The French Island of Corsica
- Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, which is a French territorial collectivity.
- A territorial collectivity is a region that has autonomous governance, but is officially a part of the parent country.
- Corsica has a population of 322,120. 56.3% of the inhabitants of Corsica are natives of Corsica, 28.6% were natives of continental France.
- Roughly 14% are immigrants, mainly Arabs from Morocco.
France bans niqabs
14 Sep 2010
- The French parliament passed a bill which makes wearing head-scarves, including burkhas/niqabs illegal, because it makes identification of individuals difficult.
- The move was widely condemned by Muslims across the world as infringing upon the right to practice their religion, calling French an Islamophobic nation.
- On 22 Sep 2011, Hind Ahmas and Najate Nait Ali became the first women to arrested for wearing a niqab.
The Charlie Hebdo attacks
7 Jan 2015
- Charlie Hebdo is a satirical French newspaper which became infamous for its depictions of the Islamic faith and Prophet Mohammed.
- On January 7, 2015 armed gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed its editorial team, to "avenge the Prophet".
- The killings sparked widespread protests in France with citizens arguing that the incident was a direct attack on the right to free speech.
Rising Intolerence in France
- Anti-Muslim crimes in France rose to record levels after the attacks on Charlie Hedbo and the shooting at a supermarket in January 2015.
- Over 54 anti-Muslim incidents occurred in just one week after the Charlie Hebdo shootings including gun and grenade attacks on mosques, local businesses and assaults on Muslim women.
- Large scale anti-Muslim protests also erupted across Europe including in Germany and Poland.
Women targetted by Muslim haters in Paris
The French Committee on Islamophobia observed that most anti-Muslim crimes in Paris targeted women, not institutions. The mayor of Montsoult, barred entry for Muslim women in the municipal building.
Why did anti-Muslim violence begin in Corsica?
- On Christmas eve, two firefighters and a police man were attending to an emergency call in Jardins de L'Empereur, a low-income immigrant neighborhood of Ajaccio.
- Reports indicate that a group of "hooded" youths accosted the firefighters and the police, injuring them severely and allegedly shouted "anti-national" slogans during the attack.
- The neighborhood has a large number of immigrant Arabs from Morocco.
Corsica: Mob attacks Muslim prayer hall on Christmas
27 Dec 2015
- A demonstration against an attack on firefighters and policemen escalated into a full-fledged assault on a Muslim prayer hall, in the Corsican capital Ajaccio.
- A mob of around 600 ransacked the prayer hall, flung out copies of prayer books onto the streets and tried to set fire to copies of Quran.
- Muslim prayer halls in the neighborhood were immediately placed under police protection.