OPINION: Jews have been killed – so will it cause more problems for Muslims?

From Jewish News UK:  http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

By Brendan O’Neill, Editor
January 15, 2015

The parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly exposed last week. In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.

And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims. They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.

So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered the Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.

The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles on the Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual attacks on Jews.

The gaping disconnect between observers’ fears of what would happen in France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and what actually did happen was summed up in comments made by George Clooney. On Monday, as the bodies of the four murdered Jews were being prepared for the flight to Israel, Clooney was telling fawning hacks about the scourge of “anti-Muslim fervour” in Europe. It got to a point where it wouldn’t have felt surprising to hear a journalist say: “Oh no, Jews have been attacked – will this cause yet more problems for Muslims?!”

Of course, it’s entirely legitimate to worry about a backlash against Muslims in the wake of Islamist terror. That some blank grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in France suggests there are indeed Muslim-loathing hotheads. But there’s no escaping the fact that observers struggle to acknowledge the seriousness of anti-Semitism. They find it easier to fantasise about a mob-led war on Muslims than to confront the real, growing problem of Jew-baiting.

We saw this last year, too, when there were numerous anti-Semitic outbursts during the Gaza conflict. Those who pose as progressive, who instantly reach for political placards whenever Muslims or another minority suffer abuse, didn’t say much. They fidgeted, ermed and ahhed, or, worse, offered an apologia for the new anti-Semitism. “If Israel didn’t treat Palestinians so badly, maybe Jews wouldn’t get attacked”, they hinted.

Continue reading at: http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

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