“We spend Ramadan in fear” … Concern after new racist tags on a Muslim center

The faithful were able to pray on Friday after the erasure of several racist messages inscribed on the Muslim cultural center Avicenna in Rennes. – JF Monier / AFP

  • Racist tags were discovered on the walls of a Muslim cultural center in Rennes.
  • This is the second time in a month that such acts have been perpetrated on the building.
  • An investigation has been opened, but concern is growing among the faithful.

A new investigation has been opened. For the second time in less than a month, the Muslim cultural center Avicenna in Rennes has been the target of racist tags. Hate messages like “We warned you, immigration kills … #Rambouillet »,« French, react !!! Mélanchon (sic) collabo ”, were discovered on Friday morning on the back wall of the center. “We spend Ramadan in fear,” admits Yacir, a 62-year-old faithful.

The city’s technical services quickly erased the tags, before Friday prayers. Similar tags had already been painted, on the night of April 10 to 11, on most of the walls of the Avicenna center: “No to Islamization”, “Vive le Roy”, “Charles Martel saves us” or “the crusades” will resume ”. Friday morning, the references were the same, the author (s) of the tags having taken care to draw a Christian cross accompanied by the inscription “deus vult”, the rallying cry of the Crusaders. According to neighborhood associations, a butcher’s shop was also targeted.

“There, it’s really scary, it’s a threat”

Like Yacir, most of the faithful were torn between worry and incomprehension. “I don’t know what they’re looking for. Rennes is a quiet city. If they blame something, it is better to have a discussion, ”explained Hamza, 35, brown hair combed back. “The first time, we tell each other it’s okay. But there, it’s really scary, it’s a threat, ”laments Adam Youssouf.

When questioned, the prosecutor, Philippe Astruc, indicated that a new investigation for “degradation due to belonging to a religion” had been entrusted to the departmental security of the Rennes police. “For the time being, the perpetrator (s) of the first facts could not be identified despite the research undertaken,” said the magistrate.

“The faithful, like the people of Rennes, are shocked by these acts. I strongly condemn these odious messages, ”reacted on Twitter the PS mayor of Rennes, Nathalie Appéré. Also on Twitter, the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM) “strongly” condemned these “racist and Islamophobic inscriptions” and expressed its “solidarity with the faithful and officials of the center in the face of this new and cowardly provocation”.

On April 11, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, had promised “protection to our fellow Muslims” during a visit to the Avicenna center improvised after the first racist messages.



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