French Muslims’ anti-jihad letter omits Jewish victims
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Hyper Cacher and Toulouse killings ignored

French Muslims’ anti-jihad letter omits Jewish victims

French Jewish leader complains petition by Muslim intellectuals fails to mention fatal anti-Semitic attacks

The four victims of the Paris Hyper Cacher attack, from left to right: Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Francois-Michel Saada, Philippe Braham. (Courtesy)
The four victims of the Paris Hyper Cacher attack, from left to right: Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Francois-Michel Saada, Philippe Braham. (Courtesy)

A leader of French Jews criticized Muslim intellectuals whose petition against local jihadists omits any mention of anti-Semitic violence.

The petition, signed by dozens of academics and celebrities, appeared Sunday in the Journal de Dimanche under the title “We, French-Muslims, are ready to assume our responsibilities.” In it, the co-signatories lamented the perceived weakness of the institutions of their faith communities in stopping extremists from acting violently in Islam’s name.

The text begins by listing five recent terrorist attacks: The Charlie Hebdo killings in January 2015, the bombing and shooting attacks in November, the murder of two police officers in June, the Nice promenade attacks last month, and last week’s slaying of a priest.

It makes reference neither to the murder of four Jews in a kosher supermarket, the Paris Hyper Cacher, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, nor to the execution of three children and a rabbi in Toulouse in 2012 – both perpetrated by radical Islamists.

In their letter, the co-signatories called for “a clear organizational project” within French Muslim communities, which would involve “transparent and viable funding for mosques, education and salaried employment for imams, research on history, anthropology and theology that would allow and allows one to be Muslim in a non-religious republic.”

Muslim worshipers attend the Friday prayer at the Yahya Mosque, in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, France, Friday, July 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Muslim worshipers attend the Friday prayer at the Yahya Mosque, in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, France, Friday, July 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

It also called for “a cultural battle against radical Islam, among young and not so young, with modern methods and the most effective techniques for disseminating information and ideas.”

“You’re ready to assume your responsibilities, but you are off to a bad start,” Robert Ejnes, the executive director of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities and organizations, wrote on Facebook, citing the omissions.

“You have a long way to go, my friends: You need to understand one day that these anti-Semitic attacks were committed against *Jews*, who were targeted for being Jewish. You can’t avoid these anti-Semitic murders,” Ejnes added.

“In any case, we’ll always be here to remind you,” he concluded.

CRIF has asked the authors to address the omission and have the text corrected.

French students in a moment of silence the day after gunman Mohamed Merah murdered three children and a teacher at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse (photo credit: Michel Spingler/AP)
French students in a moment of silence the day after gunman Mohamed Merah murdered three children and a teacher at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, March 2012 (photo credit: Michel Spingler/AP)
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