It was a fairly unique conference in the German city of Cologne on May 29. A highly interesting topic was being discussed: "Dimensions of Anti-Semitism in a Society of Immigrants." The focus was largely on Muslim immigrants in Europe, notably in Germany, France and Britain. Within that Muslim immigrant community anti-Jewish sentiments are still fairly common. Anti-Semitism has been exported by these immigrants from their home countries to Europe. Anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Muslim countries such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad has recently been accused of being "a Jew" by a number of his opponents, although the same Assad is a staunch enemy of both the Jews and Israel.
Most Muslim immigrants in Europe live in the big cities. In Germany's capital of Berlin, for example, the bulk of the immigrant population consists of Turks and Palestinians most of whom live in the Berlin quarters of Kreuzberg and Neuköln. The worrying increase of anti-Semititic incidents in Kreuzberg led to a new local inititiave, the "Keuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism" ("Keuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus" or KIGA), founded in 2004. Anti-Semitism in Germany is traditionally linked to the Nazis, neo-Nazi groups and the extreme right. But now the focus is on Muslim immigrants some of whom even align themselves with the extreme right.
One of the speakers at the recent Cologne conference was Mehmet Can. He said that KIGA is keeping track of articles published by Islamist newspapers. Thus, the Turkey's daily "Vakit" wrote that the Jews are a cursed people. (They also frequently attacked Christians.)