An 8-year-old girl in France was attacked verbally and harassed for being Jewish by two fellow students identified as Muslim, a watchdog group said.
The two boys, ages 8 and 9, verbally attacked the girl on December 4 in the school cafeteria, where they labeled her as being Jewish, according to the Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. She had declined to say what her religion was on instructions from her parents, due to the current anti-Semitic climate in the country.
The boys were of “North African origin,” the watchdog group reported.
Later on at the playground of the Joseph Sibuet elementary school in Mions, near Lyons, the boys taunted the girl, stirring up other students, and tried to hit her.
“Our parents told us that Islam is at war against the Jews,” the boys reportedly said.
Two other non-Jewish fellow students intervened and helped the girl and her sister, 6.
The girl’s father told BNVCA that his daughter refuses to return to school. He has filed a complaint with the head of the school and with police.
The girl sought the assistance of six adults at the school but to no avail, the JSSNews website reported.
BNVCA has called for the students to be punished as well as educated about Judaism, and for their parents, who reportedly have refused to take action, to be reprimanded.
On Sunday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve called for a national fight against anti-Semitism, saying incidents had doubled over the last 10 months.