Spike in sale of Islam related books in France after attacks

"The same happened after the September 11 attacks in 2001," French publisher tells AFP.

April 4, 2015 10:07
2 minute read.
"Nous sommes tous Charlie", pouvait-on lire sur la façade de l'Institut du monde arabe, à Paris

"Nous sommes tous Charlie", pouvait-on lire sur la façade de l'Institut du monde arabe, à Paris, où le président Hollande s'est senti obligé de courir rassurer les musulmans de France. (photo credit: YOUSSEF BOUDLAL / REUTERS)


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Following the attacks in January in France that left sixteen dead sales of books on Islam in France have skyrocketed.

Sales of books on Islam were three times higher in the first three months of 2015 than this time last year, according to the French National Union of Bookshops, AFP reported on Saturday.

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On January 9, Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibly killed four Jewish hostages at the Hyper Cacher supermarket days after 12 people were killed in a separate attack at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"The French are asking more and more questions, and they feel less satisfied than ever by the answers they're getting from the media," Fabrice Gerschel, director of Philosophie magazine told AFP.  Gershel's magazine published a supplement focused on the Koran that has "flown of the shelves," according to the report.

Mathilde Mahieux, of La Procure bookshops, a chain that specializes in religion, said "people want a better understanding of the religion that the brutal Islamic State (IS) group claims to represent, so that they can make up their own minds."

Mansour Mansour, who runs the Al Bouraq publishing house specializing on Islam and the Middle East, said his sales have shot up by 30 percent.

"The same happened after the September 11 attacks in 2001," he told AFP.

Now the spike is likely to last longer "because Islam will continue to pose a geopolitical problem," Mansour said.

According to the report French universities are also taking a greater interest in Islam following the attacks, with a chair in the study of the Koran inaugurated on Thursday at the College de France in Paris.

A law teacher at the Sorbonne who teaches law at the Sorbonne university told AFP that he has begun studying the Koran for himself this year.

"Given the situation, I have added sessions on monotheistic religions to my general culture class for students preparing for magistrate exams," he said.

Following the attack on the kosher deli a video was released showing Coulibaly declaring his allegiance to ISIS (the Islamic State) and urging French Muslims to follow his example.

Coulibaly, who staged the attack on the deli and was killed by French security forces, said the planned assaults on Charlie Hebdo and on the Jewish target were justified by French military interventions overseas.

Said and Cherif Kouachi, the brothers behind the Hebdo killings, who were also shot dead by French forces said they were aligned to al-Qaida, which competes for influence with Islamic State among militant Islamists.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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