Attacks on Jews and Muslims soar in France

My distaste for the French is still growing. So many problems and all they can do to combat this is to try and ban religious displays of head coverings. This does nothing to combat the problem, nothing at all. What a waste.

So I wasn’t surprised to read the articles below.

“The number of racist, anti-semitic and xenophobic attacks in France soared by nearly 90% last year, according to a report presented to the government yesterday, reaching the highest level so far recorded.

The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights said in its annual study that 1,565 threats and acts of violence against mainly Jewish and Muslim victims were registered in 2004, compared with 833 the previous year.

“Manifestations of racism and anti-semitism are multiplying dangerously in France and last year reached an exceptional and disturbing peak … not seen since [the first national statistics] in 1990,” the commission said.

The report said anti-semitic acts represented more than 60% of all the incidents recorded: 970 compared with 601 in 2003, mostly committed by people “of Arab-Muslim origin”. But threats and attacks against Muslims, mostly committed by far-right supporters, also more than doubled to 595 last year, compared with 232 in 2003.

The report also noted that the incidents appeared to be getting increasingly violent: 369 “major acts” – causing actual physical harm to people or property – were reported, an 83% increase on 2003. The number of attacks on Jewish and Muslim cemeteries and places of worship rose from 46 to 65, and racist and anti-semitic violence in schools rose by 20%.

The study prompted immediate reactions from politicians, Jews and anti-racist groups. Dominique de Villepin, the interior minister, said France would “never give up” combating racism and punishing those responsible, while the Jewish umbrella group CRIF said anti-semitism was no longer a temporary phenomenon.

France’s Jewish and Muslim communities are the largest in western Europe and tensions between the two have risen steadily during the past five years, in line with increasing Israeli-Palestinian violence.

But the NCCHR said it now seemed that anti-semitism in France was no longer so closely related to events outside the country, but was “becoming established at a high level, in a continuous and lasting manner”. The authors said an apparent resurgence of the far-right might stem from France’s increasingly heated debate on immigration and integration, as well as from broader concerns, such as the eventual admission of Turkey to the EU or the fear of terrorism.”

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