ISRAELI FRONTLINE is non-profit.
This weblog is rewarded for each click, so please visit our advertisers to see what they are offering.
All opinions expressed on this weblog are those of the author, with the exception of opinions expressed in links that appear on this site and with the exception of comments written by viewers whose opinions may not necessarily reflect the author's. All original material is copyrighted and property of the author, and is not to be used without permission, unless it is attributed to this weblog (with a hyperlink to http://israeli-frontline.com/, or to the particular article shown in this weblog). All emails and messages containing public news and information are presumed to be for publication on this site, unless otherwise specified. I reserve the right to delete comments that I find to be offensive in nature, inappropriate or irrelevant to the content of this weblog. Michelle Cohen, Creator of ISRAELI FRONTLINE-----------------------------------------------© 2010 - 2014 ISRAELI FRONTLINE - All Rights Reserved.
Today's Top Headlines, Videos, Analysis and Opinion / / HOME PAGE

Sunday, November 11, 2012

French imams to visit Israel to improve relations, sullied image

French Imams during a meeting of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (not necessarily the ones arriving in Israel)
Source: The Times of Israel
By Ron Friedman


group of 12 French imams were set to arrive in Israel on Sunday for a five-day visit aimed at dispelling the belief that France’s Muslim community is anti-Semitic, Maariv reported.

“Unfortunately French Muslims are seen as being anti-Semitic,” said Hassan Shaljoumi, who heads a mosque in the Paris suburb of Drancy and has been to Israel three times in the past. “While it is true that there are imams who spread anti-Semitism in the name of Allah, they are a minority…. We plan to present a different facet, that of Muslims who want to live in peace with Jews and wish to advance that peace.”

According to Shaljoumi, he repeatedly receives threats over his interfaith work and had to prevent news of the planned visit from getting out, fearing extremists would try to prevent it.

During the visit, which is being aided by the French Foreign Ministry, the imams will meet with President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The clergymen will visit Jerusalem’s holy Muslim sites and hold meetings with Jewish, Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders, intellectuals and youth.

“Our image in the world has been sullied and we must remedy it in the name of tolerance,” said the group’s members in a statement. “We are the true face of French Muslims.”

On November 2 French President Francois Hollande accompanied Prime Minister Benjamin to Toulouse, where the two leaders participated in a memorial ceremony for three children and a rabbi who were murdered by radical Islamist Mohammed Merah in March.

In his speech, Hollande said that he would promote new legislation against hate speech.

“We will tear off all the masks, all the pretexts, to anti-Semitic hate,” Hollande said. Addressing Netanyahu, he added: “I would like to remind you of the determination with which the French Republic has confronted anti-Semitism, not only with words, but with actions.”