RIGA - A senior European commissioner warned Monday about rising levels of extremism and intolerance across the 28-nation bloc, targeting Muslims, Jews, homosexuals and even women. “There is rising anti-Semitism, there is rising Islamophobia, there is rising homophobia,” Frans Timmermans, deputy to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told parliamentarians from EU states meeting in Latvia’s capital Riga.

“There are people who are actually challenging the position of women in European society,” said Timmermans, who was visiting the Baltic state in connection with its six-month stint as EU president. “This cannot happen. We need to put the rule of law front and centre in our European discussions because if we don’t have that, we have nothing.

“If Jews in this Europe cannot feel at home, Europe is finished. If Jews believe their future is not in Europe, Europe has no future. And this applies to Muslims alike - and to other minorities,” he added.

The number of anti-Muslim incidents in France has soared since the Paris attacks, with 128 such acts registered over two weeks, almost the same amount as all 2014, according the French National Observatory Against Islamophobia.