French mosque sprayed with racist slurs, swastikas

Vandals have painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a mosque official said Monday. Abderrahmane Ammari said "extremists" attacked the walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the exterior walls with slogans including "Islam go home," "France is white" and "We fight against Islam" early Sunday morning. He said this was the second time in a little more than a year that vandals damaged the mosque of Evry-Courcouronne, located in a heavily immigrant town some 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Paris. Local officials "responded very quickly," removing most traces of the racist slurs soon after it was discovered, Ammari said. France, home to western Europe's largest population of both Muslims and Jews, has faced an upsurge in anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic violence in recent years. It leveled off only to resurface late last year and in early 2006, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has said.