May 1 2012
Swastikas were spray painted in pink on nine graves and ‘Islamophic’ slogans – ‘Arabs get out’ and ‘Long live Le Pen’ (Front National Party) – were found on a wall of a Muslim cemetery near Nice.
20Minutes Lydia Schenardi, departmental secretary of the National Front, said she felt that this could not be “the work of the FN people because it would be really foolish for us to do something that can only harm us.”
But the graffiti could well be the work of Muslim youth acting at the behest of other politicians who want to discredit the FN, especially following the strong showing Le Pen made in the recent first round elections. Or it could be done by Muslims who fear Le Pen’s strong anti-Islamization and anti-immigration policies.
Abdallah Zekri, president of the Observatory against Islamophobia, attached to the French Muslim Council, has “deplored” the “cowardly acts detrimental to live together”, while SOS Racism has denounced “regular stigmatization of the Muslim community and the climate of hatred deliberately instigated by politicians in the presidential debate.”