French Muslims fear surge in attacks by far-right militants
PARIS (REUTERS) - Muslim leaders in the French city of Lyon said on Monday that they feared a surge in attacks on mosques in the style of one averted last week in which a soldier was arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting during an Islamic feast holiday.
Anti-Muslim incidents have risen steadily in recent years in France, home to Europe's largest Islamic minority, according to the Committee against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which blames anti-Muslim rhetoric by far-right politicians.
A far-right activist said such violence had been provoked by government efforts to suppress "nationalist movements" that provided a legitimate outlet for discontent.
Mr Kamel Kabtane, rector of the Grand Mosque of Lyon, called on local Muslims to gather for a show of solidarity at the suburban Minguettes Mosque, which police said the soldier arrested on Saturday planned to shoot at on the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.