World Bulletin / News Desk
Belgium's Muslim groups on Friday strongly condemned a recent Islamophobic attack in the country.
In a joint statement, the Belgian Muslim Executive Body (EMB) and the Centre Islamique Belge (CIB) said a 19-year-old Muslim girl was targeted in the Belgian city of Charleroi because of her religion.
They said "the despicable attack" did not target only Islam, but the basic values of all Belgian society and religious freedom.
"Violence should not be responded with violence," said the statement, adding that they believed that the police and judiciary would take necessary measures regarding the incident.
On Monday night, two assailants attacked a Muslim teen in Anderlues municipality, reportedly tearing off her clothes, leaving her with deep marks inflicted by a sharp object across her bare chest, legs, and stomach.
On Wednesday, the Inter-federal Centre for Equal Opportunities (UNIA) spokesman Bram Sebrechts told Anadolu Agency the attack was motivated by Islamophobia in his opinion.
However, the Charleroi Prosecutor’s Office will make a ruling on the nature of the attack, Sebrechts said.
Turkish-origin Belgian parliamentarian Mahinur Ozdemir said the young woman was out at night searching for her cat when she came under attack.
Ozdemir said the victim could have been murdered.
“If measures are not taken it will be unfortunately impossible to prevent such attacks,” he said.
The EU has lately witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.
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