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36 Muslim graves desecrated in Strasbourg

24 September 2010 General No Comment Email This Post Email This Post

Thirty-six Muslim graves were vandalized in the night from Thursday to Friday in a cemetery in Strasbourg, an “umpteenth aggression” denounced by the leaders of that community who point to the extreme right movement.

The damage was discovered Friday morning by a guard at the cemetery Meinau, located in the south of the city, told AFP deputy mayor in charge of security and Worship, Oliver Bitz. He had initially talked about 20-30 graves desecrated.

The 36 graves damaged were examined by a team of forensic scientists who reported fingerprints, DNA traces or cigarette butts on the site, told AFP a police source.

Three swastikas were drawn into the gravel paths, the source said. One of them, into a square parcel of Muslim, was about one meter in diameter, according to an AFP journalist on the spot.

Some tombstones were overturned, others broken. The children’s graves were among those damaged, while some families established related damage in early afternoon.

“It’s a shame, even death can not leave us in peace,” Hamid told AFP Talbi, 50, employee of the mayor of Strasbourg, looking at the stone thrown from his father Salah.

His father, a harki, “served 25 years in the French army. When I saw the swastika, I had a knot in the stomach,” he added.

He said that his father’s grave had been desecrated in June 2004. At the time, the neo-Nazi markings were painted on a fifty graves Muslim.

The desecration of Friday has a strong reaction among officials of the local Muslim community, which next year will inaugurate its new mosque.

Abdul Aziz Shukri, the delegate general of the Grand Mosque, spoke of a deliberate attack against a place of worship “symbolic” for the community because it is situated close to the ground where in 2011 must be fitted first exclusively Muslim cemetery in France.

“There is a buzz surrounding the movements of the extreme right, not a coincidence that this event comes ahead of a drink” organized by the Front National (FN) in the north of the city, “said Mr. Shukri told AFP.

“We do not improvise the desecration of dozens of graves, this is not amateurish,” he added.

The mayor (PS) of Strasbourg Roland Ries, who met in the day officials of the Muslim community, has also denounced calls to “aperitifs provocation”. “We’re in a context of concern (in which) the factions are taking action,” he lamented.

Section Strasbourg League of Human Rights (LDH) expressed its “outrage” against a “situation (which) continues to deteriorate. Licra denounced “an outrageous and stupid act, which occurs after an accumulation of similar facts.

This is the fourth desecration of Jewish and Muslim tombs in the city since the beginning of the year.

On July 21, 27 graves were desecrated at Jewish cemetery Wolfisheim near Strasbourg. In late June, 17 Muslim gravestones were knocked over or damaged in robertsi cemetery, north of the city. In January, thirty graves in the Jewish cemetery Cronenbourg (west) had been damaged, the day of the commemoration of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.

Original post: 36 Muslim graves desecrated in Strasbourg

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