Beijing Declaration 20 years on: Gender-related violence in the Mideast

Egyptians march in downtown Cairo to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2013

Twenty years have passed since the signing of the Beijing Declaration, a landmark document that called for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as a prerequisite to advancing gender equality.

Years later, while not exclusive to the Middle East, gender-based violence in the region has been placed under the spotlight as repeated violations continue to go unpunished.

But milestones such as Saudi Arabia’s creation of a set of laws deeming domestic violence a criminal offence, Egypt’s outlawing of female genital mutilation and Lebanon’s parliament passing a domestic violence law, point to a brighter future.

“When addressing gender-based violence in the Middle East, the first important observation is that the public discussions of many different forms of violence, thankfully, are expanding,” Professor Pernille Arenfeldt, a historian of women and gender at the American University of Sharjah told Al Arabiya News.

“Taboos are being challenged,” she said, describing a 2013 campaign against domestic violence in Saudi Arabia as a “prime example.”

Following the campaign, the kingdom passed the protection from abuse law. Those found guilty of committing psychological or physical abuse could face up to one year jail and a maximum 50,000 riyals ($13,300) fine.

Female genital mutilation

While outlawed in Egypt in 2008, a UNICEF report revealed that 27.2 million Egyptian girls had undergone female circumcision, placing it in the top three countries with FGM.

“While the number above is an overall estimate, “the assumption is that since 2013 to date this estimate must have increased in terms of overall, absolute figures as the procedure is still practiced,” Jaime Nadal, the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) representative in Cairo, told Al Arabiya News.

“…But, at the same time,” he continued, “there has been a decrease in relative terms (percentages) among the younger generation as stated by the preliminary results of 2014 DHS [Demographic and Health Surveys], which will be released in the coming weeks.”

Alarmingly, little more than 30 percent of women surveyed by UNICEF said the practice should stop. But only 33 percent of those aged 15 to 19-years-old agreed, possibly a sign that younger generations are beginning to shun the procedure.

In January a man was convicted of manslaughter after conducting the often fatal procedure on 13-year-old Soheir al-Batea. Nadal described the trial as “a milestone in the right direction.”

The case was the first to handle FGM, seven years after the law was passed.

“Curbing the practice requires work to control both the demand for FGM among families, as well as control over the supply side,” such as persons or medical staff willing to provide the prodecure, Nadal said.

“Affecting supply requires work on the community level to change social norms in regards to FGM especially in rural areas where it is widely practiced.”

“Work on supply side also requires strengthened surveillance over private clinics where most of the FGM is practiced as well as enhanced law enforcement to ensure efficient investigation and litigation of FGM cases which is also challenging to implement across the governorates of Egypt,” he added.

Honor killings

An estimated 20 women – an official number experts say is likely to be an underestimation – are killed in Jordan every year in honor-related crimes, al-Monitor news website reported.

Honor killings are often based on claims of daughters, sisters or wives “shaming” the family through sex-related acts, but the case of Batool Haddad, killed by her father and uncle for converting to Islam showed there were other reasons.

In similar cases, articles 98 and 340 of the Jordanian penal code allow for reduced sentences for perpetrators of “honor crimes,” Human Rights Watch reported.

Additionally, according to a report submitted to the U.N. General Assembly, Jordanian – and Iranian – law protect a man for murdering an adulterous wife.

“Many Middle Eastern states have codified personal status codes that ascribe extensive authority to male-heads of household and because state-issued laws as well as social norms define the familial sphere as intensely private and beyond the reach of state authority,” Arenfeldt said, explaining that gender-based violence was not specific to any particular part of the world.

While Jordanian political and social activist – Lahib Bani Sakhar believes such laws could be amended in the future it is still not enough.

“It is not enough to amend laws. But to change society’s attitudes is unfortunately a long term process,” she told Al Arabiya News.

“A few timid steps have been taken to tackle the issue by thegovernment, parliament, and civil society,” she said.

“But I think a lot of work has to be done, and in particular the issue of enforcing the laws and addressing honor killing as a crime.”

‘Women’s rights are human rights’

Article 14 of the Beijing Declaration asserts that “women’s rights are human rights.” It moves on to afford women “the freedom, thought, conscience, religion and belief.”

