Muslim prayer hall set on fire on French island of Corsica

Prosecutors say the incident was probably a criminal attack

Afp April 30, 2016
PHOTO: Yahoo

AJACCIO, FRANCE: A Muslim prayer hall in the French island of Corsica was ravaged by fire on Saturday in what prosecutors said was probably a criminal attack.

The blaze occurred just months after the island, popular with tourists for its turquoise waters and picturesque mountains, was rocked by anti-Arab riots over Christmas.

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The building, one of the largest prayer halls in the capital Ajaccio, suffered major damage in the fire, said Abdallah Zekri, the head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia.

He called on the authorities "to do everything to shed light on this incident in order to avoid an escalation of violence".

"It has been calm since the end of the year, but unfortunately certain ill-intentioned people want to inflame the situation," he told AFP.

Protests erupted on the Mediterranean island over Christmas after firefighters and police called to a low-income immigrant neighbourhood were ambushed and attacked.

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Demonstrators shouting slogans such as "This is our home!" and "Arabs get out", vandalised a prayer hall and set fire to books including copies of the Koran.

Several anti-Muslim acts occurred in the weeks that followed, including an attack on a Muslim butcher's shop.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued a statement on Saturday expressing "solidarity with the Muslims of Corsica".

He also voiced the "commitment of the government to protect all places of worship, and to ensure freedom of worship throughout the territory".

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Nationalists won regional elections in Corsica for the first time in December.

The island has the second largest proportion of foreigners in France, at between eight and 10 percent of the total population, after the Paris region.


Samrat | 6 years ago | Reply @SUPERSEQUEL We are no more sterotyped than your lot. I've seen in ENG how Pakistanis project themselves as Indians, and even British officials knows that. Your religion and country have such bad reputation compared to none. Trump has made some anti Indoin comments too but they're like 'Indian accent is funny, they (Indians) are job stealers etc'. Unlike you guys we're not related to terrorism. Why everyone seems to have problems with islam and not Hinduism, Christianity, Jewish or Buddhism?
Sunil | 6 years ago | Reply @Supersequel: You Muslims seem to be the first to comment and celebrate anything anti-Indian reported in Indian newspapers, so we are returning the favor. What you are witnessing is not your "normal" racism but is very targeted towards Muslims. It is no better or worst then what Muslims do to non-Muslims but I think the world has come to a point were we no longer going to tolerate Muslims. For obvious reasons.
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