Dean of the Paris Mosque calls for an end to accusing Muslims of “anti-Semitism”

Dean of the Paris Mosque calls for an end to accusing Muslims of “anti-Semitism”

The Dean of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Shams al-Din Hafez, called for an end to accusing Muslims of anti-Semitism, in an article published by the French newspaper Le Monde on Saturday, against the backdrop of the raging controversy in France over the war in Gaza.
Hafez wrote: “In the toxic atmosphere currently prevailing, racist speeches have begun to emerge in the public space. This requires alerting the relevant authorities to stop accusing Muslims of being responsible for the pain of our society, especially anti-Semitism.”

He expressed his "condemnation of attacking the Jews of France to the same extent that it is necessary to condemn the attack on the Muslims of France," and "refusing to import the ongoing conflict in the Middle East."

France has one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe and the largest Jewish community on the continent.

Hafez added: "It is a moment of choice, not between Muslims and Jews, and not between Israel and a Palestinian state whose establishment seems more urgent than ever before. Rather, we must choose between humanity and horror."

He continued, "France's Muslims are being subjected to horrific accusations that make them all appear to be complicit in the worst deviations."

He considered that "holding the Jews of France and the entire world responsible for (what is being done by) an Israeli government that is experiencing a political and moral crisis is also a profound injustice with which I cannot agree."

He expressed his regret that "in light of the blurring of confusion between ideas, the condemnation of anti-Semitism in France has become as if it were a demand to give up the basic rights of all the peoples of the earth, including the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people."

On the other hand, “alert to the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric is, according to the same logic, linked to Islamic extremism.”

The Grand Mosque of Paris, through its imam Abdel Nour Tahrawi, and the French Council of the Islamic Religion announced that they would not participate in the “civil march” against anti-Semitism, which was being organized on Sunday at the invitation of the presidents of the French Senate and House of Representatives.

Several hundred people demonstrated quietly today, Saturday, in the city of Toulouse (south), “for peace,” demanding “an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.” Observers estimated the number of demonstrators at 2,500 people, while the authorities estimated it at 1,200.

The demonstrators raised a main banner calling for “lifting the siege” on the Gaza Strip and “stopping the Israeli bombing” on it, and another that read “Glory to the struggle of the Palestinian people” and “Supporting Palestine is not a crime,” chanting slogans in support of the Palestinians and anti-Israel.
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