Antisemitism from Muslims has become a serious issue in Western Europe, although not often acknowledged as such. Looking for insights into the views and rationales of young Muslims toward Jews, Günther Jikeli and his colleagues interviewed 117 ordinary Muslim men in London (chiefly of South Asian background), Paris (chiefly North African), and Berlin (chiefly Turkish). The researchers sought information about stereotypes of Jews, arguments used to support hostility toward Jews, the role played by the Middle East conflict and Islamist ideology in perceptions of Jews, the possible sources of antisemitic views, and, by contrast, what would motivate Muslims to actively oppose antisemitism. They also learned how the men perceive discrimination and exclusion as well as their own national identification. This study is rich in qualitative data that will mark a significant step along the path toward a better understanding of contemporary antisemitism in Europe.
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Günther Jikeli is a research fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies, Potsdam University and at the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (GSRL/CNRS), Paris.Review:
A valuable work of sociological research in a highly topical area of great relevance. By embracing a de-essentializing perspective, Jikeli helps the reader to understand the phenomenon in its full scope and makes it a useful tool for policy makers, educators, religious scholars, social workers, and sociologists. (Alejandro Baer University of Minnesota)
Jikeli's new book, based on about 120 wide and deep scope interviews with young urban Moslem males, as the author defines them, most of whom 'don't like Jews,' is a courageous, non-politically correct first class research. Built step by step, the book first offers a picture of the state of the art in research and public debate, which later enhances the author's own contribution. Jikeli then goes on to present ample interview material, organized according to the relevant themes, and continues towards analysis and conclusions. The outcome is disturbing, even alarming, one that calls for urgent awareness and possible solution findings. (Dina Porat Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, Tel Aviv University.)
Gunter Jikeli's nuanced study, based on in-depth interviews conducted with young Muslims in France, Germany, and Britain, is an important contribution to our understanding of the pervasiveness of contemporary European Muslim antisemitism. It is especially timely in the light of recent events in Europe, in which radicalized Muslims have emerged as the chief perpetrators of antisemitic violence and terrorist attacks. Most disturbing of all, as Jikeli clearly shows, is the normalization of anti-Jewish hostility in the West European Muslim milieu which he has carefully investigated. (Robert S. Wistrich Director, Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Hebrew University of Jer)
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