Muslims deny inaction over anti-Semitism

2012-09-03 14:01
German Rabbi Daniel Alter listens to a speech during a rally themed "No Antisemitism in Friedenau". (AFP, File)

German Rabbi Daniel Alter listens to a speech during a rally themed "No Antisemitism in Friedenau". (AFP, File)

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Berlin - The head of an umbrella organisation for Muslims in Germany on Monday rebuffed a call by a Jewish leader to do more to combat anti-Semitism after a rabbi was brutally attacked in Berlin.

"Muslims do not need lessons on that. Anti-Semitism is not compatible with Islam," Ali Kizilkaya, chairperson of the Co-ordination Committee of Muslims, told the Berliner Zeitung.

The beating last Tuesday of 53-year-old rabbi Daniel Alter in front of his young daughter, allegedly by a group of Arab youths, has been roundly condemned.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, urged Muslim groups to "finally deal decisively with anti-Semitism in their own ranks".

He said in Friday's edition of the Berliner Zeitung that words and sympathy were nice and honestly meant, but actions counted.

Kizilkaya said hostility to Islam also needed to be talked about when discussing anti-Semitism and added that his organisation, which represents four German-based Muslim groups, was ready to talk to the Jewish community.

About 1 500 people rallied in Berlin on Sunday in support of Alter, who thanked the crowd for its support and said: "My cheekbone was broken but these guys did not break my will to stand up for dialogue between religions."

About four million Muslims live in Germany and more than 200 000 Jews.

Read more on:    germany  |  religion
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