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More than 300 celebrities and dignitaries in France have signed a manifesto against the increase in anti-Semitism that has occurred within the country. The need for such support comes in the wake of a series of attacks that have targeted members of the Jewish community in France, which have included the deaths of 11 individuals. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy and actor Gérard Depardieu are among some of the well-known names that have added their signature to the manifesto. Fiyaz Mughal published a statement in Ha’aretz exploring the need to address issues of anti-Semitism in the Muslim community, following concerns that individuals had been using his anti-Muslim hate crime monitoring service Tell MAMA to promote an anti-Semitic agenda.

Families Emigrating

The rise in virulent anti-Semitism in France has resulted in spiralling emigrations as families of what is currently Europe’s largest Jewish community head to Israel for safety. Communities in France that have a larger proportion of immigrants have seen particular prevalence of anti-Semitism in the past couple of decades. The manifesto declares that the uprising of anti-Semitic behaviour constitutes a “democratic failure” and calls for authorities to make the fight against this intolerance a national cause.

Islamic Extremists

Much of the anti-Semitic hate crime being perpetrated in France comes from Islamic radicals, hence the fears of Fiyaz Mughal regarding abuse of the Tell MAMA helpline. In recent years, 11 Jewish individuals have been assassinated by Islamic extremists in France. Some of the deaths were preceded with individuals being tortured, yet the media has remained largely silent on the issue.  Victims have included elderly Jews, three school children and a teacher, and individuals shopping in a local supermarket in a series of killings since the year 2006.

UK Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a growing problem in the UK as well as in France, with the Community Security Trust documenting 1,382 anti-Semitic incidences in the year 2017. Of these, an estimated one third had identified ethnic or racial characteristics of the perpetrators. This data suggests that a high proportion of anti-Semitic attacks are perpetrated by extremist members of the Muslim community. Fiyaz Mughal has called for other members of the Muslim community in the UK to call out anti-Semitic behaviour where they see it, recognising that these are the acts of a handful of radical individuals and do not represent the feelings of the entire community.