Anti-Muslim acts triple in France in 2015: report


Anti-Muslim acts in France tripled in 2015, with peaks in activity coming after two sets of deadly terror attacks, a government advisory commission said on Monday. A total of 429 anti-Muslim threats or hate crimes were reported last year, up from 133 in 2014, according to a report from France's National Human Rights Commission (CNCDH).

Two "peaks" in abuse came after jihadists attacked satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 and a subsequent assault in November that killed 130 people in Paris, said CNCDH president Christine Lazerges.

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. However, anti-Semitic hate acts fell in 2015 to 808, a five percent drop over the previous year.

"Several gauges indicate an ebb in the anti-Semitism that marked France in 2015," said the commission, referring to the terror attack on a Paris Jewish supermarket in January 2015 that killed four people. "It is as if the violence against Jews prompted compassion and solidarity with them in public opinion," it noted.

Still Lazerges pointed out that the results include only reported crimes and that the true rates are much higher. "Day-to-day racism is much more subtle," she said.

Though the number of acts of hate against Jews fell in 2015 in France, they were still the target of about 40 percent of the nation's total. In 2014 Jews were subject to 51 percent of France's reported acts of hate.

France's overall Jewish community is estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000 people, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.    (AFP)

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