Report says racism on rise in France

March 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

PARIS, March 23 (UPI) -- Racial tensions and violence are on the rise in France, a report from an independent commission concluded this week.

The French Consultative Commission on Human Rights said in its annual report the nation's attitude toward immigrants is deteriorating, and is being reflected in more police reports of racially tinged acts.

The report concluded allegedly racist acts were up 23 percent last year and anti-Semitic incidents increased 37 percent. A legal adviser to the panel said anti-Semitic crimes could be even higher since people were less likely to talk publicly about such incidents, Radio France Internationale said Saturday.

Incidents aimed specifically against Muslims and Islam jumped 30 percent last year.

The report said the sluggish economy stoked anti-immigrant sentiment in France. Last year's shootings by an Islamist gunman in Toulouse aggravated the idea that Muslims resisted being assimilated into society and should be discouraged from moving to France.

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