Thirty war graves of Muslim soldiers who fought in World War I have been attacked and defaced in the southern city of Carcassonne.
Racist insults and swastikas were painted on the graves, which are identified by the Islamic symbols of the star and crescent. Slogans including “France for the French” and “Arabs out” were painted on some of the gravestones, reported daily newspaper Le Figaro. The graves of Muslim soldiers in the same graveyard were attacked earlier this year in September.
Abdallah Zekri, president of a body that monitors Islamophobia, condemned the attacks on the graves of soldiers who “died for France.” He pointed to a “significant and very worrying increase in Islamophobia in France.” He said such attacks are up by 34 percent in 2011. In November alone, these included six fires at mosques in the country.
The graves were cleaned and a religious ceremony to honour the dead is planned for Tuesday morning.
See also Islam en France, 26 December 2011