August 20, 2018 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1413

French Manifesto Calling To 'Declare Obsolete' Violent Quranic Verses Sparks Fury From Islamic Religious Establishment, Writers In Arab Media

August 20, 2018 | By Y. Graff*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1413

On April 21, 2018, the French daily Le Parisien published a manifesto signed by over 250 French public figures, including former president Nicolas Sarkozy, former prime minister Manuel Valls, and famous singer Charles Aznavour, condemning the "new antisemitism" that radical Islam is spreading in France. The manifesto appeared about a month after the murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death in her Paris apartment, and about a year after another Jewish woman, 65-year-old Sarah Halimi, was beaten to death on a Paris street. Both murders have been recognized by the French authorities as antisemitic hate crimes. The manifesto, drafted by Philippe Val, the former editor of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, stated that radical Islam engenders a new brand of antisemitism that has led to the murder of Jews, and that 10 percent of the Jews in the Paris area, some 50,000 people, left their homes recently because they felt threatened – which constitutes a case of "quiet ethnic cleansing." The manifesto therefore demanded that the Muslim establishment declare obsolete the verses of the Quran that call for persecuting and killing Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims, just as the Vatican renounced antisemitic texts during the 20th century.[1] It should be noted that among the signers of the manifesto are Muslim figures, such as Algerian writer Boualem Sansal; the Mufti of the Comoro Islands community in France, Mohamed 'Ali Kacim; Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy Mosque in Paris, and Palestinian blogger Waleed Al-Husseini.

The manifesto sparked furious responses from Muslim clerics and writers in the Arab media. The Muslim religious establishment rejected its demand to declare certain Quranic verses obsolete and accused its signatories of ignorance and racism and of inciting to Islamophobia. Prominent among these critics were members of the religious establishment in Egypt, especially members of Al-Azhar, who argued that the manifesto's signatories misunderstood the Quranic verses in question, which refer only to circumstances of self-defense. The Quran, they stressed, promotes peace and not war or violence. Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb called the manifesto's demands "insolent," adding that "disrespect for what is sacred to others is among the main reasons for terror and for the killing of innocents." Al-Tayeb's deputy, 'Abbas Shouman, said that not a single letter of the Quran can be declared obsolete, and that whoever demands this can "go to hell." Members of Egypt's fatwa authority likewise attacked the manifesto and those who signed it. In this context it is worth noting that, in the past few years, the Egyptian regime has been urging Al-Azhar to act towards reforming the religious discourse by purging it of messages and interpretations that lead to violence and terror, and that Al-Azhar's failure to comply with this demand has led to a conflict with the presidency.[2]

Articles in the Arab media attacked the manifesto as well, stating that it distorts the intention of the Quran and may lead to religious war. Some of the writers resorted to antisemitic claims, calling the manifesto part of a Jewish plot against Islam, and others claimed it was part of the crusader war on Islam.

 Below is a translation of the manifesto, followed by translated excerpts from the responses to it by the Islamic religious establishment, especially in Egypt, and by writers in the Arab media. The Appendix presents the original text of the manifesto in French, including the full list of signatories.

The Manifesto "Against The New Antisemitism" Calls To Declare Obsolete Quranic Verses That Encourage Violence Towards Non-Muslims

The following is a translation of the manifesto, as published in Le Parisien:[3]

"Antisemitism is not the concern of Jews, it is everyone's concern. The French, whose democratic maturity has been tested after each Islamist attack, are experiencing a tragic paradox. Their country has become a theater of deadly antisemitism. This terror is spreading, provoking popular condemnation and a media silence that the recent silent march helped to break.[4]

"When Prime Minister [Emmanuel Macron] declares from the podium of the National Assembly, to the applause of the entire country, that 'France without the Jews is no longer France,' it is not a beautiful reassuring statement, but a solemn warning: our European history, particularly French history, is, for geographical, religious, philosophical, and legal reasons, profoundly linked to various cultures in which Jewish thought is prominent. In our very recent history, 11 Jews have been murdered – and some of them tortured – by radical Islamists, because they were Jews.

