Muslim leaders and groups are warning against a rising climate of “Islamophobia” in France as the government vows to stamp out extremism in any form.
The statements follow the arrest on August 11 of a military serviceman suspected of planning an attack on a mosque outside Lyon, described by the Interior Ministry as “close to the extreme right.”
Reacting to the arrest, Kamel Kabtane, rector of the Grand Mosque of Lyon, called for government action to counter the fear of Muslims. “It’s a plague that needs to be eradicated altogether,” Kabtane said. “Why couldn’t we firmly tackle the issue by forming a [parliamentary] commission against Islamophobia — to first know what its causes are and [see] how we can fight [against it] together?”