11th-Century French Chapel Vandalised

11th-Century French Chapel Vandalised

Police have launched an investigation after an 11th-century chapel in the French commune of Fabrègues was found with graffiti resembling the Pakistani flag.

The act of vandalism is believed to have taken place on Monday, according to the commune’s mayor Jacques Martinier who stated that he was informed about the desecration on Tuesday and immediately filed a complaint and alerted the local gendarmerie.

The act comes after Pakistan has seen violent protests against the French government and French President Emmanuel Macron in recent weeks. At one point, at least seven police officers and special rangers were held hostage by supporters of a Pakistani radical Islamist party.

The now-banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called for the expulsion of the French ambassador earlier this month, and its leader was subsequently arrested in Lahore, provoking riots among supporters.

The TLP has campaigned against the French government for months after President Emmanuel Macron spoke out in defence of the right for satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons of the Islamic prophet, Mohammed.

Due to the escalating levels of violence in Pakistan, the French government urged citizens earlier this month to leave the country temporarily, stating: “Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country.”