a subject of debate in strictly-secular France, with some far-right groups opposing public-funding for religious buildings, even while similar practices were used to build Christian churches in the past.

In early February, two swastikas and racist insults were spray-painted on a mosque in the town of Ozoir-la-Ferriere, less than 40 kilometres from Coulommiers.

The Observatory of Islamophobia recorded 201 anti-Muslim acts in 2012, an increase of 28% compared to the previous year.

Date created : 2013-04-15

  • FRANCE

    French mother acquitted in son's 'Jihad' T-shirt trial

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Three arrested in connection with Toulouse killer Merah

    Read more

  • HURRIYET

    Islam is ‘Europe’s reality’, says Turkey’s EU minister

    Read more

COMMENT(S)