European imams and rabbis pledge zero tolerance for hate preachers

September 5, 2012

Paris, location of the meeting of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders.

Seventy European Muslim and Jewish leaders pledged on Wednesday to show “zero tolerance” to hate preachers of any faith including their own ranks, citing what they called rising religious intolerance on the continent.

Imams, rabbis and community leaders from 18 countries agreed to jointly counter bigotry against Jews and Muslims and combat legal threats to common religious practices such as circumcision of boys and the kosher and halal ritual slaughter of animals.

The two-day meeting brought together Muslim-Jewish teams from around Europe to compare experiences in fighting religious prejudice and report on recent trends against minority faiths.

There have been several attacks on Jews in Europe this year, some from radical Muslims. In the worst case, a French Islamist killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse last March.

Extreme right-wing political parties are also increasingly agitating against Jews and Muslims, participants in the meeting said.

“We must institute a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against religious leaders of any faith who misuse their pulpits to incite religious bigotry,” they said in a declaration.

“We vow to each other to speak out loudly and forcefully against any religious leader who defames those of other faiths, and, if such bigots emerge from within our own communities, to condemn them loudly and clearly.”

Read the full story by Tom Heneghan and Nicholas Vinocur here.

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One comment

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First of all thanks for welcoming me back. I think all who are advocating tolerance in foreign lands must also go back to their own countries and do the same on regular basis. My major concern is towards Muslim clerics. Right now Pakistan and Afghanistan are on top list who are not aware of the word tolerance. Yes, we do need tolerance from all who follow their Holy Books but unfortunately some countries are violating the same by burning the people alive and damaging their holy books and worship places which should be stop through legislation in UN. Spreading hate due to some difference on beliefs or religion must stop.

Posted by Aftabwilson | Report as abusive