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Rise in anti-Arab attacks in 2010

Commission finds that, while total racist attacks are down, 'tolerance is receding' and 'xenophobia spreading' in France

RACIAL tolerance is receding in France according to a report by the Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l'Homme (CNCDH).

While the number of physical attacks on people based on race has dropped, the report concludes that "tolerance is receding and xenophobia is spreading".

In 2010, 886 racist incidents were reported, 165 which were violent, down 13.6% compared with 2009, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.

People of north African origin were the principle target, accounting for roughly a third of both violent and non-violent incidents.

"The year 2010 saw a rise in attacks on the Muslim community," said the CNCDH, an independent body which advises the government on human rights. Thirteen mosques and other centres were attacked compared to six in 2009.

The worst regions were the Rhône-Alpes, the Ile-de-France and the north of the country.

Anti-Semitism saw a large drop of 43%, compared to 2009 which the report concludes was down to the high number of cases arising from Israeli attacks on Gaza in that year.

The CNCDH concludes: "The line between immigration and insecurity is considered proven, while the image of the parasitic foreigner persists."

The report recommends that the government should ensure no politicians should use racist language or target specific communities and that "debates over immigration should be carried out in a calmer manner, more respectful of human rights."

Tupungato - Fotolia.com

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