Increase in Islamophobic incidents in France

Islamophobic incidents in France saw an overall increase of 35% in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, the president of the Observatoire contre l’islamophobie told AFP on Tuesday.

Abdallah Zekri stated that 108 Islamophobic acts – violence, assault, arson, vandalism – were officially recorded between 1 January and 30 June 2013, compared with 80 during the same period in 2012, an increase of 41.2%. Islamophobic threats – threatening gestures and abuse – rose from 63 during the first half of 2012 to 84 during the same period this year, an increase of 33.3%. Overall this represents an increase of 35%.

Zekri emphasised that the figures are only for incidents that have been the subject of an official complaint and therefore underestimate the real number of Islamophobic incidents.

He also pointed out that the figures are for the six months to the end of June and therefore “do not take account of a new and worrying phenomenon that arose during the month of July, namely attacks against women whose faces are not covered, who are not wearing the niqab but the simple headscarf”. Zekri told AFP that the Observatoire contre l’islamophobie had counted five such attacks in the Reims region, 3 in the Val d’Oise and one in Trappes.