Jewish and Muslim religious leaders convened in Paris on Monday to issue a joint
declaration against what they saw as the growing tide of xenophobia in
Rabbi Marc Schneier of New York and British Imam Abduljalil Sajid
condemned anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiments across the continent and
called for democratic and pluralistic values to be upheld.
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and anti-Semitism represent the sharp end of racism in Europe, so Jews and
Muslims must fight them together, and prevent anyone from turning us into
scapegoats,” said Sajid, a Muslim religious leader of Pakistani origin who is
one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain.
“At the same time,
Europeans of all backgrounds should come together to defend basic European and
universal values of democracy, pluralism and mutual
Schneier, who is an Orthodox rabbi and vice president of the
World Jewish Congress, said that many parties on the Right currently espousing
an anti-Muslim agenda used to persecute Jews.
“Although much of the venom
of extremist and populist parties is directed these days against Muslims, it
should not be forgotten that several of the far-Right parties, including the
National Front in France, have histories replete with anti-Semitism,” he
Schneier and Sajid have participated in several interfaith events
in the past, such as the Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish leaders, which
was launched in Brussels last December.