Although one may assume that the perpetrators are individuals driven by fanatical political and/or religious hate – as seems to be the case with the arrested suspect of the Brussels murders – we are alarmed by the concurrence of such violent acts with the rise of xenophobic and antisemitic parties in various countries of Europe.
All of this demonstrates that the ICCJ together with its member organizations and all other interfaith organizations still have much work to do in promoting interreligious understanding and respect, and in eradicating antisemitism and religious bigotry.
In response to the recent report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: “Discrimination and Hate Crime Against Jews in EU Member States: Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism”, published Autumn 2013, the ICCJ made contact with all its European member organizations to ask for their assessment of the situation in their countries. Based on the replies we received, the ICCJ decided to start working on collaborative European projects to address these issues.
In order to develop our project plans, the ICCJ will devote several days of an Executive Board meeting to Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe, combined with meetings and briefings with organizations internationally involved in these topics to develop our project plans.
(Picture: Jewish Museum Brussels; Photographer: Michel Wal, under GNU Free Documentation License)