While in article 29, signatories reveal their “determination” to “prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.”

“On International Women’s Day, the fundamental question to ask is probably why the need for this day? This question is perhaps best answered by another question, namely, ‘Are women human?’ I am sure that we all agree that this is the case. Sadly, the evidence related to gender- based violence documents that we do not all agree on the implications of the answer,” Arenfeldt said.

(Source / 07.03.2015)

Police suspect shooting that killed Dallas man was random


DALLAS – Police in Dallas say they suspect a shooting that killed a 36-year-old man taking pictures was random.

The man was shot outside the door of his northeast Dallas apartment as he photographed the snow just before midnight Wednesday in the 9900 block of Walnut Road.

While police say the shooting was likely random, some residents in the area and the North Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) say they aren’t so sure.

“Because of recent incidents targeting American Muslims, including the murder of three young Muslims in North Carolina, we urge law enforcement authorities to address community concerns about a motive in this case,” said CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem.

Dallas police say the victim’s wife called 911 to report the shooting of her husband, 36-year-old Ahmed Al-Jamaili. Police say the fatal shots rang out during the peak of the storm.

Several cars parked in the apartment complex were hit, including a truck that was struck with eight bullets. The owner of the truck said he heard about a dozen shots.

Police are investigating the shooting death of a man while he was outside taking pictures of the snow in Northeast Dallas. News 8’s David Goins has the latest.

“I don’t care about the truck because you can buy another one or repair, but the life of the guy, you can’t repair the guy,” said Jose Ortiz, the truck owner. “He’s not coming back.”

Ortiz said that’s not the first time he’s heard gunfire in the area. He said he plans on moving out with his wife and kids within the next week.

Islam in Italy: Muslim with traditional clothes and Koran insulted and shouted at in Milan

Students in six Italian colleges have also been banned from wearing the hijab

A student in Italy dressed in traditional Islamic clothing appears to have been the subject of a string of derogatory comments as the public’s reaction to his appearance was caught on camera.

Hamdy Mahisen, who is of Egyptian origin, attracted stares and insults as he walked around Milan for five hours, while holding a Koran in one hand and prayer beads in the other for a social experiment.

Groups of teenage girls and boys do not hide their astonishment at the sight of his appearance and openly stare, laugh and turn round to look at him in the footage as he walks past.

A woman with a baby pram shouts ‘Taliban!’ at himItaly is currently on high-alert after a warning that Libyan militants inspired by Isis could make their way into Europe through the country.

This has fuelled Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment towards refugees who have fled Africa before setting off on treacherous journeys across the Mediterranean to Italy in unsafe and overcrowded boats.

On a high street, someone sneers “Taliban s***” while, even more disturbingly, a woman pushing a pram with a baby in it seems to turn around as he walks by her to shout: “Taliban!”

A person within a small group of young men, in the video also published yesterday by Italian newspaper Repubblica, says “guys, you just missed the imam.”

Some people did not take too kindly to his robe and hatThirty-year-old Hamdy, who speaks Italian fluently and lives in the city with his parents, was dressed in a traditional long white cotton robe commonly worn by Muslim men – and not just imams – with a white cap.

While passing through an indoor shopping piazza, someone could be heard saying “s***, have you seen the Isis?”

A man standing near Hamdy at a tramstop makes the remark: “Look, he has got the Koran. Think he’s got a gun under his tunic?”

The comments are indicative of the levels of Islamophobia and racism that Muslims and those from other ethnicities can encounter in Italy.

Aicha Mesrar, a 45-year-old Moroccan-born politician, fled the country after 23 years of living there due to fears over her children’s safety after a series of death threats.

The local councillor was the first woman to wear a hijab in city hall as she held down her job for the Democratic Party in Rovereto, northern Italy.

This week, female students at six colleges in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy have been banned from wearing the hijab – according to local paper Messaggero Veneto.

One headmaster called Aldo Duri, of a technical college with many students of Arab origin, have been told that “outward signs of religion can be seen as provocation”.

“Friction and insults that were fairly innocent between the Islamic community and the natives are now loaded with new meaning,” he was quoted by Trieste Prima as saying.

