European Imams, Rabbis Join Forces, Pledge Zero Tolerance for Hate Preachers, Even From Their Own Community
General Secretary of the European Jewish Council Serge Cwajgenbaum speaks during the “Gathering of European Jewish and Muslim Leaders” in Paris September 4, 2012. Jewish and Muslim religious leaders from 18 European countries gathered in Paris to discuss mutual issues of concern regarding religious practices in Europe, according to local media. REUTERS
PARIS (Reuters)- Seventy European Muslim and Jewish leaders pledged on Wednesday to show “zero tolerance” to hate preachers of any faith including their own ranks, citing what they called rising religious intolerance on the continent.
Imams, rabbis and community leaders from 18 countries agreed to jointly counter bigotry against Jews and Muslims and combat legal threats to common religious practices such as circumcision of boys and the kosher and halal ritual slaughter of animals.
The two-day meeting brought together Muslim-Jewish teams from around Europe to compare experiences in fighting religious prejudice and report on recent trends against minority faiths.
There have been several attacks on Jews in Europe this year, some from radical Muslims. In the worst case, a French Islamist killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse last March.
Extreme right-wing political parties are also increasingly agitating against Jews and Muslims, participants in the meeting said.
“We must institute a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against religious leaders of any faith who misuse their pulpits to incite religious bigotry,” they said in a declaration.
“We vow to each other to speak out loudly and forcefully against any religious leader who defames those of other faiths, and, if such bigots emerge from within our own communities, to condemn them loudly and clearly.”