PARIS – French Muslim leaders are rejecting suggestions that the Quran is to blame for resurgent anti-Semitism in France, and are urging imams and non-Muslims to work together to fight extremism.
Thirty mosque rectors and other prominent Muslims published an appeal in Le Monde saying Islam is being “confiscated by criminals.”
They were responding to a manifesto signed by actor Gerard Depardieu, former President Nicolas Sarkozy and others blaming Islamic radicalism for a “new anti-Semitism.” The manifesto urged Muslims to denounce anti-Jewish and anti-Christian references in the Quran as outdated.
The Muslim leaders acknowledged that some imams have fueled radicalism, and urged all imams to preach peace, notably online.
They also asked non-Muslim leaders, schools and police to “show more discernment” between Islamic extremists who have attacked France in recent years and Islam itself.