Since last Friday, following an attack on firefighters and police by a group of youths on a housing estate in Ajaccio, the capital of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, vigilante mobs chanting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slogans have reigned terror on the neighbourhood, seeking out the perpetrators and ransacking a Muslim prayer room where they attempted to burn copies of the Koran. Despite an official ban on public demonstrations until January 4th in an effort to reduce the tensions, several hundred marchers on Sunday again tried to occupy the estate which is home to a large North African population. Rachida El Azzouzi and Ellen Salvi report on the events this weekend and why, as the mayor of Ajaccio admits, they came as no surprise.
Growing number of French Muslims are heading to United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in Middle East to escape 'discrimination and stigmatisation'.
The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, on Tuesday released a report entitled ‘France: persistent discrimination endangers human rights’. The Latvian appears largely unimpressed with what he saw during a fact-finding mission to France last October, and denounces increasing anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim acts and racism in general, homophobia, a rise in "hate speech", the poor treatment of asylum seekers and the “social exclusion and marginalisation of persons with disabilities”. Carine Fouteau reports on the Commissioner’s conclusions.
The 47-year-old father was attacked at his home by a knife-wielding neighbour, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said.
Right and Left denounce sacking of right-wing polemicist Eric Zemmour by French TV channel i-Télé for reported Islamophobic comments.
Auchan chain has now withdrawn toy assault rifle decorated with a crescent moon and star, symbols that are generally associated with Islam.