"However, the denunciation of Islamophobia – which is not [synonymous with] anti-Arab racism, that should be fought – obscures the data [published by the French] Ministry of the Interior [indicating that] French Jews are 25 times more likely to be attacked than their Muslim compatriots. Ten percent of the Jewish residents of Ile-de-France [the Paris area] – that is to say, about 50,000 people – were recently forced to move because they were no longer safe in some localities, and because their children could no longer attend a state school. This constitutes quiet ethnic cleansing, in the country of Emile Zola and Clemenceau.

"Why the silence? Because Islamist radicalization – and the antisemitism it conveys – is considered by some in the French elites as nothing more than an expression of social revolt, even though the same phenomenon [of Islamic antisemitism] is observed in societies as different as those of Denmark, Afghanistan, Mali, or Germany... [It is also] because the old antisemitism of the far right is joined by the antisemitism of part of the radical left, which has found in anti-Zionism a pretext to cast the executioners of Jews as victims of society. [And] because in base electoral calculations, the Muslim vote is 10 times greater than the Jewish vote.

"But the silent march for Mireille Knoll included imams who are aware that Muslim antisemitism is the greatest threat in the 21st century to Islam and to the world of peace and liberty in which they chose to live. [These imams] are, for the most part, under police protection – which says a great deal about the terror that Islamists impose on the Muslims in France.

"Therefore, we urge that the Quranic verses calling to kill and punish Jews, Christians and non-believers be declared obsolete by the theological authorities – just as the inconsistencies of the Bible and Catholic antisemitism were abolished by the Second Vatican Council [in 1962-1965] – so that no believer can rely on a sacred text to commit a crime.

"We expect the Islam of France to lead the way. We demand that the fight against the democratic bankruptcy that is antisemitism become a national cause before it is too late. Before France is no longer France."

Islamic Religious Establishment Accuses Manifesto's Signers Of Ignorance, Racism And Islamophobia

As stated, the manifesto evoked furious responses from the Islamic religious establishment, including from the Al-Azhar institute, which is regarded as the highest pan-Islamic authority, as well as from Egypt's fatwa authority (Dar Al-Ifta) and from other Muslim clerics.[5] Rejecting the call to declare obsolete certain verses of the Quran, they stated that these verses were actually peaceful and called for war only in cases of self-defense. The signatories to the manifesto, they said, were simply ignorant and harbored racist sentiments towards Muslims.

Sheikh Of Al-Azhar: "Disrespect For What Is Sacred To Others Is Among The Main Reasons For Terror"; Not A Single Quranic Verse Calls For Killing Jews And Christians 

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, addressed the manifesto in a May 5, 2018 speech in Singapore, saying: "The debate about killing in the name of religion, a phenomenon currently known as 'terror,' is long and discouraging, and one lecture or several are not enough to clarify it." He added that the religions are innocent of the crimes of terror, and ridiculed the demand in the manifesto to "freeze"[6] Quranic verses, saying: "I don't understand what you mean by 'freezing' them. Are we to put them in the freezer?!"[7]

Al-Tayeb mentioned the manifesto again in a speech at a conference marking Laylat Al-Qadr. He described it as one of the "fruits of modernism" which aims to "eliminate the supreme truth of religion," and added that "disrespect for what is sacred to others is among the main reasons for terror and for the killing of innocents."  

He stated further that, although the manifesto contains negative claims about Islam, most of them can be overlooked, except for the demand that the Islamic religious authorities declare obsolete certain Quranic verses that allegedly call to kill Jews, Christians and unbelievers. He clarified that "the Quran does not contain a single verse that calls to kill Jews and Christians, nor is there any room for such barbarity and cruelty in that book." The verses that call to fight apply only to cases of self-defense, and apply to attacks by Muslims as well as by non-Muslims, he said. Mentioning Quran 2:256, which states that "there is no coercion in religion," he asked: "Why should the Quran call to kill Jews and Christians? To force them to convert? How can any reasonable person make such a claim?" He added, "It saddens me that some people say such things without noticing how much hostility and hatred their claims spark in the hearts of a billion and a half Muslims for whom this book is sacred."

