Half of Belgian Muslim teens have overt anti-Semitic views
A major survey among Belgian teenagers has indicated anti-Semitism is seven times more prevalent among Muslim youths than in non-Muslim teenagers, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Conducted in recent months by three universities for the Flemish government, the survey was published last month based on questionnaires filled out by 3,867 high school students in Antwerp and Ghent, including 1,068 Muslims. Among Muslims, 50.9% of respondents agreed with the statement “Jews foment war and blame others for it” compared to only 7.1% among non-Muslims. Among Muslims, 24.5% said they partially agreed with the statement, as did 20.6% of non-Muslims. The statement “Jews seek to control everything” received a 45.1% approval rating among Muslims compared to 10.8% among non-Muslims. About 35% of Muslims agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much clout in Belgium” compared to 11.8% of non-Muslims who participated in the survey. The results were part of a 360-page report produced for the Flemish government’s Youth Research Platform by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Ghent University and the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Last week the Brussels-based Jewish educational organisation CEJI, which promotes tolerance in Europe, requested a meeting with Belgian education minister Pascal Smet to discuss the survey and address “the classical anti-Semitic attitudes” the study revealed, “which we hoped not to see in a democratic Europe after World War Two,” CEJI director Robin Sclafani wrote. Claude Marinower (pictured), Antwerp alderman for education, told the agency he found the data “most troubling”. In an interview for the Antwerp-based monthly Joods Actueel, Marinower announced he would launch an action plan to fight anti-Semitism in the city’s schools.