New York, NY, February 1, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the death threat against Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy, France, who is being targeted for his good relations with the French Jewish community.
Chalghoumi was chairing a meeting of the Conference of Imams, created in 2009 to represent the French Muslim community in interfaith relations, on January 25 when a group of 80 men broke into the meeting, cried "Allahu Akbar," called Chalghoumi an apostate, and threatened him with "liquidation" for being the "imam of the Jews."
"Imam Chalghoumi has for several years actively promoted interfaith dialogue and spoken out for Middle East peace and Holocaust education," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "He has been a leading Muslim voice in France against anti-Semitism.
"Now we can do no less for him. We must speak up against the hate directed at him by those who believe there can be no co-existence between Muslims and Jews or between Islam and the French Republic."
Last year, following the series of anti-Semitic attacks in France sparked by Israel's military operation in Gaza, he said: "I call for peace and dialogue between the Jewish and Muslim communities. The Muslims and Jews of France can provide an example to Palestine and Israel that we can live together."
On the Holocaust, and speaking at the former internment camp in Drancy in 2006, Chalghoumi said: "A few meters from here innocent people suffered an injustice without parallel, before being deported to Auschwitz just because they were Jews." He called for increasing Holocaust education among the Muslim community.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.