PARIS – Firebombs and pig heads thrown into mosques. Veiled women subjected to crude insults in the street. The Internet awash with threats against Muslims. Europe’s Muslims are feeling the heat of a fierce backlash following last week’s terror attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
A climate of fear is taking hold in Europe, as ordinary people increasingly heed rightist rhetoric equating the millions of peaceful Muslims with the few plotting murder and mayhem.
Abdallah Zekri, head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, said that in a 48-hour period after the Wednesday massacre at Charlie Hebdo, 16 places of worship around France were attacked by firebombs, gunshots or pig heads — a major insult to Muslims who don’t eat pork.