Islamists Are Biggest Perpetrators of Antisemitic Violence: New Study

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Muslim extremists are the group most responsible for anti-Semitic violence in Europe, a new study has confirmed.

The study was titled “Antisemitic Violence in Europe, 2005-2015 Exposure and Perpetrators in France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia.” It was commissioned by the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo and the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities and written by Dr. Johannes Due Enstad.

The study examined a cross section of data on anti-Semitic violence across the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Russia. It excluded vandalism and threats and focused solely on tangible physical violence perpetrated against Jews.

It should be noted that anti-Semitic crime in Europe in general remains low. It is highest in France, where 2.8% of the Jewish population said they had been attacked in the past year, and 9.5% said they’d been attacked in the past five years.

(Center for Research on Extremism, June 2017)

“Available data on perpetrators suggest that individuals of Muslim background stand out among perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence in Western Europe, but not in Russia, where right-wing extremist offenders dominate,” the study said.

The study also noted that, “Russia clearly stands out with a very low number of incidents considering Russia’s relatively large Jewish population. Russia is also the only case in which there is little to indicate that Jews avoid displaying their identity in public.”

Read Antisemitic Violence in Europe 2005-2015 Exposure and Perpetrators in France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Russia.

Because of methodological differences in data collection, only data from the UK, France, Germany and Sweden can be effectively compared. Left-wing extremist violence was the next largest category of antisemitic attacks, with right-wing violence trailing into insignificance.

(Center for Research on Extremism, June 2017)

“Attitude surveys corroborate this picture in so far as anti-Semitic attitudes are far more widespread among Muslims than among the general population in Western Europe,” the study said.

One such investigative study from 2015, titled “Antisemitic Attitudes among Muslims in Europe: A Survey Review,” analyzed a cross section of attitude surveys of Muslims from across Europe. It was conducted by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy.

It concluded that the “level of antisemitic attitudes is significantly higher among Muslims than among non-Muslims, although many European Muslims do not share antisemitic beliefs.”

Analyzing the provenance of these attitudes the study noted, “The level of antisemitism rises with the level of religiosity and with fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. Notably, demographic and socio-economic variables—that is, educational level, age, gender, social disadvantage, discrimination, and legal restrictions of Islamic practice—cannot explain the differences between Muslims and non-Muslims. This refutes the widespread assumption that Muslim antisemitism is a reaction to discrimination or suppression.”

Read Antisemitic Attitudes Among Muslims in Europe: A Survey Review.

The authors of the study felt their analysis indicated “current interpretations of Muslim identity and belief are major sources for hatred against Jews.”

Those beliefs are clearly translating into physical violence, with the violence having a serious impact on Jewish life in Europe.

The Oslo study assessed if Jews hid their identity to avoid being targeted and also if they had considered emigrating. The results are staggering, the data from 2013 indicated that 60% of Jews in Sweden, 51% of Jews in France, 32% of Jews in Germany and 22% of Jews in the UK always or frequently hid their identity.

(Center for Research on Extremism, June 2017)

As to emigration, the data indicated 46% of French Jews, 26% of German Jews, 18% of Swedish Jews and 18% of British Jews had considered emigrating.

(Center for Research on Extremism, June 2017)

Asked if they were afraid of being physically attacked for their faith in the next 12 months, 60% of French Jews, 34% in Germany, 18% in Sweden and 17% in the UK responded they were worried.

(Center for Research on Extremism, June 2017)

Many have already emigrated. As the study notes, “In 2015 around 10,000 Jews left Western Europe for Israel, the largest number to do so since 1948.”

If you scale the percentages to account for the fact that Muslims make up only small percentages of the populations of these countries, the figures reveal that Islamist violence against Jews is proportionally orders of magnitude worse than violence perpetrated by other communities.

No such comparable hate-based-violence has been perpetrated by Jews against Muslims in any country in the world.

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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.

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