Al-Tayeb explained further that, from the days of Muhammad, Islam never regarded Jews as a uniform group but distinguished between the righteous and the evil among them, just as today it distinguishes between Judaism and Zionism. "Criticism of the Zionist entity does not mean criticism of Jews and Judaism, and the issue of antisemitism is a lie that continues to deceive nations to this day."[8]

Deputy Sheikh Of Al-Azhar: The Signatories To The Manifesto Misunderstand The Quran; To Hell With Them

Al-Tayeb's deputy, 'Abbas Shouman, blasted the manifesto in an April 26 post on his Facebook page, writing: "No to freezing a single letter of the Quran. Whoever demands this can go to hell. The demand of 300 French figures to freeze Quranic verses which, they believe, call to kill non-Muslims is unjustified and unacceptable... It betrays absolute ignorance on their part, at best. [The Quran] does not contain a single verse calling to kill anyone who did not commit a crime punishable by death, such as premeditated murder or taking up arms to fight us [Muslims]. We are not to blame if others misconstrue the verses or interpret them literally without consulting the interpretations of [the Islamic] scholars. The verses which they think call to kill them are actually peaceful verses, because all the warlike verses are in the context of aggression against us, not aggression [on our part] against others. The principle [of self-defense] is not contested even by those who call to freeze these verses. All religions, and even man-made laws, recognize the right to self-defense and the right to defend one's nation, honor, etc. against attacks of various kinds. Even Allah's commandment [Quran 8:60] to prepare forces in order to terrify the enemy – 'and prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy ' – ... is actually a peaceful verse, because whoever thinks to fight us, when he sees our power he will be afraid to confront us and refrain from attacking and fighting us, and we will not fight him [either] as long as he is peaceful towards us. Arming and preparing forces thus prevents war between us and them. The signatories to the manifesto should correctly understand Allah's book [before making demands] – but if they rely on their own faulty understanding, then to hell with them and their demands."[9]   

In a speech at an April 28, 2018 Al-Azhar conference, Shouman repeated these claims and clarified that the Quran is free of calls for violence: "I challenge the whole world: Let's see one person bring [me] a Quranic verse that incites to murder others... Al-Azhar will not let anyone distort the Book of Allah."[10] 

Other Al-Azhar Scholars: The Quran Is Holy And Must Not Be Touched Or Questioned

Criticism of the manifesto was also voiced by other Al-Azhar scholars and members of the Egyptian religious establishment.  An April 29 report in the Egyptian Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' quoted many Al-Azhar sheikhs who were enraged by the manifesto, seeing it as a violation of the sanctities of Islam and of the Muslim's religious freedom. For example, Dr. Muhammad Al-Shahat Al-Gundi, a member of Al-Azhar's Academy for Islamic Research, told the daily that "the Quran is a holy and exalted book, and it is forbidden to touch, harm or debate its pronouncements. Nobody may impinge upon [its sanctity] or make false claims that some Quranic verses incite to violence or terror, for these are lies that must not [even] be discussed. The pronouncements of the Quran are not a matter for wrangling or debate." He added: "If the West does not recognize religion and other things [of that sort], let us address it in terms of human rights, and ask: Is it conceivable to infringe upon the rights of millions of Muslims and demand to freeze Quranic verses? Is that compatible with human rights[?]... Al-Azhar delegations should visit other countries to discuss the exalted nature of the Quran and the tolerance and patriotism encoded in it, and confront the false claims made by figures in the West with the aim of precipitating a new crisis in [Western] society."

Sheikh Saleh 'Abd Al-Hamid, member of Al-Azhar's Fatwa Committee, said: "We at Al-Azhar, like all Muslims who care deeply about their religion, will stand guard against the  demands we have been hearing lately to freeze verses of the honorable Quran." He added: "Nobody, now or in the future, should even dare to discuss these demands that reflect ignorance, fanaticism, and interference in the principles of other [religions]... I say to [those who made them]: "Your demands are rejected out of hand, for they betray your ignorance and hidden hatred for Islam and the Muslims."[11]

Egypt's Fatwa-Issuing Body: The Demand To Omit Quranic Verses Is "Despicable Racism"

