Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

France

French minister condemns anti-Muslim violence in Corsica

© Rémy Gabalda, AFP | French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says ‘there is no place for violence or racism in Corsica’, in Ajaccio, on December 30, 2015

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-12-30

France's interior minister sought Wednesday to halt violence and ease tensions in Corsica after protesters vandalized a Muslim prayer room in anger over an ambush of firefighters.

The incidents last week on the Mediterranean island reflect broader religious and social tensions around France after a year marred by extremist attacks by a few angry young French Muslims.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, visiting the Corsican city of Ajaccio on Wednesday, told reporters "there is no place in Corsica for violence or racism."

"Our country, in the face of ... terrorism and the divisions it creates, has a great need for respect," he said.

An ambush Thursday injured two firefighters responding to an emergency in a housing project. The reason for the attack remains unclear, though crime is widespread in France's housing projects, where many poor young men of North African or other minority heritage harbor deep suspicions toward police and the government.

The next day, hundreds of Corsicans demonstrated peacefully against the violence. But then a few dozen protesters, assuming that the assailants were Muslims, broke away and tried to burn Qurans in a Muslim prayer room and vandalized a kebab shop.

Cazeneuve said two people have been handed preliminary charges in the ambush of firefighters, but did not identify them. A judicial inquiry is under way into all the violence around Ajaccio last week.

"The attacks and threats that target our compatriots of the Muslim faith are inadmissible," he said. "The people they are aimed at, many of whom were born here and deeply love this island, do not feel less Corsican than those who adhere to this discourse of hate."

Cazeneuve and Prime Minister Manuel Valls sought to quash any link between the incidents and separatist sentiment in Corsica, which has long had a tense relationship with Paris.

Valls, in an interview with Le Parisien published Wednesday, said Corsica's place within France "will never be negotiable."

(AFP)

Date created : 2015-12-30

  • FRANCE

    A look at the roots of recent unrest in Corsica

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hundreds defy protest ban in Corsica after anti-Arab violence

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Demos banned in Corsica after two days of anti-Arab protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)