AJACCIO, Corsica – Amid rising far-right rhetoric in the French island, the largest mosque in Corsica has been set on fire, in the second attack to target a Muslim worshipping house.
“This is unacceptable,” said Laurent Marcangeli, mayor of Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, TRT World reported on Saturday, April 30.
“Those sites are not sufficiently protected.”
The mosque, one of the largest prayer halls in the capital Ajaccio has suffered major damage in the fire, which erupted in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Police and local authorities said they were investigating the attack, which is the second to target Muslim worshipping houses in recent months.
Late December 2015, a mosque in Ajaccio was ransacked following racial tension and anti-immigration protests.
The attack triggered condemnations from President Francois Hollande’s office on Saturday.
“An investigation was immediately opened. It should determine as soon as possible the causes of the disaster,” the Elysee added in a statement.
Hollande pledged that the perpetrators will be swiftly identified and punished, expressing his solidarity with the Muslim minority living on the French island.
“No anti-religious act should be tolerated,” he stressed.
Abdallah Zekri, the head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, has also called the authorities “to do everything to shed light on this incident in order to avoid an escalation of violence”.
Far-right wing gained significant victory in Corsica elections for the first time in last December.
The island has the second largest percentage of foreigners in France, nearly between eight and 10 percent of total population after Paris.