Paris mosque plastered with racist graffiti, swastikas

By The Associated Press
Last update - 21:23 03/07/2006

Vandals painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a
mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a
mosque official said Monday.

Abderrahmane Ammari said "extremists" attacked the
walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the
exterior walls with slogans including "Islam go home,"
"France is white" and "We fight against Islam" early
Sunday morning.

He said this was the second time in a little more than
a year that vandals damaged the mosque of
Evry-Courcouronne, located in a heavily immigrant town
some 25 kilometers south of Paris. 

Local officials "responded very quickly," removing
most traces of the racist slurs soon after it was
discovered, Ammari said.

"Everyone was mobilized and there was absolute
cooperation" between officials at the mosque and local
authorities, Ammari said.

Police declined to comment on the incident.

France, home to western Europe's largest population of
both Muslims and Jews, has faced an upsurge in
anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic violence in recent years.
It leveled off only to resurface late last year and in
early 2006, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has

Sarkozy said earlier this year that neo-Nazi groups
now count about 3,000 members.


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