(Source / 19.02.2015)

Rhode Island Muslim School Vandalized In Hate Crime

Photo credit: The Providence Journal / Kris Craig

A non-profit Muslim school in Rhode Island was vandalized with Islamophobic graffiti on Saturday, one day after holding a vigil for the three Muslim victims of the North Carolina shooting. The story garnered national interest after the Providence Journal posted a photoof the graffiti on Sunday.

The Islamic School of Rhode Island — which opened in 2003 as the first Muslim school in the state — had never been targeted by vandalization or serious threats before, the President of the school’s board of trustees told the Providence Journal.

However, the orange graffiti covering the school’s doors left little doubt about the intentions of those behind the vandalization. Among the slurs scrawled on the school’s entrance — including “pigs,” and expletives referring to “Allah” — one was quite clear: “Now this is a hate crime.”

“This apparently bias-motivated incident should be hould be investigated as a hate crime, with the strongest possible charges brought against the perpetrators once they are apprehended,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the director of communications at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a press release. “The recent spike in anti-Muslim hate rhetoric and bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions must be addressed by our nation’s leaders.”

The vandalization occurred in the wake of a series of incidents targeting Muslim Americans, including the recent suspected arson attack on an Islamic community center in Houston, and a fatal shooting in Chapel Hill, N.C., where three young Muslims — Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan — were killed by Craig Stephen Hicks, an avowed atheist, in what many have deemed a hate crime.

A preliminary police investigation suggested that Hicks shot the three over an ongoing parking space dispute — a claim that has been met with skepticism by many following the case. “Deep down everyone in this community knows it was a hate crime,” Yusor’s best friend wrotein a commentary for “But how do you prove it?”

Some cite the shooter’s virulent atheism and antagonism for other religions, as displayed on Facebook posts and elsewhere, as evidence that the crime was not motivated by purely anti-Muslim sentiments.

“My answer to that is he had fights with everybody, but he shot three Muslims in the back of the head,” Hooper told ThinkProgress.

According to the FBI’s latest hate crime statistics report, religiously motivated offenses accounted for 17 percent of all the 5,922 single-bias hate crimes reported in 2013. Among the religiously motivated hate crimes, 59.2 percent were anti-Jewish, 14.2 percent were anti-Muslim, 6.4 percent were anti-Catholic, 3.6 percent were anti-Protestant, and 0.6 percent were anti-Atheism, according to FBI statistics.

While helpful, the FBI reports only capture a portion of many of the anti-Muslim incidents occurring domestically, Hooper told ThinkProgress. “The FBI only gets the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “People call us with these kinds of things. In general people are reluctant to contact the FBI or reluctant to call local police authorities because of a ‘let’s stay under the radar, not make waves’ kind of attitude. We’ve gotten a number of reports of Muslim women being accosted, people shouting Muslim slurs, they’re targeted because of the headscarf. Just personally I’ve received dozens of hate calls and hate emails, and some death threats.”

(Source / 16.02.2015)

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Still Five Times More Common Today Than Before 9/11

Incidents of violent Islamophobia spiked to their highest immediately after the terrorist attack, but have remained at elevated levels ever since.


Elaine Brower of New York, with NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia, walks near the proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero in New York, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

The murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, frequently posted anti-religious quotes and cartoons on what appears to be his Facebook page. The father of two of the victims told the News Observer that his slain daughter had recently said Hicks “hates us for what we are and how we look.”

If the incident does turn out to be motivated by anti-Islamic sentiment, it would be one of dozens of such events that happen each year, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the program typically recorded between 20 and 30 anti-Muslim hate crimes per year. But in 2001 that number rose more than tenfold to nearly 500. In the years since, annual hate crimes against Muslims have consistently hovered in the 100-150 range, roughly five times higher than the pre-9/11 rate.

These figures are almost certainly an undercount, given that participation in the program is voluntary, and some state and local police departments do a better job of tracking this data than others. Overall, anti-Muslim crimes now make up about 13 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes, and 2 percent of all hate crimes in general.

