PARIS — French President Francois Hollande on Thursday said Muslims are the primary victims of intolerance and must be protected. Hollande spoke exactly one week after gunmen burst into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in the first salvo of a three-day spasm of violence.
“The first victims of fanaticism and intolerance are Muslims,” Hollande said from the Institute of the Arab World in Paris. “Anti-Muslim acts, like anti-Semitism, should not only be denounced, but severely punished.”
Seventeen people died over three days in France last week — 12 in the attack on the magazine carried out by brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi. Associate Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman and four hostages at a kosher supermarket.
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