“To Combat the ‘New Anti-Semitism,’ Europe’s Jews and Muslims Must Work Together”

The World PostThe Huffington Post

By Harrison Akins


With news reports of continued anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community in Europe, it is all too easy to fall into a pessimistic view of the future of Jews’ place there. Some are asking the question of whether or not Jews should be leaving for safer shores. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has even made appeals to European Jews to immigrate to Israel.

The blight of anti-Semitism has haunted Europe for over a millennium and is still evident today. Recently, a new manifestation of anti-Semitism has arisen from within the Muslim population in Europe, a population that both dwarfs the Jewish community and continues to grow.

There is no denying the serious problems that exist between the Jews and Muslims of Europe. But do negative reports of those relations paint the whole picture?

Over the past two years, I have been traveling as part of the research team of Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic studies at American University, on a book and film project called “Journey into Europe.” We have been studying Islam in Europe, broadly speaking, and an important aspect of the project has been examining the relations between Jews and Muslims.

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