(Source / 13.02.2015)

Chapel Hill shooting: 3 Muslims gunned down in N. Carolina

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, all three of whom were killed in Tuesday's shooting. Photo from

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, all three of whom were killed in Tuesday’s shooting

Three members of a Muslim family in North Carolina’s university town of Chapel Hill were gunned down in their home. What some are alleging was a hate crime has sparked grief and anger in the US and beyond.

The victims in the triple homicide have been identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Police responded to a call about gunshots in the family’s apartment complex at 5:11 pm Tuesday. They discovered the bodies of the victims, all of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha dancing with her father at her wedding. Photo from

Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha dancing with her father at her wedding

Several neighbors told The Daily Tar Heel student daily that that had not even been aware of the shooting.

Kristen Boling, a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who lives in the complex, told the paper she arrived home at 3:45 pm but didn’t hear or see anything until after police arrived.

“It was a regular day when I got off the bus,” she said. “Now it’s chaos and confusion and they’re not telling us what’s going on.”

I hope the @FBI is working closely with PD on this horrific shooting. Community wants answers.

A 46-year-old man identified by police as Craig Stephen Hicks turned himself in late Tuesday night. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of three counts of first degree murder.

Police say the killings might have been committed over a parking space dispute.

“It appears to have been part of an ongoing dispute over parking,” Lt. Joshua Mecimore, a spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said to LA Times.

The incident has provoked massive speculation on social media that it was a hate crime, with many posts carrying the hashtag: #MuslimLivesMatter.

Hicks is a self-described atheist who regularly posted content critical of religion on his Facebook account.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23. Photo from

According to US media, Hicks allegedly wrote in one post: “When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I.” The quote in question was paraphrased from Pat Condell, an Irish comedian and atheist internet personality.

A Twitter account that likely belonged to Deah Barakat shows a post published a week ago that expressed his concern over increasing cases of religious and national hatred over recent months.

It’s so freaking sad to hear people saying we should “kill Jews” or “Kill Palestinians”. As if that’s going to solve anything SMH

The shooting has elicited a strong response on social media.

Chris Rock, one of the United States most popular stand-up comics, retweeted a photograph of the victims providing food and dental supplies to the homeless.

View image on Twitter

Muslim victims were recently seen providing free dental & food supplies to the poor & homeless.

(More on the page / Source / 11.02.2015)


9-year-old Muslim boy head was smashed to the ground by security guard in Sweden. He was so frightened, he raised his index finger and said the Shahadah.

On the night of Friday 6th February, two Muslim boys were stopped by security guards at the main station in Malmö. It is alleged that the boys took a train without a ticket.

What started as a dialogue, the incident escalated when one of the guards grabbed the youngest of the boys. The boy, born in 2005, according to the police report only nine years old tried to escape but the security guard responded by throwing him down on the floor and sat on him.

According to a witness the security guard smashed the boy’s head into the pavement so hard that it echoes throughout the waiting area. That’s when the witness and his friend rushed forward and begin filming the incident.

The recording shows how the security guard sits on the boy’s chest and pressed his gloved hand over his mouth and nose.

The boy looks to gasp for air. With tears in his voice he shouts out the Shahadah; “I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source / 10.02.2015)

Hui Chinese Muslims and the flow of Uighurs to Kazakhstan

Hui Chinese Muslims and the flow of Uighurs to Kazakhstan

Whilst the Hui Chinese Muslims are free to practise their religion, the clampdown of the Chinese government means the road to Kazakhistan is a door for religious freedom for the Uigurs.

The Hui Chinese are an ethnic Muslim minority, granted significant autonmy and are permitted by the Chinese government to follow their region. Islam, in there region is thriving.

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous region is where the Silk Road once cut through, luring Muslim traders from as far as Africa, Asia and Persia. Merchants traded here and eventually settled, planting the seeds of Islam in the heart of China. About half the country’s 20 million Muslims are from the Hui ethnic group.

14 year old Mao Balong wears a goofy smile as he runs up and down the restaurants cramped aisle, taking orders and delivering bowls of noodles, taking money and returning change, taking dirty dished and returning with a cloth to wipe down the tables.The restaurant is a family business through and through, funded by family savings and operated by everyone. Baolong and his 19-year-old sister Mao Fangfang act as the wait staff, while their mother and father chop, fry, knead and boil the day’s offerings. A second sister, Yufang, works at a cousin’s restaurant nearby, but comes back after midnight to help close up.

