A small study into the impact of Salafism, an ideology within Sunni Islam that has often been identified as a source of radicalism, upon schools in Berlin, has found that the ideology may be leading to increased antisemitism and homophobia.
The research from American Jewish Committee, which surveyed a small number of teachers, found that many were concerned about increasing amounts of antisemitic abuse, with the word “Jew” being frequently used as an insult. However, it is important to note that the study only asks the teachers whether they have perceived an increase in antisemitism
The word “Jew” is not just being used to refer to Jewish students, but is reportedly being turned into a catch-all slur used to target women, homosexuals and secular Muslims.
Deidre Berger of the AJC said that the research illustrated that the problem was no longer limited to a few incidents. Several months ago, we reported that a Jewish boy was forced out of his Berlin school following several months of antisemitic bullying, and we suggested at the time that the evidence pointed to a growing and widespread problem of antisemitism in German schools.
Ahmad Mansour, a Psychologist, said that the problem was not limited to just the use of the word Jew, saying “it’s also about conspiracy theories and about an interpretation of Islam in which all Jews are considered enemies”. Others have claimed that Antisemitism is extremely prevalent within Salafism.
Unless the German government takes serious steps to ensuring that schools are tackling antisemitism, and giving assurances to teachers and parents that all complaints of antisemitism are taken seriously, regardless of the source, then the situation will be dire for Jewish students in the country. With many parents already withdrawing their children and placing them in Jewish schools, action must be taken quickly before confidence is lost in the school system’s ability to protect Jewish students.