Two Muslim Women Stabbed in Racist Attack in Paris21 Oct 2020
Two Muslim women were stabbed near the Eiffel Tower in Paris by women who shouted racial slurs at them. Thankfully, both women survived but were hospitalised.
According to the police, two suspects, both white females, have been arrested and an attempted murder inquiry is now on-going.
The incident follows last Friday’s gruesome beheading of a French teacher, Samuel Paty. Tensions between the French Government and the country’s Muslim communities have already been rising following ill-informed claims made by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, about Islam.
The Attackers Shouted “Dirty Arabs”
The two women who were injured in the attack were French nationals of Algerian origin, with their names identified as only 49-year-old Kenza and a younger woman named Amel.
“We had gone out for a walk. At the level of the Eiffel Tower there is a small rather dark park, we took a little tour in it. As we walked, there were two dogs that come towards us,” Kenza was quoted in French press.
After the children who were with them were scared by the dogs, the women asked the owners to keep their dogs closer. The dog owners, however, refused and proceeded to attack the two women with a knife, slashing at Kenza first before proceeding to attack her cousin, Amel.
Witnesses say that the attackers shouted “dirty Arabs” and similar slurs while stabbing the women.
Police in Paris arrested two women of “European appearance” and are charging them with attempted murder.
The Attack Took Place Amidst Rising Tensions Over Muslims
France, which has the EU’s largest Muslim minority, has been witnessing growing tensions in recent weeks.
Although Islamophobia has been rising steadily over the past five-six years, the recent weeks have seen President Emmanuel Macron claim that Islamist extremists are attempting to create a “parallel society”.
His government is currently working on a bill that is intended to address “radicals” but it is feared that law-abiding Muslim organisations with no ties to extremists will be unjustly targeted.
Macron also took it upon himself to call for a “reformation” in Islam, a statement that was met with criticisms in France and elsewhere in the world.
It is believed that Macron’s sudden tilt against French Muslims is more about winning back support from those who sympathise with the racist far-right National Rally Party is receiving ahead of elections. It seems that faced with mounting criticisms over the handling of the economy, Macron’s En Marche! Party is attempting to attack Muslims in a bid to pander to far-right voters.
However, it is undeniable that tensions between French Muslims and the wider populace has been rising in recent months.
Last month, the trial of the suspects of the Charlie Hebdo massacre started, dredging with it many memories of the attacks that took place in Paris and elsewhere around the same period. To mark the occasion, Charlie Hebdo republished many of the same caricatures.
These were the very same caricatures that Samuel Paty, a teacher, showed his class during a lesson about freedom of speech. He was attacked shortly afterwards by the 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzarov and beheaded. Anzarov was revealed to be in contact with the parent of one of the students in Paty’s class.
It is clear that the tensions in the country are reaching a point where violence is becoming a shamefully regular occurrence. Despite this, politicians and individuals seem to be keen on fanning the flames.