France on high alert as Muslims fear backlash

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From the French edition of The Local

France was on high alert on Thursday the day after a terror attack on a satirical magazine left 12 dead. Muslim leaders have condemned the shootings, but fear there may be a backlash.

Extra security forces were drafted in to secure mosques, synagogues, department stores, shopping centres, train stations and airports, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. 

France last year beefed up its anti-terrorism laws and was already on high alert after repeated calls from Muslim extremists to attack its citizens and interests in reprisal for French military strikes on Islamist strongholds in the Middle East and Africa. Fears of a wave of attacks were heightened in the run-up to the Christmas holiday period after three separate attacks across France – all involving men shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great)  – left one dead and several injured.

The Charlie Hebdo attack has also raised fears of a backlash against Muslims in France, which has the largest Muslim community in western Europe.

It also comes at a time when there anti-Islam sentiment is growing across Europe and the question of Muslim immigration in France is once again bubbling away.

Wednesdays shooting will have many in the Muslim community on edge.

“After the victims of this attack, the next victim will certainly be a Muslim,” Samy Debah, president of the president of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), told The Local. “Muslims in France have nothing to do with these attackers. We are not responsible, neither individually or collectively,” he said, adding that he condemned the latest attack, one of the deadliest in France in decades.

The current rector of the Grande Mosque in Paris Dalil Boubakeur said: “This attack is against all our values. We are absolutely horrified and stupified by this crime. We are entering an extremely dangerous situation in Paris when violence is becoming a part of daily life,” he said.

The Imam of Drancy, Hassan Chalgoumi, added: “I am very angry. We must avoid at all costs equating these barbarians with the majority of Muslims. . .”

However this “majority of Muslims” are the sea in which the jihadists swim

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