Muslim MEP calls on European Jews to halt flight

MEP Afzal Khan, a Pakistan-born Muslim who represents northwest England in Brussels, said that Jews should not give up on Europe despite rises in anti-Semitism in recent years.

October 12, 2014 21:19
1 minute read.

A man wears a kippa. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

European Jews should halt their flight and work with local Muslims to solve the issues facing their communities, a Muslim member of the European Parliament told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend.

MEP Afzal Khan, a Pakistan-born Muslim who represents northwest England, said Jews should not give up on Europe despite the rise in anti-Semitism in recent years and especially this summer.

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“What we are saying is there is no need to do that [leave],” he said on Friday. “There are challenges in life wherever you are. You don’t solve problems and challenges by running away.”

There are sufficient safeguards in place to protect European Jews and it is possible for Muslims and Jews to work together to “work together to make sure that society is providing equal opportunities, safety and protection for every citizen,” Khan said.

“We need to be examples to the rest of the world, particularly in the Middle East, so that instead of fighting we should be cooperating.”

Khan expressed similar sentiments when speaking at an interfaith meeting held at the European Parliament last month, organized by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which is dedicated to “affirm[ing] the common destiny of the two faith communities to live side by side and work together for a pluralistic Europe that embraces diverse faiths.”

“I believe that we can spread this message across Europe within the Muslim community – and we have no other choice but to challenge Muslim leaders to express this sentiment to the Jewish community,” FFEU founder Rabbi Marc Schneier said. “The rise of anti-Semitism within the Muslim community must be confronted by Muslim leaders themselves, so that we welcome this initiative but we are determined to see it grow exponentially.”

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