Skip to main content

Fresh Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attacks in France

Muslim woman wearing headscarf injured in the chest by box cutter while Jewish man wearing kippa was stabbed in Marseille
Muslims pray during the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Adha at the mosque in Cherbourg-Octeville, northwestern France on 24 September 2015 (AFP)

Members of France's Muslim and Jewish communities faced new hate attacks on Wednesday.

A young Muslim woman in a headscarf was attacked as she was leaving a metro station in central Marseille by a man who she said accused her of being a terrorist.

The attacker, who was in his twenties, was said to have made remarks about her headscarf before punching her and hitting her with an object believed to be a box cutter.

She was lightly injured in the chest.

Many French Muslims fear a blowback from the attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday, which were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militants.

Meanwhile, a teacher at a Jewish school also in the southern city of Marseille was stabbed on Wednesday evening by three people shouting anti-Semitic obscenities and expressing support for IS, local authorities said.

The attack on the teacher took place around 8pm (1900 GMT) in the city's 13th district, police prefect Laurent Nunez said. 

The 57-year-old victim, who was wearing a kippa, was attacked outside his home, a short distance from the school and synagogue complex, a source close to the investigation said.

The teacher, who escaped serious injury, was taken to hospital as officers fanned out across the district to search of the attackers. They fled when police arrived in the area.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he was outraged by "these cowardly anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic attacks". 

"Everything is being done to find and question those responsible for these unspeakable acts, who must face justice," he said.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.