BERGERAC: Workers building a mosque in southwestern France found a pig’s head and animal blood at the entrance to the site, the latest in a series of attacks on Muslim places of worship over the past decade.
Construction of the mosque in the small town of Bergerac — known for its fine Bordeaux wines and for its association with literary figure Cyrano de Bergerac — has been contested since it was first proposed in 2017 and finally approved in October 2018, despite widespread local opposition.
“The perpetrators smeared the walls with animal blood and placed a severed pig’s head” on the front gate of the construction area, the deputy public prosecutor of Bergerac, Charles Charollois, said.
The attack on the site in Bergerac comes less than two weeks after a gunman killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, and injured another 50, during a shooting spree at two mosques.
Following the massacre, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered police to increase security at all places of worship.
France is home to Europe’s biggest Muslim and Jewish communities alike, and both faiths have been recurring targets of hate crimes in recent years.
Attacks on mosques and Islamic sites have been a yearly occurrence since 2007, when 148 Muslim headstones in a national military cemetery near Arras were smeared with anti-Islamic slurs and a pig’s head was placed among them.
Dozens of French mosques were also assaulted following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015, with some targeted with firebombs, grenades or gunfire.