French Mediterranean island of Corsica
A Muslim prayer room in a low-income neighbourhood of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica was ransacked on Christmas DayGetty Images

A Muslim prayer hall on the French island of Corsica was ransacked by demonstrators, who also set fire to copies of the Quran on Christmas Day. The invasion took place in the island's capital, Ajaccio.

Regional official Francois Lalanne said that a small group smashed the glass door and entered the prayer room in a low-income neighbourhood of Ajaccio on the night of 25 December. "Fifty prayer books were thrown out on the street," Lalanne told AFP, adding that some of the copies of the holy book were partially burnt.

The protesters were shouting slogans in local language that meant "Arabs get out" or "this is our home". French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has denounced the incident, calling it "intolerable". Valls wrote on Twitter that the attack on a Muslim place of worship was "an unacceptable desecration".

Local authorities have criticised the violence and vowed to arrest the perpetrators. They also said that the attack on a place of worship showed signs of "racism and xenophobia".

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) condemned the violence saying it happened on a day of prayer for both Muslims and Christians as this year's Christmas fell right after the Muslim's feast day to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, the report said.