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French activist speaks out on retaliation attacks

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Yasser Louati, a French anti-Islamophobia activist who attracted global attention after holding his own against two biased and critical CNN news anchors during a live interview on Monday, says retaliation attacks against fellow French-Muslims began barely an hour after Friday’s tragic terrorist siege on Paris.

A wave of terror attacks hit the French capital on Friday evening, perpetrators targeting several bars and restaurants, a football stadium where the country’s national team were playing, as well as a live music performance at a popular concert hall. A total of 130 people were killed and a further 352 injured during the attacks.

The consequences thereof for Muslims in several Western, non-secular states have been damning. Incidents of assault, verbal abuse, death threats and mosque attacks have been on the increase over the past week, no more so than in France itself.

Louati, spokesperson and head of the International Relations Desk for the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) said the trigger of the retaliation attacks were comments made by western columnists and political leaders blaming the Muslim community as a whole.

Louati himself faced the brunt of these accusations on CNN, where two news anchors persisted that French-Muslims should take responsibility for the attacks and take to the streets to show their solidarity for the victims.

“They are forgetting that the terrorists targeted all people and the victims were Muslims and non-Muslims. Amongst the heroes that saved lives there were also Muslims and non-Muslims. Unfortunately people use the blood of innocent people to fuel their own ideological agenda,” he stated.

He also detailed some of the instances of retaliation witnessed in recent days.

“A young man was shot down yesterday, and now we are enquiring about a woman who was crushed by a car. She is in a coma right now and we are still enquiring if it is really the case or not.”

The French government has been lambasted for its silence on these incidents. Louati said Muslims in France were seeing no governmental support and hence were victims of two fires; that of the terrorists and that of the blame game.

“We are still counting our dead and the death toll is still bound to increase. Government isn’t doing anything about it,” he reiterated.

As for his viral interview with CNN, Louati admitted himself astounded and shocked by the biased nature of questions, and the subsequent comments made following the interview.

The interview in question can be viewed via the following link:

VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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