On April 24, the Islamophobia Monitoring Observatory, associated with Egypt's fatwa-issuing body Dar Al-Ifta, issued a statement denouncing the manifesto and its signatories, which said: "The observatory condemns the call of Philippe Val, the former editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, to omit verses from the Holy Quran which, he believes, call to fight the Jews and Christians, and regards [Val's] call as despicable racism... The observatory denounces calls of this sort that are made periodically [in France], which cause attacks on Muslims and hostility towards them there, spark conflict and war among compatriots, and strengthen the view endorsed by some, that 'France is not a land for Muslims,' as [right-wing French politician] Marion Marechal-Le Pen said in 2015...[12]

"The observatory demands a firm response against the racist calls [in the manifesto]... and stresses that [the act of] allowing these calls or sympathizing with them fuels Islamophobia and [intensifies] the Muslim minorities' sense of exclusion, triggers a counter-reaction of radicalization [among them] and gives rise to terror."

The observatory urged all sectors of French society "to respect the law that ensures religious rights and stresses freedom of religion," and called on Islamic bodies in the West to unite, implement the virtues of Islam and cultivate the value of coexistence with non-Muslims, while respecting the law and the tenets of the faith and avoiding divisiveness and discord."[13]

Khaled 'Omran, the Egyptian mufti's secretary for fatwa affairs, told reporters that the manifesto reflects "extremist anti-Islamic thinking... that is not unassociated with the general extremism that prevails in the world. The world suffers from the phenomenon of Islamic extremism, [but] there are also extremists hostile to Islam."

It should be noted that, during the last Ramadan, Khaled Al-Gundi, member of the Egyptian Religious Endowments Ministry's Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, spoke on his television program of the warlike verses alluded to in the manifesto, and repeated the claim that these verses are essentially defensive. For example, mentioning Quran 8:39 – "And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah" – he said that it refers to a situation where the Muslims have been attacked. But the enemies of Islam, who do not know Arabic, use their erroneous understanding of this verse to malign Islam, he said.[14]

Moroccan Jurist: No Book Treats The Jews And Christians More Decently Than The Quran

Moroccan jurist Ahmad Al-Raysuni, deputy chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, likewise said that the Quran calls on the Muslims to fight only whoever fights them, and proposed to hold a televised debate among Muslims, Jews and Christians about their respective scriptures, which will demonstrate that "none of the books revealed [by Allah] treats the Jews and Christians more fairly and decently, perpetuates the memory of their virtues and good deeds, and calls to be gracious with them more than the honorable Quran..."[15]

French Muslims Clerics: The Manifesto Is "Perverse" And "Delirious"

Religious leaders of the Muslim community in France also came out against the manifesto. For example, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, stated that the manifesto "brings perverse and delirious charges of antisemitism against France's Muslim citizens and against Islam in France" and may "pit religious communities against one another." Tareq Oubrou, the rector of the Great Mosque of Bordeaux, said in a similar vein that "to say that the Quran calls for murder is an aberration."[16]

Arab Writers Attack The Manifesto, Inter Alia With Antisemitic And Anti-Christian Arguments

Harsh criticism of the manifesto was voiced in the Arab media as well.  Some called it part of the crusader war against the Muslims, while others accused the Jewish lobby in France of using a few incidents of Jews murdered by Muslims, which were not necessarily antisemitic in character, to accuse Islam of antisemitism. Yet others spoke of a conspiracy against Islam which may trigger a religious war and clashes between Arabs and Jews.[17]  

Egyptian Columnist: The Jewish Lobby Is Distorting Reality And Turning A Handful Of Murder Incidents Into A Wave Of Antisemitism

Columnist May 'Azzam addressed the manifesto in two of her columns in the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm. In the first, titled "Was Hitler a Muslim?," she stated that the signatories to the manifesto disregarded the fact that the Jews lived comfortably under Muslim rule whereas the Christians of Europe persecuted them. She added that the Jewish lobby in France was trying to draw attention away from Israel's crimes by presenting a few murders of Jews by Muslims as a wave of new antisemitism. She wrote:

"The Jewish lobby in France is one of the most powerful in Europe. It has managed to obscure the killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza, and present a few cases of [French] Jews who were murdered by Muslims, by deranged individuals with a criminal record, as a threat to the Jewish community in France and as antisemitism...

