Le Mans: Grenades Thrown Into Courtyard At Mosque In French City

At least four grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in the French city of Le Mans overnight Thursday, apparently as part of a series of anti-Islam attacks in France following the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Four “training grenades” were thrown onto the lawn, and at least one of them exploded, according to Russia Today. At least one of the grenades exploded. A bullet was also fired at the mosque, striking a window. There are no reports of injuries.

Police cordoned off the area around the mosque, and the investigation is ongoing, according to Oueste-France.

The mosque grenade attack follows a terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo on Wednesday. Three gunmen stormed the magazine’s headquarters in Paris and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding four. Among the dead were four cartoonists who had published unflattering cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, and the attacks were retribution for the perceived insult against Islam.

Other, similar anti-Islam attacks have also taken place throughout France following the Charlie Hebdo attack. Thursday morning in the southeastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone, a bomb exploded at a kebob shop near a mosque. No injuries were reported. Bullets were also fired into a mosque in Port-la-Nouvelle; again, no injuries were reported.

The Charlie Hebdo attack, and the attacks on mosques that have followed and will likely follow it, underscore the sometimes difficult relationship the French government and the French people have with their Muslim community, according to Bloomberg writer Emily Greenhouse.

“In many ways it is this group that has become the country’s broadly scapegoated minority. Children and grandchildren of immigrants from North Africa—the Maghreb—who were born in France and are French citizens often find it difficult to get a decent job. President Sarkozy famously smeared those who live in the suburbs, and complained that there were too many immigrants, when what he meant were Arab French people. Unemployment is at nearly 30 percent in some of Paris’s suburbs. In and out of the workplace, certain Muslim practices have been deemed impossible to assimilate. The face veil is not allowed in public, and the headscarf is not permitted in civil service offices or state-run schools. Companies respond far less frequently to resumés that show Arabic-sounding names up top. Many Arab neighborhoods are like walled cities, kept far, kept out.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Charlie Hebdo attack has caused some, particularly on the right, to see it as a warning sign for possible terrorist attacks in America. Fox News analyst warned that the police force in the U.S., decried by many as over-militarized, is actually not militarized enough.

“There’s been a very serious push from the left saying ‘let’s not over-militarize our cops.’ That [the Paris massacre] should put an end to that discussion. We should over-militarize.”

As of this post, there are no suspects in the Les Mans mosque grenade attack.

[Image courtesy of: Anadolu Agency]

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