Baolong and his family came to Beijing from their hometown in Gansu province, 900 miles to the west and rural and rugged corridor that once hosted Silk Road traders shuttling spices and religion between China, Central Asia and Europe. But today, interior provinces like Gansu pale in comparison with cosmopolitan coastal regions. Members of the Mao family have been traversing the country in search of work for decades, as have most of the 260 million migrant workers in China. The children’s father left home at the age of 15, traveling to neighboring provinces on construction jobs. Their mother was on the move at a young age as well, staying home in Gansu mainly around the years her children were born.

The Mao family is part of China’s Hui ethnic minority — Muslims who trace some of their ancestry to Persian and Arab traders on the Silk Road. The Hui Chinese are an ethnic Muslim minority, granted significant autonmy in the Ningxia Hui region and are permitted by the Chinese government to follow their religion. Merchants traded here and eventually settled, planting the seeds of Islam in the heart of China. Islam, in theire region is thriving.

About half the country’s 20 million Muslims are from the Hui ethnic group.While scrupulous in their avoidance of pork and alcohol, the family does bend certain religious dictates to the realities of running a business. They serve beer to their customers, and opportunities for prayer are scarce.

“We should be praying five times a day,” lamented Baolong’s father. “There’s just no time.”

The restaurant’s patrons are primarily men who work with their hands: construction crews, delivery men and self-employed mechanics. Menu offerings are an Atkins adherent’s nightmare and a working man’s dream: large bowls of noodles and piles of white rice sprinkled with fried meat and vegetables. As the midday crowd subsides, Baolong buries himself in cell phone games and Fangfang walks the one block back to the 12-by-12 room she shares with her brother. At night, both parents sleep on a cot nestled between the tables and the kitchen, and Baolong’s mother uses the afternoon lull to nap there while her husband and son handle any customers.

A Silicon Valley denizen might describe the Mao family as “serial entrepreneurs.” They’ve opened and closed about half a dozen restaurants in different cities. The current location is their third in Beijing. The previous two were bulldozed to make way for new construction, and this one will almost certainly meet the same fate.

“They say the neighborhood is gonna get torn down,” Baolong says. “If not this year, then next year. If not next year, then the year after that.”When the bulldozers reach the Maos’ latest restaurant, the family will likely pick up stakes and move to another location on the margins of Beijing society.

‘Do Black people come from America?’

Working in the restaurant means the Mao children don’t have to worry about the punishing preparation for China’s college entrance exam. But they also lose any chance to hang out with kids outside their own family. Baolong had one friend in Beijing, the son of a local street sweeper, but the boy has now returned to his home village. Given a day off, Baolong says he would love to visit the Beijing zoo.

The world outside these walls filters in by way of the always-on television and talkative customers.

Those are narrow channels, and glimpses of far-off countries produce more questions than answers.

“Do black people come from America?” one member of the family wants to know.

“Are American cartoons in English or Chinese?”

“So Americans don’t really believe in any religions, right?”

Different cultures, different religions, all harmonious

The different cultures have merged in this place harmoniously,” says Ma Zhang Wen, the imam of Xinhua Mosque. Ma, 38, has been an imam for the last 15 years in Yinchuan, Ningxia’s capital, about 1,300 kilometres northwest of Beijing. “The government gives people a religion-training program to develop Islam. The Han respect us, and we respect them, too,” Ma says.

Economic revival

According to official data, there are 6.3 million people in Ningxia, and 2.2 million are Hui.
The destitute region has faced a difficult periods but has seen a revival in recent years. Islam has helped rejuvenate the economy, and Ningxia has developed economic ties to Arab and Muslim countries.
According to government statistics, the Nigxia halal food industry is worth $700million a year and the GDP of the region was US$33bn in 2011, an annual increase of 12 per cent.
“Peoples’ lives in Ningxia are getting better and better. We don’t feel discrimination or inequality,” says the imam Ma.

