Twenty-six mosques around France have been subject to attack by firebombs, gunfire, pig heads, and grenades as Muslims are targeted with violence in the wake of the Paris attacks.
France’s National Observatory Against Islamophobia reports that since last Wednesday a total of 60 Islamophobic incidents have been recorded, with countless minor encounters believed to have gone unreported.
Amongst the incidents, a mosque in Le Mans was hit with four grenades, and gunfire directed through one of its windows.
While Islamophobic incidents are nothing new, there appears to have been a marked increase in attacks in the wake of the shootings at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Muslim-owned businesses including restaurants have also been targeted with bomb attacks.
Other incidents include racist graffiti, theats, and intimindation.
Senior French politicians have warned against linking the gunmen with peaceful Muslims, of which France has the biggest population in Europe.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said last week that the word “Islamist” should not be used to described the murderers, but rather “terrorist”.
“The terrorists' religion is not Islam, which they are betraying. It's barbarity,” he said.
Armed guards have been placed outside some mosques across the country, including the Grande Mosquée de Paris, which was built in 1926 as a token of gratitude to Muslim soldiers in France's army during the First World War.
Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday warned that Muslims would suffer at the hands of Islamophobia in the wake of the attacks.
“French citizens carry out such a massacre, and Muslims pay the price. That's very meaningful,” he said.
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper in whose offices a gunman killed 12 people last week, is seeing its first edition since the massacre.
As of Wednesday lunchtime most newsstands have sold out of the new edition. Five million copies are expected to ultimately be printed of the magazine, up for the usual print run of 40,000.
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