Yesterday's mass-shooting at the office of Charlie Hebdo left 12 people dead in Paris, and has been branded an act of terrorism by French officials. In response, people in France have reportedly resorted to misguided acts of retaliation like attacking mosques.
As TIME reports, shots were fired at one Port-la-Nouelle place of worship, while percussion grenades were reportedly thrown into the courtyard of a Le Mans mosque. Worse, there were reports of an explosion near another mosque early this morning:
Local media also reported an explosion near a mosque in the town of Villefranche-sur-Saône in eastern France. The blast took place at 6am local time on Thursday at L’Imperial, a restaurant independently managed by people close to the mosque, where people attending the mosque often gather.
Fortunately, there were no casualties.
Al Jazeera reports that several French Muslims fear that conditions will only worsen as hostility grows:
Rashid Abdulrahim, a 22-year-old finance student, said at first he thought only of the victims and their families when he heard the news of Wednesday's deadly attack. But when he learned the three suspects were Muslim, he said he immediately felt scared.
Things will be really bad for us now. Before the shootings, it was normal for us to be attacked by people who don’t like Muslims, he said, but now it will be much worse. There will be hate and discrimination and aggression. People will start saying it was right to hate Muslims, because they’re apparently crazy.
In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, this is the absolute last thing that needs to happen.