"The 300 signatories to the manifesto did not suffice with denouncing Islamic extremism, but demanded to freeze or omit from the Quran verses which they claimed incite to kill non-Muslims – Jews, Christians and atheists – and foster antisemitism... This call has recently intensified and is beginning to be heard in public, on a frequent and widespread basis. Some countries have been required to omit from the Quran and from their curricula... all verses calling for jihad and fighting, [on the premise that] this will prevent extremist thinking and the emergence of terror organizations such as ISIS.

"Those who claim that the Quranic verses calling to fight the infidels and their aggression are the reason for violence and antisemitism in the world should look back at history [and check]: How were the Jews treated by the Muslims in Andalusia? And who killed the Jews of Germany and burned them in ovens? Who mocked the avarice of the Jewish Shylock in the play The Merchant of Venice?"[18]

In the second column, 'Azzam wrote that the intellectuals who dare to attack the Quran and the Muslim faith would not dare to raise doubts about the veracity of the Holocaust, for that would lead to their prosecution on charges of antisemitism. She also hinted that the Jewish community in France may have been involved in the recent murders of Jews in Paris, in an attempt to present Islam as antisemitic: "Some well-known French figures allowed themselves to demand the omission of Quranic verses that they falsely believe call to kill non-Muslims just for their religion and faith. These people purport to defend the values and principles of France, the values of liberty, equality and fraternity. But they themselves would tremble with fear if it occurred to them to doubt the number of victims [who died] in the Holocaust – six million Jews – because, according to the [French] antisemitism law, [anyone who doubts this] faces a criminal prosecution, as happened to the philosopher Roger Garaudy after he published his book The Mythical Foundations of Israeli Policy...[19]

Is it a coincidence that, in March 2018, one year after the murder of Sarah Halimi, another elderly Jewish woman, 85-year-old Mireille Knoll, was stabbed to death, and those accused of perpetrating the crime are Muslims? This latest crime triggered the March 28, 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Paris and later the publication of the manifesto in Le Parisien... Is this a coincidence? Maybe and maybe not, but in any case the Jewish lobbies took advantage of the situation to pressure people to denounce Islam and accuse it of terror and antisemitism."[20] 

Egyptian Journalist: The Manifesto Is A New Crusader War Against The Muslims; The World's 1.5 Billion Muslims Won't Take It Sitting Down

In an April 29, 2018 article in the Egyptian Al-Watan daily, Dr. Sa'id Al-Lawandi, an international relations expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, claimed that the manifesto's demand to omit Quranic verses is a new kind of crusader war that is likely to lead to disastrous religious wars. He wrote: "The truth is that this demand is nothing new, for circles in France make sure to repeat it at various opportunities. However, this time it may have achieved a greater popular dimension, since it follows the involvement of several Arabs and Muslims in acts of terror, the most recent of which were apparently the events in Nice and [on] the Elysee Boulevard in Paris.[21]

"It should be mentioned that, at the universities and research centers in France, comprehensive studies about Islam have long been underway, and I am fairly certain that [the researchers at] these places and the other faculties and bastions of oriental studies know perfectly well that Islam condemns violence and does not incite to it and that it is a tolerant religion.

"This is a new crusader war, different from the old one where the Western countries took their armies, weapons and ammunition and went to Jerusalem in order to destroy and wipe out the religion of Islam. They are currently striving for the same objectives, via a call to remove from the honorable Quran several verses that their arrogance and ignorance tell them are verses that incite to violence…

"[These opponents of Islam] have forgotten that 1.5 billion Muslims in the world will not take this sitting down. I warn against pulling the hatred of Islam and the Crusader wars from the depth of history and setting the world alight with a religious war in which there will be neither winners nor losers. I demand that the Muslim community in Paris, which numbers five to six million, activate the associations that represent it… and submit legal petitions to the French National Assembly and to the European Parliament in Strasbourg condemning the signatories of the inciting [manifesto] and the call to ostracize the Muslims and stain their honor [with the allegation that] they preach violence, [an act] that may lead to crimes against social peace and to a religious conflict, and Allah only knows what the impact [of this conflict] on the nations will be…[22]

Algerian Writer: The Plot-Hatching Jews, And Especially The Zionists, Will Never Be One Of The Bases For Finding A Common Human Ground

