Anti-Muslim incidents across France have more than doubled following the terrorist attacks in the capital, Paris, two weeks ago, a human rights group says.
The National Observatory Against Islamophobia said Tuesday that there has been a 110-percent increase in Islamophobic incidents over the past two weeks compared to the whole of January last year.
The rights group added that over 100 incidents have been reported since the Paris attacks on January 7 to 9, when 17 people were killed in shooting attacks and a hostage crisis.
Among the anti-Muslim incidents were attacks on places of worship, threats, as well as a fatal stabbing of a Moroccan man living in southern France. Mohamed El Makouli was stabbed 17 times on January 16 by his neighbor, who screamed “I am your god, I am your Islam.”
Abdullah Zekri, the rights group’s president, condemned the “acts of hatred towards French people of the Muslim faith,” adding that, “This situation is unacceptable and we’re asking the authorities to go beyond the reassuring speeches and act to put an end to this scourge.”
The president of the National Federation of Muslims of France, Mohamed Bechari, commented on the large rise of the anti-Muslim attacks, voicing concern that an entire religion is being targeted for the actions of “three crazy guys,” in an apparent reference to the three gunmen involved in the Paris attacks.
“Today, we feel more and more a feeling of increased Islamophobia that is taking hold and this worries us. There have been more and more places of worship being attacked. Muslim girls and women who wear the veil or those who don’t are being attacked and there’s silence from the politicians,” said Bechari.
President Francois Hollande said in a speech last week that France’s millions of Muslims should be protected and respected, adding that any Islamophobic act would be “severely punished.”