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July 21, 2017 1:33 pm

New Study: Pupils of Hardline Islamic Background Behind Rise in Antisemitism at Berlin’s Schools

avatar by Rachel Frommer

Illustrative. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The results of a survey released this week in Berlin asserted that the city’s schools have seen the rise of widespread antisemitism, often instigated by students following an ultra-conservative form of Islam, the German news site Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

The small-scale study claimed that pupils of Turkish and Arabic migrant background who adhere to Salafism frequently take to hurling insults at female, homosexual and secular Muslim students, particularly by using the word “Jew” as an insult.

The study was conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and based on responses to a questionnaire from 27 teachers at 21 Berlin schools collected in fall 2015 and spring 2016.

While researchers reportedly recognized that the survey was not comprehensive, they maintained that it indicated a worrying trend that schools needed to take notice of.

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On Wednesday, Germany’s RBB 24 broadcast an interview about the report with Deidre Berger, director of the AJC’s Berlin office, in which she explained that the schoolyard incidents had to be understood as “not just isolated cases.”

Berger added that many teachers have been avoiding having the classroom discussions necessary to stop students from perpetuating antisemitic conspiracy theories and using anti-Jewish language.

According to the DW report, Israeli-Arab psychologist Ahmad Mansour — the program director at the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy and a specialist in antisemitism prevention — called on Germany to take “across-the-board measures, especially within schools, to address such topics and to make it clear to such young people that such opinions have nothing to do with democracy.”

“How many studies do we still need so that we finally start to address the problem?,” Mansour added.

The AJC conducted the study in conjunction with a Berlin project called, “Strengthen Democracy — Active Against Anti-Semitism and Neo-Salafism.”

Earlier this year, reports emerged of a Jewish student in the German capital leaving his public school because of sustained antisemitic abuse by Muslim classmates.

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