As part of the International Day against Islamophobia on the 12th of December 2015
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris
Joint statement by Belgian Union of Progressive Jews (UPJB) and French Jewish Peace Union (UJFP)
Like all citizens deeply attached to justice and humanity, we were stunned and appalled at the mass slaughters that hit Paris on the 13th of November and whose ensuing shockwave became worldwide.
Emotions thus aroused must not favour discriminatory measures against an “enemy” that has been designated since 2001 by the so-called “clash of civilizations”.
In times gone by we were the outcasts of Europe, considered to be incapable of integrating society, and we were accused of everything that went wrong. Since murderous anti-Semitism still exists, we speak out to our brothers and sisters, whether Arabs, Turks, Muslims or those of “seemingly Muslim appearance”, who were born and raised here or who came from abroad, saying:
– We are all at home here. Equality of rights, respect and dignity is due to all.
– No one has the right to multiply discriminatory laws and regulations of which you are now the main victims.
– No one has the right to make distinctions between us, based on one’s national origin, that would make many of you second-class citizens.
– No one has the right to suspect you of anything simply because of your religion, your appearance or your presumed origin.
– No one has the right to demand any justification on your part.
– No one has the right to confuse Islam, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism at every opportunity, no more than they have the right to assimilate Jews with Zionists.
– No one has the right to declare a state of emergency that would turn you into potential culprits.
– No one has the right to discriminate against you, be it in the workplace or in the fields of housing, education or civil rights.
– No one has the right to declare new wars and build new walls or camps on Europe’s borders or on its territory.
There is no alternative to the basic rules of coexistence with equality of rights, both in Europe and in Israel/Palestine. Jews and Muslims, this society is ours. It is up to us to make it better and more equitable, together with all women and men of good faith.
The 11th of December 2015