France’s Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia has said that the country’s Jewish community must seek cooperation with French Muslims against far-right political forces in the country, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.
“It is very important that we work also with the Muslims against National Front,” Korsia said, referring to the populist anti-immigration party led by defeated presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen lost the second round of elections at the beginning of the week to centrist Emmanuel Macron, who will be sworn in on Sunday.
Le Pen, 48, had portrayed the ballot as a contest between the “globalists” represented by her rival — those in favor of open trade, immigration and shared sovereignty — and the “nationalists” who defend strong borders and national identities.
Korsia’s comments came against a wider trend in which European Jewish and Muslim leaders are coordinating activities against anti-religious legislation in the continent.
Arab religious leaders are also involved, including some from Saudi Arabia, the radio station said.
Among other efforts, Jewish and Muslim groups have held meetings and seminars in pursuit of an agreement on joint action against parliamentary motions banning ritual slaughter or religious symbols in public places.
The talks have led some Muslim leaders to back action against Muslim attacks on Jews in Europe, the report said.
In Europe, the Jewish and Muslim slaughter customs have united opponents both from liberal circles who cite animal welfare as their main concern and right-wing nationalists who view the custom as foreign to their countries’ cultures.
JTA contributed to this report.