Books on Islam are selling out in France after deadly extremist attacks in the capital raised uncomfortable questions about Europe’s fastest-growing religion.
A special magazine supplement focused on the Quran has flown off the shelves, and shops are selling more books on Islam than ever after the Paris attacks in January that left 17 dead.
“The French are asking more and more questions, and they feel less satisfied than ever by the answers they’re getting from the media,” said Fabrice Gerschel, director of Philosophie magazine, which published the supplement.
Sales of books on Islam were three times higher in the first quarter of 2015 than this time last year, according to the French National Union of Bookshops.
The jihadist attacks against the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket have left many non-Muslims looking for answers. Others want to see past extremist interpretations of Islam.
French academics too are becoming more curious, with a chair in the study of the Quran inaugurated on Thursday at the prestigious College de France in Paris.
Jean Rony, who teaches at the nearby Sorbonne university, began studying the Muslim holy book for himself this year.
Mansour Mansour, who runs the Al Bouraq publishing house specialising on Islam and the Middle East, said his sales have shot up by 30%.
“The same happened after the September 11 attacks in 2001,” he told AFP.