When the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire in April, far-right pundits and extremists quickly spread groundless accusations that Muslim attackers started the blaze.
Last week, a former far-right political candidate who had embraced that conspiracy theory went to a mosque in the French city of Bayonne and tried to set it on fire. He shot two Muslim men who confronted him. Claude Sinké, an 84-year-old former local candidate for France’s far-right National Rally party, faces multiple charges including arson and attempted murder for the attack. He told investigators it was an act of revenge for the Notre Dame fire.