What role have Muslims played in the rise of antisemitism in Germany?

Israeli Palestinian psychologist and social researcher Ahmad Mansour, who lives in Germany, reflects in an opinion piece on a survey showing that half of Muslims in Germany are antisemitic, according to an article by the Action and Protection Foundation.

„Antisemitism has become commonplace in Germany. It is becoming more brutal and assertive, whether it is classic right-wing or left-wing antisemitism. Hostility to Jews is openly present among virus deniers, in academic circles, and in mainstream society, as well as among Muslims. New studies show that half of Muslims are antisemitic. That’s the sad reality!”

– Ahmad Mansour writes in Politik und Kultur, one of the few pro-Israel intellectuals in Germany.

The author explores what could have led to this. Among Muslim youth in Germany, there are many antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories revolving around Jewish financial and world political domination, he writes. There is a widespread view that Jews are warmongers, planned and executed 9/11, are responsible for the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine, are cunning and greedy for money, and dominate the media.

„The hip-hop scene and the emotional images and videos that appear on social media are also spreading these stereotypes, sometimes subconsciously and sometimes very explicitly. It is far from being a purely Muslim phenomenon. Many of these conspiracy theories are also present in mainstream society and have become even more visible since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.”

– Mansour notes.

But even more central to the rise of antisemitism among Muslim youth is the Middle East conflict, which is seen in an overheated, black and white way, with little distinction between Israelis and Jews, often with very aggressive sentiments towards Jews, and with stereotypes even more pronounced.

In the media, in textbooks and in everyday life, the rejection of Israel is much more widespread than one might think

– writes Mansour, who says that Islamist hatred of Jews is also on the rise: Radical Islamists often speak of Jews as enemies of Islam. At anti-Israel demonstrations, they shout slogans such as „Oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning,” a reference to the 7th century military clash between the prophet’s army and Jewish tribes, in an attempt to justify the current hatred of Jews.

But Mansour is somewhat optimistic, saying that „this hatred can be remedied.” This can be seen in the peace agreements that several Muslim countries have concluded with Israel.

„In recent years, several Muslim groups have made voluntary visits to Auschwitz and are trying to learn about antisemitism. Here in Germany, too, what I see in my work is that young people can be reached if we seek dialogue, if we educate and explain, and above all else, if we create opportunities to interact. Because many Muslims have never spoken to Jews. By showing them the complexity of the Middle East conflict, you can reach them on an emotional level, which can help to overcome hatred of Jews.”

– hopes the Palestinian social scientist, who lives in Germany.

Antisemitism in France both rose and fell last year

Both texts refer to the same set of figures published by the French Ministry of the Interior.