Vandals have targeted a French mosque in a graffiti attack, tagging the Islamic worship center with swastikas and anti-Islam slogans. But, as the perpetrators of these so-called ‘hate crimes’ are rarely found, we’ll never know if the anti-mosque grafitti was painted by anti-Muslim French nationalists or by Muslims themselves, who often are behind such minor vandalism as a way of evoking sympathy from the community.
France24The attack was discovered at the mosque in Ozoir-La-Ferriere, a small town 35 kilometres (20 miles) east of Paris. Photographs show at least two swastikas painted on the facade, as well as an explicit anti-Islam slogan and “Long Live Gaul,” the ancient Roman-era name for France. Police were investigating the incident.
In the eastern city of Besancon, two mosques were also vandalised, where the Star of David — commonly used by the Nazis to identify Jews — had been painted on the walls.
Sources close to the enquiry however cautioned the vandalism was not necessarily triggered by anti-Islam sentiment, and said investigators were looking at several leads including whether it was carried out by an unhappy worshipper.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attacks “with the utmost severity” and called them “foul and hateful.” According to statistics from an Islamic monitoring organization, 201 anti-Islam attacks were recorded in France last year, up 28 percent on 2011.
Islam vs EuropeWhile mosque graffiti in France gets massive media coverage, both nationally and internationally, church graffiti is all but ignored. A church in the village of Chassieu in France was vandalised with graffiti reading “Islam is growing in power” signed Mohamed Merah, the Muslim Toulouse mass murderer. The town council quickly arranged for the graffiti to be erased, but there appears to have been no significant reporting of this event. No politicians have denounced it, declared that it runs contrary to the values of the Republic, promised a massive police operation to catch the perpetrators or harsh punishment for them when found.