Swastikas daubed on French mosque and schools

Vandals scrawled dozens of swastikas and racial slurs on the walls of a mosque and two schools in eastern France, police said Friday.

Early Friday, police in the town of Soultz, located south of Strasbourg, discovered five swastikas and racial slurs written in black marker on the bulletin board of the local mosque.

Local Muslim leader Abdelhaq Nabaoui denounced the incident, saying: “These criminal schemes come on top of numerous acts in recent months that have directly targeted Alsacians who are practicing Muslims.”

“This has to stop,” Nabaoui added, calling on local authorities to find the guilty parties and bring them to justice.

In the nearby town of Guebwiller, intruders used black marker to daub four dozen swastikas, as well as racial epithets, on the walls of a middle school in the early hours of Thursday, police said.

A few more swastikas were scrawled on the walls of a nearby high school and a bus shelter in a neighbouring town, probably by the same vandals, whom police described as teenagers “who are not necessarily linked to neo-Nazi groups”.

Police said the incident could be a “silly provocation” aimed at German exchange students attending classes in the two schools.

AFP report on AFP, 18 March 2005