France

Imam attacked for being ‘too pro-Jewish’

By Natasha Lehrer, February 4, 2010

A French imam has received death threats for promoting positive relations with the Jewish community.

Hassen Chalghoumi, the clean-shaven imam of Drancy mosque, just outside Paris, has been targeted by a group of young Islamists who object to his position on interfaith relations and to his vocal support for a ban on the wearing of the burka, which he calls a “prison for women, a means for sexist subjugation and a tool for fundamentalist indoctrination”.

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French cemetary vanadalised by neo-Nazis

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Dozens of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a French cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day.

At least 30 headstones in Strasbourg were daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Swastikas were painted on 18 graves, and 13 were overturned. The phrase “Juden Raus” [Jews Out] was written on one grave.

The umbrella group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), which represents the French Jewish community and tackles antisemitism, said it was not clear whether the incident was linked to the memorial day.

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Antisemitic attacks rise in France

December 17, 2009

The French ministry of the interior will appoint a representative to monitor and deal with antisemitic incidents, which have more than doubled in 2009.

The announcement was made by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux at the annual meeting for the Union of French Jewish Professionals, where he was awarded the organisation’s prize for the Fight Against Racism.

He called antisemitism “a poison for our Republic” and emphasised that his ministry would deal appropriately and firmly with antisemitic crime.

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Iran funds comic's 'anti-Zionist' film

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2009

A French far-right comedian famed for his antisemitic stunts has revealed he has been receiving funding from Iran to make ‘anti-Zionist’ films.

Comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, 43, had previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

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Iran: West provoked us to approve 10 nuclear plants

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2009

Iran’s vice-president has accused the UN and the West of “provoking” Iran into building further uranium enrichment facilities.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has slammed the move by the Iranian government to approve the construction of 10 new uranium enrichment plants. He said: “This epitomises the fundamental problem that we face with Iran.

“We have stated over and again that we recognise Iran's right to a civilian nuclear programme, but they must restore international confidence in their intentions.

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Goldstone: Franco-British initiative

By Martin Bright, Political Editor, November 3, 2009

Britain and France have today delivered a new proposal to the United Nations calling on Israel and the Palestinians to launch an immediate inquiry into allegations of war crimes during the war in Gaza.

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French comic Dieudonné fined for antisemitic stunt

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

A far-right comedian who performed an antisemitic stunt which involved giving an award to a Holocaust denier has been fined €20, 000 by a French court.

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, 43, had previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

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French anti-Muslim backlash hurts Jews

By Shirli Sitbon, September 3, 2009

The backlash against Muslims in France demanding religious rights in the public sphere has also hit Jews, who feel that their own, similar requests are being treated increasingly negatively.

“Things have got worse since more and more Muslims started pushing demands, sometimes with political motives. Now we’re compared to assertive pushy militants and our own requests are denied outright,” said Marc Djebali, vice president of the Jewish community of Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris. “Now officials tell me: ‘we can’t accept this, this is a secular state’.”

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Judge bans photos of Ilan Halimi’s torture

By Natasha Lehrer, May 27, 2009

A French judge has ordered a publisher to stop the sale of all copies of a magazine that featured a photograph of Ilan Halimi, the Jewish man who was kidnapped in 2006 by a gang currently standing trial for his murder.

The photo, which appeared on the front cover of the June edition of Choc (“Shock”), shows Halimi bound and gagged and with a pistol held to his head. It was taken during Halimi’s three-week kidnap ordeal and sent to his family in an attempt to extort a €450,000 ransom.

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Racism to be focus of Halimi murder trial

By Natasha Lehrer, April 30, 2009

Three years ago, Ilan Halimi, a Jewish mobile phone salesman who worked in central Paris, agreed to go on a date with a pretty girl who had, she later confessed, been sent to entrap him. Three weeks later, he was found by railway tracks south of Paris.

He was barely conscious; his body was marked with the evidence of multiple torture and had been doused in fuel and set alight. He died on the way to hospital.

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