Anti-Semitism seen rising among France's Muslims





BAGNEUX, France -- In the bleak housing project where a young Jew named Ilan Halimi was held captive and tortured before being dumped in a vacant lot to die, there's scant sympathy for the victim.

''It's too bad this happened, because we immigrants are always blamed," said Ibrahim Ag Ahmalou, a lanky man of West African heritage who shares his girlfriend's apartment in the project. ''But Jews have all the money and power. Everyone knows this and resents them. That's why they have these problems."

Last week there were three more attacks on Jews by Arab and African immigrants in suburban Paris, according to police. None of the latest victims was seriously injured, but the attacks heightened the nervousness of French Jews. There is alarm that the antipathy of French Muslims toward Jews, long based on opposition to Israel, is reverting to the even more sinister prejudices that once pervaded Europe, making Jews the scapegoats for all social ills.

''Anti-Semitism is rising in our country," said legislator Dominique Strauss-Kahn.



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