France mosque smeared with excrement

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Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A mosque in the French city of Limoges has been desecrated by having excrement smeared on its doors, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday in a statement condemning the incident.

The attack occurred overnight following reports of mob violence in Egypt and Libya involving Islamists angered by a US-made film said to insult the Prophet Mohammed.

There was no immediate indication, however, that the desecration was linked to the unrest over the film.

Local police said the mosque doors had been daubed with neo-Nazi graffiti at the end of July. They also said it was possible the attack was of a random nature, as a local restaurant unconnected to the Muslim community was subject to a similar attack earlier this month.

Unlike many mosques in France, the Limoges centre is immediately recognisable as an Islamic place of worship because of its minaret.

"This attack is a grave assault on the dignity of Muslims and is shocking for every citizen who upholds the values of respect and tolerance," Valls said in his statement.

The incident in Limoges, in the center of France, came a month after two pig heads were deposited at the entrance of a mosque in Montauban in the south of the country.

France is home to at least four million Muslims and leaders of the largest Islamic community in Europe say incidents of Islamaphobia are on the rise against a background of confrontation with the authorities.

Many Muslims have been angered by legislation banning women from wearing full veils and this year's elections were marked by debate over the use of halal methods of animal slaughter.



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