France: Racism drops, anti-Semitism rises

French Interior Ministry reports 16% drop in racist incidents, 22% rise in attacks on Jewish sites.

AFP,

French Police France
French Police France
Flash 90

Racist incidents ranging from vandalism to physical attacks decreased overall in France last year, despite a rise in violence targeting Jews and Muslims, an official report said Wednesday.

The country's Interior Ministry issued its latest figures just two days after a suspected anti-Semitic attack on an eight-year-old boy wearing a kippa in the Paris region.

In 2015, following the jihadist attacks of January and November, incidents reported to police including violence, fires and vandalism as well as threats spiked at more than 2,000.

Racist incidents declined considerably in 2016, and last year 950 acts were recorded, a drop of 16 percent.

However, violent acts targeting minorities increased, from 67 to 72 against Muslims and from 77 to 97 against Jews, the report said.

Monday's attack on the eight-year-old Jewish boy in Sarcelles, north of Paris, prompted a denunciation by President Emmanuel Macron.

The ministry's figures for attacks on religious sites painted a mixed picture.

For the first time since 2008, such attacks have decreased overall, down 7.5 percent from 2016.

Christian sites, the most heavily targeted, saw a 7.5 percent drop to 878 incidents, and attacks on Muslim sites fell 15 percent to 72.

But Jewish sites saw a 22 percent spike in attacks -- even though the total number was relatively low at 28.








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