Thejc.com: The backlash against Muslims in France demanding religious rights in the public sphere has also hit Jews, who feel that their own, similar requests are being treated increasingly negatively.
“Things have got worse since more and more Muslims started pushing demands, sometimes with political motives. Now we’re compared to assertive pushy militants and our own requests are denied outright,” said Marc Djebali, vice president of the Jewish community of Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris. “Now officials tell me: ‘we can’t accept this, this is a secular state’.”
Sarcelles is the home of one of France’s largest and more assertive Jewish communities. In a way it pioneered the controversial trend of French minorities lobbying the secular government for religious rights, known as communautarisme — community activism.
But over the past few years it has been lagging behind the local Muslim community, which has been better able to get its traditions recognised in schools and work places.
“Ten years ago, kosher meals were offered to kids in our neighbourhood school. Today, they can only get halal,” said Mr Djebali. “Principals tell me halal is normal but kosher is just too complicated.”
Les mer: www.thejc.com