While Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Adha, about 500 Muslims tombs at Notre-Dame de Lorette cemetery were desecrated, for the third time in two years.
The inscriptions (notably swastikas) and graffiti were found on most of the 576 Muslim graves. Most were covered by a capital letter drawn in black, others by a swastika. Some inscriptions, readable by joining letters written on the tombs, along with a placard affixed to one grave, insult Muslims. The inscriptions just as prominently cite Rachida Dati, the justice minister.
Jean-Pierre Valensi of the Arras prosecution says that at first glance this looks like the preceding desecration of April 2008.
The desecration was discovered by veterans early Monday morning, the day of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. According to Colonel Bruno Bresson, of the Pas-de-Calais police, since the previous desecration of the cemetery in April there have been random reinforcements and at certain times, surveillance of the cemetery, but tonight a patrol which passed about midnight did not notice anything. There were no suspect cars. The officer adds that it's a completely open site and extremely difficult to guard.
Significant resources are being put into the investigation, which involves many police agents of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie, as well as specialists from the IRCGN (The criminal Research institute of the national police) at Rosny-Sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis).
In the thick fog, criminal ID techs set up a black tent at the entrance to the Muslim plot and worked already by late morning marking the place.
President Nicolas Sarkozy quickly put out a statement announcing 'his profound indigniation' and 'his deep feelings' at the new desecration. "This despicable and revolting act, after that of last April, is the experssion of a repulsive racism directed against the Muslim community of France," accordindg ot the president. He expressedly asked to be kept informed of the investigation and insists that the perpetrators are promptly identified, tried and sentenced with all the necessariy severity.
Prime Minister François Fillon condemned the acts which he said 'attack the history of our country, the memory of men of honor'. Minister of the Interior Michèle Alliot-Marie also expressed her 'indignation' and her 'deep feelings'. 'All the necessary means are mobilized to quickly find the perpetrators of these intolerable acts."
Secretary of STate of Veterans Jean-Marie Bockel will visit the place Monday afternoon.
Martine Aubry, secretary of the Socialist Party, said in a statement that htis new desecration of Muslim graves at the military cemetery consitutes 'an injury to all French'.
Source: Figaro (French)
See also: France: Muslim graves desecrated, France: Grave defacers to jail