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Choose one European country and one Muslim majority state and compare the existence and nature

of Anti-Semitism in both. By Umair Azam Committee on Islamophobia and AntiSemitism Muslim Jewish Relationship, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Whilst anti-Semitism has never been a great problem that could cause global effects due to lack of its severity, the expulsion of the Jewish community from Nazi Germany brought the issue to fore that anti-Semitism might be institutionalized. France, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, and The Netherlands as EU member countries keep reliable and comprehensive statistics on anti-Semitic acts, and are engaged in combating anti-Semitism. In these countries, governments and leading public figures have always condemned anti-Semitism, passed new legislation, and mounted positive law enforcement and educational efforts1 thus adequately addressing the problem of anti-Semitism. The Muslim community in Western European countries are accounts partly for minor incidents of anti-Semitism. However, the socio-economic reality shows that this is due to the fact that the Muslim youth is disadvantaged, disaffected and the problem is likely to persist as the level of education and economic prospects of the Muslim community remain limited.2 In Europe and other geographic regions, many governments became increasingly aware of the threat presented by anti-Semitism and spoke out against it. Some took effective measures to combat it with several countries, including France, Belgium, and Germany, now providing enhanced protection for members of the Jewish community and Jewish properties.3 According to NGO and media reports, Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza strip at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 led to a considerable increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents.4 It is not surprising that today, anti-Semitism around the world is predominantly fuelled by Israels policy towards its neighbours and especially its treatment of Palestinians. The recent issue of Israels attack on freedom flotilla aid ship heading for Gaza which was a humanitarian convoy, received condemnation from all corners of the world. Invariably, such incidents heighten the anti-Semitic sentiment around the world as anti-Israel and anti-Zionism feelings turn into anti-Semitism and thus plague the peaceful coexistence of different religious and racial communities both in and outside Europe. For our purposes well be focusing mainly on Germany in Europe and Pakistan as a Muslim majority state for comparing the existence and nature of anti-Semitism in both countries. European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, in its report, Perceptions of antiSemitism in the European Union, mentions that according to one interviewee5 in Germany, pacifist and pro-Palestinian demonstrations there often seemed to display strong notions of anti-Semitism. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has noted over the course of years, a shift in media and NGO reports and in the public perception of the typical anti-

1 2

Report on Global anti-Semitism, US Department of State Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 20012009, April 2010 5 A working group composed of four members of the Management Board and the EUMC interviewed 35 leading or relevant figures from European Jewish communities.

Semitic offender. However, this shift, although widely reported, is difficult to substantiate on the basis of the currently available evidence.6 Political parties on the right fringe of the political spectrum throughout Germany and in many other regions of Europe tend to radiate anti-Semitism in the society and so officially the police records right-wing politically motivated criminality with an anti-Semitic background. In Germany, official statistical data are collected by the Federal Criminal Police Office Bundeskriminalamt and published annually by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz. Most of the crimes registered are non-violent crimes (e.g. 44 out of a total of 1,496 incidents recorded in 2007 were violent crimes, down from 61 violent incidents in 2007). The trend shows a peak in 2002 and 2005. The drop in 2003 was followed by a steady rise until 2005, followed by a slight drop in 2006, which continued in 2007 and 2008.

The table shows the official stats trend of all incidents politically motivated by extreme right wing. Problems in Germany are deep rooted in the history of Nazi Germany as Germans have the feeling of guilt which further complicates the matters. German interviewees were under the

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 20012009, April 2010

impression that showing solidarity with the Palestinians gave an opportunity to some people and to some groups as well, an opportunity to avoid the debate on the Shoah and Germanys guilt. According to the interviewees, parts of the population repeatedly stated that Sharon was at the origin of the second Intifada and that Jews as such were mainly responsible for the crisis in the Middle East. The interviewees explained that frequently Jews were inextricably considered to be representatives of Israel and therefore they were responsible for what was happening there. However, concern has been expressed from different corners of German Jewish community that a new form of anti-Semitism is emerging. This form tends to promote anti-Semitism as part of its other stands against globalization, capitalism, Zionism, and foreigners. However, before drawing conclusions, reality has to be kept in mind as the situation may not be as grave as it might appear as one German interviewee mentioned an opinion poll in which it became absolutely clear that over 60 per cent of the people think that the past should not be spoken about any more. He stated that this phenomenon was now pervasive in German society and was an increasing characteristic of daily life. Also, the interviewees judged that relatively speaking, Germany had done a lot and thus could be mostly satisfied with what they have done.7 The official policy of Germany has been stated as, "We will not tolerate any form of extremism, xenophobia or anti-Semitism."8 Moreover, in Germany, politicians have had to resign for making anti Semitic declarations.9 Germany provided several million Euros to fund "nationwide programs aimed at fighting far-right extremism, including teams of traveling consultants, and victims' groups. Furthermore, in September 2007, Yosef Havlin, Rabbi at the Chabad Lubavitch Frankfurt stated in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, that the German public does not support Nazis, instead he has personally experienced the support of Germans, as a Jew and Rabbi he "feels welcome in his (hometown) Frankfurt, he is not afraid, the city is no-go-area".10 According to press reports, the country's Jewish population is growing rapidly and this bears testimony to the fact that anti-Semitism is not a problematic social reality in German civil society and that the German government has been successful in its efforts to curb it.