Uighur Oppression

In stark constrast, the Muslim Uighurs face strict government repression in far-western Xinjiang province, the Uighurs have not been able to assimilate – this is mainly due to the language differences, with the Uighurs speaking their own Turkic dialect which has an Arabic script whilst the Hui speak Mandarin.

Others say the Uighurs strong desire for autonomy explains the difference in treatment. “Some Uighurs in Xinjiang are extremists and they want to separate from China,” says Bao Hongbiao, a researcher at the Ningxia Academy of Social Sciences. “In the case of Ningxia’s Hui people, they do not have conflicts with other groups, and they live in harmony with Han and other Chinese people.” Others highlight government’s policy of offering incentives for Han Chinese to migrate west as a main cause of friction.

Alim Seytoff, president of the Uyghur American Association, says the government routinely blocks Uighurs from practicing Islam – a deliberate attempt, he says, to prevent them from practisting their religion or face charges of extremism, and eventually “all these measures further alienate the Uighurs”.


In 2009 riots erupted in Urumqi, leaving 200 Han and Uighurs dead – thousands had marched demanding a government investigation where earlier a brawl between Han and Uigurs resulted in the death of 2 Uighurs. Although the Chinese government supports Ningxia Muslim region, it has stood against the Uighurs banning under 18’s from practising their religion. There is also a ban on celebrating religious holidays, studying religious texts, and during the holy month of Ramadan, notices were put up banning people from fasting.  In some parts of Xinjiang, Uighurs risk fines or detention for wearing veils or growing beards.

Amnesty International researcher Corinna-Barbara Francis says the situation continues to deteriorate “very badly” in Xinjiang.

China’s crackdown on violence in Xinjiang, which authorities have linked to extremism and terrorism, is driving Uighurs to come across the long, shared border with Kazakhstan where the Uighurs have “quite a balanced position” with other ethnic groups in Kazakhstan, said Konstantin Syroezhkin, chief research fellow of the state-sponsored Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies.

“They’re not restricted here,” Syroezhkin said. “There are around 260,000 Uighurs living in the country and they’re fully assimilated in the Kazakh society. Kazakhstan doesn’t support a policy of ethnic separatism.”

(Source / 17.01.2015)

51 Anti-Muslim Incidents in France, mapped by TELL MAMA

For those who believe that there are no repercussions for Muslim communities after national events like the murder of Lee Rigby are or after Charlie Hebo, here is the updated map of anti-Muslim incidents in France. The following 51 incidents also have associated notes attached to them and include personal incidents, anti-Muslim incidents against mosques and firearms offences targeting people of Arab or Muslim appearance.

antimuslim attacks charlie hebdo II final resize

(Source / 17.01.2015)

Over 50 anti-Muslim attacks in France in less than a week: Monitoring group

French police stand near a mosque in Paris on January 9, 2015.

French police stand near a mosque in Paris on January 9, 2015

Over 50 attacks, including shootings, have been carried out against Muslims across France in less than a week since a fatal raid on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the country’s Muslim community says.

The 54 assaults comprised of 21 cases of gunfire and grenade throwing at Islamic buildings and 33 cases of threats, said Abdallah Zekri, a spokesman for the monitoring body at the Central Council of Muslims in France, on Monday.

The figures, which do not include raids in Paris and its suburbs, were provided by the French Interior Ministry, Zekri added.

He also noted that the number of attacks in such a short time is unusually high, calling on security forces to better monitor Islamic sites as well as social media.

The figures were released following a recent wave of terrorist attacks in France which began on January 7 when the office of Charlie Hebdo came under assault by two gunmen. Some 12 people were killed in the incident.

Two days later, two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, suspected of murdering the journalists, were killed after being cornered at a printing workshop in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele.

In a posthumous video released on Sunday, Amedy Coulibaly, a gunman who killed four hostages in another terror attack at a Paris supermarket on Friday before he was slain by police, claimed he was acting on behalf of the ISIL Takfiri group in coordination with the two brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo.

He also said the two brothers were affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

The terror attacks have drawn widespread condemnation from Muslims in France and the entire world.

On January 9, French President Francois Hollande called on the nation to remain vigilant in the face of the shocking terror assaults in the country, saying the “fanatics” behind the violence “have nothing to do with Islam.”

(Source / 13.01.2015)