The unrest in Corsica reached a violent fever pitch this weekend. Sunday saw continued protests in defiance of a demonstration ban after a Friday revenge attack on a Muslim prayer room. That incident involved a breakaway riot during a gathering for injured firefighters who were reportedly attacked on Thursday during a housing project emergency in Ajaccio.
During the Friday demonstration, a group proceeded to vandalize the prayer room by burning Qurans and other religious scriptures while yelling, “Arabs get out!” and “This is our home!” The Epoch Times published many photos of the chaos (one casualty included a nearby kebab shop), which put authorities on an even greater level of alert in the Isle of Beauty:
Prefect Christophe Mirmand said police reinforcements were being called into the Corsican capital of Ajaccio from mainland France, and prayer rooms and mosques were being guarded.
Two separate investigations were opened, one into the attack on firefighters Thursday and the other into the damage to the prayer room Friday, he said on iTele TV station. “All these events are linked,” Mirmand said.
With investigations pending, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve condemned the action of all responsible parties and vowed that the “odor of racism and xenophobia” wouldn’t be tolerated. Likewise, Prime Minister Manuel Valls hopes to find peace on both sides of the violence. He angrily spoke out towards the “intolerable aggression” aimed at firefighters and the “unacceptable profanation” of the Muslim house of worship.
Al Jazeera adds a statement from the French Council of the Muslim Faith, which laments how Friday’s mosque attack took place “on a day of prayer for both Muslims and Christians.”
(Via The Epoch Times, Al Jazeera & Daily Sabah)