French police (Getty)
French police (Getty)

A Muslim man was stabbed 17 times in front of his wife in a suspected Islamophobic attack.

Mohamed El Makouli, 47, was attacked by a 28-year-old intruder who forced his way into his home in the village of Beaucet, near Avignon in southern France, shouting "I am your god, I am your Islam", before stabbing him, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said. Observatory president Abdallah Zekri condemned the attack as "a horrible Islamophobic attack".

The attacker returned with another knife and stabbed the father of one again, killing him.

El Makouli's 31-year-old wife, Nadia, suffered wounds to her hands during the attack, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, before fleeing the home with her child to alert police.

The attacker was found at the scene of the attack in an incoherent state, and has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Montfavet, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

The attacker has reportedly been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and was charged with murder, attempted murder, and possession of drugs.

Police said they would investigate allegations of Islamophobia when they interviewed him.

More than 50 Islamophobic incidents have been reported by the Central Council of Muslims in France after attacks by Islamist terrorists in Paris which left 17 dead.

The source said he did not think it was "a purely Islamophobic act," although he admitted that the events of the past week could have "stirred up fear and a rise in adrenaline".

The attack comes after Khaled Idris Bahray, 20, an Eritrean-born Muslim, was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday in Dresden, the day after a rally in the city by anti-Islam group Pegida.