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A manifesto has been signed in France by more than 300 dignitaries and celebrities denouncing Islamic anti-Semitism in the country. The protest came about following a series of attacks on members of the Jewish community, including 11 killings.

Well-known figures including film actor Gérard Depardieu and former president Nicolas Sarkozy have put their signatures to the manifesto, citing anti-Semitism as a “democratic failure” and demanding the fight against it be taken up as a national cause before “France is no longer France.”

France has the largest Jewish community in all of Europe, but this emerging virulent anti-Semitism has led to a wave of emigrations over the past 20 years as families head to Israel. The anti-Semitism is particularly prevalent in communities that have a dominant immigrant population.

Founder of the SAFE project and Tell MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal OBE issued a statement published in Ha’aretz regarding the manifesto and the need to address anti-Semitism in the Muslim community.

Mughal was concerned that some individuals had tried to take advantage of Tell MAMA, an anti-Muslim hate crime reporting service, to promote an anti-Semitic agenda. Details of Tell MAMA can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.

Islamic Attacks on French Jews

A series of serious attacks on Jews in France by Islamic extremists provoked the creation of the manifesto, which was published in April 2018 in France’s Le Figaro newspaper. The signatories pointed out that in recent years, there had been 11 assassinations of Jews by Islamic radicals in France, some of which were preceded by torture. The signatories denounced this “ethnic purging” as well as the actions of the media, which had largely remained silent. The manifesto detailed the killings that had prompted this call to action, going back as far as 2006.

In 2012, a teacher and three school children were shot dead at a Jewish school in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, an Islamic gunman.

In 2015, four individuals were killed in a Jewish supermarket in the capital by associates of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

In 2017, a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” threw his elderly Orthodox Jewish neighbour out of a window.

In March 2018, an 85-year old Jewish woman named Mireille Knoll was killed after being stabbed 11 times and set on fire. You can find out more about Mireille Knoll in the short video attachment.

Jews in France, stated the manifesto, are 25 times more likely to be attacked because of their religious beliefs than members of the Muslim community in France. More than 50,000 members of the Jewish community in France have been forced to leave in recent years as their neighbourhoods and schools no longer safe for them or their children.

Anti-Semitism in the UK

Anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom is monitored by the Community Security Trust. In its annual report for 2017, the CST detailed 1,382 incidences of anti-Semitism in the UK, in just under a third of which they had obtained ethnic descriptions of the perpetrators. Based on this information, the probability is high that a large percentage of perpetrators of anti-Semitic crimes in 2017 were Muslim. The Community Security Trust goes out of its way not to place emphasis on this fact. In his article on the subject, Fiyaz Mughal, a British Muslim himself, calls for courageous individuals to speak out, particularly among non-anti-Semitic members of the Muslim community, to tackle the situation from the inside.

The infographic attachment looks at some of the statistics for anti-Semitic crime in the UK in the first half of 2018.