Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Study Exposes Depth of Muslim Antisemitism in Europe

May 13, 2015 10:27 am 2 comments

The site of a Paris terror attack against a kosher market. Photo: JJ Georges via Wikimedia Commons.

new study published by the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy (ISGAP) confirms what many have long suspected: that the worst crimes against Jews in Europe are perpetrated by (European) Muslims, and that Muslims have been responsible for a “disproportionate” number of anti-Semitic attacks over the past 15 years.

And it isn’t just about Israel.

Overall, trends in Jew-hate have fluctuated by country since the beginning of this century. For the most part, reports of anti-Semitism are lower now than they were during the “second intifada” of 2008-2009 despite terrorist attacks on Jews in Brussels, Copenhagen, and Paris in the past year alone. But anti-Semitic incidents have risen substantially from 1990s levels; and while, as the ISGAP report notes, “surveys on anti-Semitism that distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims” have been subject to criticism, “the sum of available studies to date provides strong evidence that the level of anti-Semitism is indeed particularly high among Muslims.”

The report, authored by Gunther Jikeli, the director of ISGAP France and a research fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies at Potsdam University, examines several surveys conducted since 2006, comparing results country by country. (France and the UK receive particular emphasis.) Most of those surveys were based on subjects’ responses to stereotypes about Jews, asking them to agree or disagree with such statements as “the Jews have too much power in politics” and “the Jews have too much power in the media.” Country for country, the number of Muslims agreeing with those anti-Semitic statements far surpassed that of non-Muslims.

In a 2014 study in France, for instance, 25 percent of the general public agreed with the statement “Jews have too much power in the economy and the financial world,” but 50 percent of Front National (right wing nationalist) sympathizers agreed; 67 percent of the Muslim population surveyed agreed.

Similar criteria used by Ruud Koopmans in 2008 showed a like trend among 900 participants in six European countries, reports Jikeli. Subjects in Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands were asked to respond to the statement “Jews cannot be trusted.” Consistently, far more self-identifying Muslims agreed with this statement than did self-identifying Christians. In Austria, for instance, 10.7 percent of Christians agreed with this statement; six times as many Muslims agreed—some 64.1 percent; in Belgium, 7.6 percent of Christians agreed while an overwhelming 56.7 percent of Muslim respondents agreed.

Other studies have examined different and possibly more worrying criteria. In France, a Fondapol survey, the IGAP report says, found that “twenty-four percent of the Muslim sample and 12 percent of the general population disagreed that the Holocaust should be taught to younger generations to avoid its repetition.” In Brussels, 53.7 percent of Muslims surveyed agreed with the statement “Jews incite to war and blame others,” while only 7.7 percent of non-Muslims did. And in the Netherlands, Jikeli found, a 2013 study among teachers showed that “anti-Semitic attitudes and Holocaust diminishment” were “vastly more common” in schools with a larger Muslim student body. Reports ISGAP:

“In schools where less than 5 percent of the students had Turkish or Moroccan background, 28 percent of the teachers reported that their students made hurtful remarks about Jews or diminished the Holocaust once or a few times during the preceding year. In schools where the student population is over 25 percent Turkish or Moroccan, 43 percent of the teachers gave this answer. Interestingly, when we exclude insults made in the context of the Middle East or soccer, the percentage of insults against Jews is also significantly higher in schools that have many students of Turkish or Moroccan background. According to teacher reports, perpetrators with Moroccan or Turkish backgrounds are overrepresented, forming ten and eight percent of the perpetrators, respectively, while the figure stands at three percent for both student groups in the Netherlands.”

What makes the ISGAP report especially interesting, however, is the evidence it offers against the commonly-held belief that social class, discrimination, and similar factors play a role in Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe. Rather, notes Jikeli, “the level of anti-Semitism rises with the level of religiosity and with fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.” Yet, he notes, “although anti-Semitism is particularly strong among fundamentalist as well as believing and practicing Muslims, the level of anti-Semitism among less religious Muslims is still higher than in the general population.”

Reading through the report and the consistently vast differentials in surveys between non Muslim and Muslim populations across Europe makes for depressing reading. Yet not wanting to totally give up on changes in Muslim attitudes, one can’t help but hope for the one instance, the one country, where things are different, where Muslims – at least European-born, Western-raised Muslims – did not exhibit the highest level of Jew-hate and bigotry, where Muslims led the way in attitudes of tolerance, of peace.

But it never happens.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

2 Comments

  • Why must we have any relations with these people other than they sell us some oil and we’ll sell them some food, technology, medicines and so on? Why do we have to be friends with them? We have better choices of friends to play with, friends that have something to offer us, like being an ally through shared technology, medicines and trades, all they have to offer is something that’s a naturally occurring product from the ground that we pay for, pump and refine, they do nothing but stand there with their hand out, that should not make us friends.

  • The islamic creed is “If you are not a fellow muslim then you’re our enemy and we must get rid of you “.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    The first English-language trailer for Natalie Portman’s directorial debut — A Tale of Love and Darkness — based on Israeli author Amos Oz’s memoir, was released on Thursday. The movie, originally filmed in Hebrew, tells the story of Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate and the early years of Israel’s independence. Portman, who was born in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew, plays the lead role of Fania, the author’s mother. She struggles to raise her son as she deals with inner demons, a […]

    Read more →
  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →