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Islamophobic Attacks Triple in France

PARIS – Reflecting growing anti-Muslim atmosphere in Europe, a French government advisory commission revealed Monday that anti-Muslim attacks have tripled over the past year, reaching a new peak in the most Muslim-populated European country.

“For the Muslims of France, the year 2015 was particularly difficult,” read a report from France’s National Human Rights Commission (CNCDH), Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Tuesday, May 3.

“The Jihadist attacks favored the amalgamation between Islam and radical Islam….as several mayors, including Roanne and Belfort, spoke to accommodate primarily Christian refugees.”

Making a 223 percent increase, a total of 429 anti-Muslim threats or hate crimes were reported last year, up from 133 in 2014

The commission referred to two “peaks” in abuse after attack on Charlie Hebdo in January and the attack on Paris in November.

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Overall, complaints of hate threats or crimes saw a “consequential increase” of just over 22 percent to 2,034 in 2015, the commission noted in its annual report on the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

The CNCDH added that the scale of violence against Muslims has also increased over the past few years.

More recent attacks involved live ammunition, grenade throwing and arson, with many Muslim praying halls and mosques set on fire.

France is home to a Muslim community of nearly six million, the largest in Europe.

French Muslims have been complaining of restrictions on performing their religious practices.

In January 2015, bacon strips were thrown at the building of the mosque following Charlie Hebdo attack.

Reflecting growing anti-Muslim sentiments, the Paris-based Collective against Islamophobia in France organization revealed that Islamophobic acts in France have increased by 23.5 percent in the first six months of 2015, compared with the same period last year.

It warned that physical assaults increased by 500 percent and verbal attacks by 100 percent during the initial months of 2015, adding that women were among the first victims of Islamophobia.

In April, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia warned of an unprecedented increase in Islamophobic attacks in France during the first three months of 2015, rising by six-fold than in 2014.

Islamophobic actions soared by 500% compared to the same period in 2011, according to the observatory.