These projects that try to bring together young Jews and Muslims in France

by time news

“In Egypt, from time to time, we say “to have a Jewish heart”. It means that youhave no soul, that you have a heart of stone”. A winter afternoon, in 2018, in a social center in 17e district, a Parisian teenager confides. Rocking nonchalantly in his chair, he also reports that his uncle “said thatHitler, whathe did, it was good”. These violent words are filmed by Hanna Assouline’s camera. The documentary filmmaker followed the tour of Jewish and Muslim activists from SOS-Racisme, who went to meet teenagers all over France to talk about the tensions and prejudices between these two populations. She made a film of it, Our Turn! (Gogogo Film, Chaï Chaï Films, France Televisions, 2020, 52 minutes).

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Four years later, one of the young people met in Paris, Hamynata Gueret, recalls this exchange during which “he doesn’tthere was no judgment. No question was stupid. Everyone had time toExpress “. She was 14 at the time of the documentary, and remembers very well the testimonies of her comrades about the anti-Semitism prevalent in their entourage. It had surprised her. “In my family, thisis not a subject”, says this young Muslim. The stories of young Jews involved in SOS-Racisme had also marked her. “At that time, Ihad a self-centered view. As a black and Muslim young person, Idid not imagine that people fromanother community can experience discrimination like us, and feel it just as strongly. »

Act “before everyone locks themselves in their adult life”

Many initiatives for meetings and dialogue have emerged over the past twenty years, aimed at young Jews and Muslims, to fight against an increasingly fragmented society and/or in reaction to specific events. The interconvictional dialogue association Coexister, for example, was founded following the Israeli military operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza in 2009, which sparked clashes between pro-Palestinians and pro-Israelis in Paris. It was also the anti-Semitic murder of Mireille Knoll by her young neighbor, in March 2018 in Paris, which motivated the launch of the SOS-Racisme tour, under the name of “Salam, Shalom, Salut”.

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These projects particularly target teenagers or young adults, ages « where we are very easily influenced, explains Mohamed Amine, mediator at the Judeo-Muslim Friendship of France (AJMF), an association created in 2004 by the rabbi of Ris-Orangis, Michel Serfaty. We are in a bend betweenchildhood and maturity, and cis there thatit is important to transmit values, convictions ». « Cis an open period, before everyone slocked up in his lifeadultbelieves in turn Radia Bakkouch, president of the association Coexister. On a limpression thatwe are touched by all the ills of society, and at the same time we are thirsty fortry to understand what is going onother. VSis the time to encounter diversity. »

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