France: Syangogue door set afire; moderate Muslim imam threatened

January 15, 2009 22:40


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A flammable liquid has been used to set fire to a door of a synagogue south of Paris, and France's main Jewish organization called it a "new act of inadmissible violence." France has faced a spate of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks amid Israel's offensive in Gaza. However, police were cautious about labeling the fire Thursday at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges synagogue an attack. Deputy mayor Xavier Cantat says police told him the burning of the back door at the synagogue was "voluntary and malicious" - but stopped short of calling it an attack. Separately, Bernard Koch, an aide to a Muslim prayer leader in Drancy, north of Paris, says the imam has received threats and had his car vandalized. Hassan Chalghoumi works for reconciliation among Jews and Muslims.

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