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, comprehensive Report, Perceptions of AntiSemitism in the European Union Voices from Members of the European Jewish communities 8 Wolfgang Schaeuble, Interior Minister of Germany

In October 2003, Martin Hohmann, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Member of Parliament, publicly compared the actions of Jews during the Russian Revolution to those of the Nazis during the Holocaust. These remarks led to a criminal complaint alleging incitement and slander and to the opening of an inquiry. Hohmann was expelled from the CDU Bundestag Caucus in November 2003 and from the CDU Hesse state organization in July.

Anti-Semitism, Wikipedia online.

On the other hand, the problem of anti Semitism is rampant in Pakistan. The concept of Anti Semitism in Pakistan is used interchangeably with anti-Zionism and anti-Israel as there is a general consensus among the citizens with awareness of global issue (who are just a minority) and politicians who consider Israels acts as clearly wrong in relation to Palestine. However, Pakistan is a third world country which has been on the brink of civil war with rising terrorism. The precarious political situation, especially post Bhutto assassination has made people of Pakistan indignant and a sense of insecurity prevails. Most of the people are either or very poor so lack of education and lack of awareness may mean that the Pakistanis in general have no feelings of anti-Semitism and this can be seen from the following quote: Even in urban Karachi, where the media is all pervasive and you cannot escape the Friday sermon, there are those who bear absolutely no ill will toward Jews. Sikander Bachal, a painter waiting for work with a group of labourers, had no interest in the subject. He was the only one in the group who could read, and he said he had seen something about the Mumbai attacks in an Urdu newspaper. But when asked for his opinion, he replied: "Sir, we are just labourers, what do we have to do with Jews?"11 However, the fact remains that the government of Pakistan still does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state and to reiterate, this is primarily, though not solely due to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The other major reason that may account for anti Semitism is the hatred for US and its tough policies against Pakistan in its war against terrorism. The USAs open support of Israel and its inaction in the Middle East conflict has fuelled feelings of anti Semitism amongst Pakistanis. While, the Jewish community in Pakistan is almost non-existent, many people in Pakistan have developed anti Semitic feelings due to widespread beliefs that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York were a "secret Jewish conspiracy" organized by Israel's MOSSAD, as were the 7 July 2005 London bombings, allegedly perpetrated by Jews in order to "discredit Muslims".12 Notwithstanding the slowly rising feeling of incredulity for Jews amongst the people of Pakistan, Governments actions are otherwise as can be seen that the Government cooperated in the capture of those responsible for the 2002 abduction and killing of Wall Street Journal Correspondent Daniel Pearl. So the root cause of anti-Semitism that exists in Pakistan is due to the Arab-Israeli conflict and ignoring this most important and major cause is similar to making an attempt to climb a mountain with your eyes shut. This approach is neither feasible for resolving the problem of anti Semitism nor in anyones benefit in the long run. As mentioned earlier, Pakistan is a

Anti-Semitism in Pakistanhate on a sliding scale BY JAMIL KHAN, FARAZ KHAN, SAYYED FAWAD ALI SHAH AND MAHIM MAHER

Wikipedia online

country with a dwindling economy, facing internal and external threats to its national security and these crises leave little time for thought of being anti Semitic, as many people in Pakistan struggle to make sure that they dont sleep hungry every night! Moreover, the spate of violence and terrorism that the country finds itself currently in, the people of Pakistan seek friendly relations with other countries and people of other religions.13 So the nature and existence of anti Semitism is very different in Germany as compared to Pakistan. Germanys problems of anti Semitism are inter alia deep-rooted in the days of Nazi Germany with a feeling of guilt amongst them. Whereas, problems of anti Semitism, are from a feeling of insecurity provoked by Indo-Israel diplomatic ties and also a feeling of indignation. Arab-Israel conflict and the confusing understanding of the relationship between Zionism and Semitism are common amongst both countries problem of anti Semitism.


In fact, it would be safe to say that most people in Karachi, and indeed Pakistan, are fed up with terrorism and

what it has done to the economy and the country's image. They just want to go about their daily lives. AntiSemitism in Pakistanhate on a sliding scale BY JAMIL KHAN, FARAZ KHAN, SAYYED FAWAD ALI SHAH AND MAHIM MAHER