A few months ago I wrote an opinion article about the threats to Jews and Judaism in Europe today. I pointed out that while the 'anti-Jihadists' focus on the 'new' Islamic antisemitism and expect Jews to join them, there are several reasons why it's not a Jewish interest to do so. First, the Muslims are not the only ones who hate the Jews. And second, they cannot support efforts to assimilate minorities and join the fight against religious laws since assimilation and anti-religion laws could also lead to the decimation of the European Jewish community.
The Jerusalem Post interviewed two French Jewish leaders, and though they differ on which threat is worse, they basically say the same thing.
They might support a ban on burkas, but their reasons for doing so are not because they're anti-Islamization.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
What’s the single most important issue affecting the Jews of France, Europe’s biggest Jewish community and the third largest in the world? Ask two Jews and you’ll get three opinions, right? Well, not quite.
Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire Central, the body charged by the government with organizing the community’s religious affairs, and Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the umbrella organization for Jewish advocacy groups, agree on the big issues but disagree over their order of importance – just as you’d expect from a leader who heads a religious organization and one helming a nonreligious political organization.
In separate interviews with The Jerusalem Post on Monday at their offices on opposite sides of the French capital, the leaders of the French Jewish establishment outlined the challenges, fears and hopes of the community as they see them.
Mergui believes assimilation is the biggest problem French Jewry has to take on.
Prasquier, too, believes assimilation is an important issue worth reckoning with.
However, he believes the main problem facing the Jewish community is the unholy marriage of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism by extreme leftists, rightists and Islamists.
“My predecessor called it the Red-Green Alliance,” he said. “Some on the left don’t mind being allied with Islamic extremists like those who were on the Mavi Marmara [Gaza protest ship]. And many people in the center are being influenced by their views of Israel, so much so that they question their own policy toward it.”
Mergui and Prasquier agree that Islamic veils completely or mostly covering women’s faces are contrary to the notion of being French and support the bill that would ban them in public. Yes, they both worry government interference over Jewish issues like shehita ritual slaughter, which some animal rights groups want to ban citing cruelty. But burqas are a another matter, they say.
“A majority of Muslims in France say these veils have nothing to do with Islam,” Mergui said.
“To me it is a breach of the social contract,” Prasquier said. “Women are separated from society in such a way that you cannot even see their faces.”