French minister condemns Islamophobic attacks in Corsica

French interior minister denounces violence in French Island Corsica which erupted after protesters from far-right group vandalised Muslim prayer room

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve delivers a speech during a visit at a Police station in Toulouse, southern France on December 22, 2015

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday that he condemned the violence that erupted in the French Island of Corsica last week after firefighters and Muslim prayer rooms were attacked.

“There is no place in Corsica for violence or racism,” he said during his visit to the Corsican city of Ajaccio where protesters from a far-right group vandalised a Muslim prayer room burning copies of the Quran on Friday.

The ransacking, which French Prime Minister Manuel Valls described as “an unacceptable desecration,” came only hours after two firefighters and a police officer were injured in clashes that took place on Christmas Eve on Thursday night.

Although Corsica’s administrator Christophe Mirmand declared that all protests and gatherings were banned until January 4, hundreds of people marched on Saturday and Sunday chanting xenophobic slogans such as “This is our home!” and “Arabs get out.”

Last July, a non-governmental organisation based in Paris, Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), released a report showing the increase of Islamophobia related attacks in France. Compared to 2014, there has been a 23.5 percent increase following the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015.

The report says, "Attacks against mosques, death threats against veiled women, school kids humiliated by their teachers, female students prohibited from wearing long skirts, religious profiling of Muslim children, propagation of hate speeches and even declarations of war on Muslims whom are portrayed as a fifth column... the consequences have been and still are dire for Muslims."

TRTWorld and agencies