In an April 26, 2018 article in the Algerian Al-Shurouq daily, Algerian writer and lecturer Muhammad Abu Al-Ruwayeh accused the signers of the manifesto of preparing the ground for a clash between Jews and Arabs. He wrote:

"The manifesto calling to omit from the Quran [what it calls] antisemitic verses is just another in a chain of conspiracies against Islam... These measures, which are not innocent, herald an imminent Arab-Jewish clash that is being prepared using every possible means, including by means of intellectual forces that support the Zionist idea or at least sympathize with it... Some intellectuals and analysts perhaps rule out a Jewish-Arab clash, due to their excessive optimism... [regarding] rapprochement between [different] religions and streams. But eventually they will have no choice but to recognize this reality, which is leading towards a clash, when they understand that the Jews, and especially the Zionists among them, have never been and never will be one of the bases for finding a common human ground...

"The signers of this manifesto should have taken a lesson from the history of the struggle between the crusaders and the Muslims, for the global crusader [movement] tried, even before global Zionism, to sever the Muslims from the Quran by enticing them to adopt the Christian and Western cultures that came [to the region]. But [these crusaders] suffered a bitter disappointment... which drove some of their leaders to commit suicide or to leave the region, after the prevalence of the Quran in all [its] countries filled them with fear... They had to go back to the warlike book [Mein Kampf], by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler – whose fanaticism about the Arian race drove him to crush other races, especially the Jews... – in order to understand the difference between the way Islam treats the Jews, even though they are plotters and tricksters and despite their attacks on Islam, and the treatment they received from others, or in order to understand the difference between the justice of Islam and the distorted religions."[23]

Appendix: The Manifesto In French, And The List Of Signatories

The following is the text of the manifesto as published April 21, 2018 in the French daily Le Parisien:

"L’antisémitisme n’est pas l’affaire des Juifs, c’est l’affaire de tous. Les Français, dont on a mesuré la maturité démocratique après chaque attentat islamiste, vivent un paradoxe tragique. Leur pays est devenu le théâtre d’un antisémitisme meurtrier. Cette terreur se répand, provoquant à la fois la condamnation populaire et un silence médiatique que la récente marche blanche a contribué à rompre.

"Lorsqu’un Premier ministre à la tribune de l’Assemblée nationale déclare, sous les applaudissements de tout le pays, que la France sans les Juifs, ce n’est plus la France, il ne s’agit pas d’une belle phrase consolatrice mais d’un avertissement solennel : notre histoire européenne, et singulièrement française, pour des raisons géographiques, religieuses, philosophiques, juridiques, est profondément liée à des cultures diverses parmi lesquelles la pensée juive est déterminante. Dans notre histoire récente, onze Juifs viennent d’être assassinés - et certains torturés - parce que Juifs, par des islamistes radicaux.

"Pourtant, la dénonciation de l’islamophobie - qui n’est pas le racisme anti-Arabe à combattre - dissimule les chiffres du ministère de l’Intérieur : les Français juifs ont 25 fois plus de risques d’être agressés que leurs concitoyens musulmans. 10 % des citoyens juifs d’Ile-de-France - c’est-à-dire environ 50 000 personnes - ont récemment été contraints de déménager parce qu’ils n’étaient plus en sécurité dans certaines cités et parce que leurs enfants ne pouvaient plus fréquenter l’école de la République. Il s’agit d’une épuration ethnique à bas bruit au pays d’Émile Zola et de Clemenceau.

"Pourquoi ce silence? Parce que la radicalisation islamiste - et l’antisémitisme qu’il véhicule - est considérée exclusivement par une partie des élites françaises comme l’expression d’une révolte sociale, alors que le même phénomène s’observe dans des sociétés aussi différentes que le Danemark, l’Afghanistan, le Mali ou l’Allemagne… Parce qu’au vieil antisémitisme de l’extrême droite, s’ajoute l’antisémitisme d’une partie de la gauche radicale qui a trouvé dans l’antisionisme l’alibi pour transformer les bourreaux des Juifs en victimes de la société. Parce que la bassesse électorale calcule que le vote musulman est dix fois supérieur au vote juif.

"Or à la marche blanche pour Mireille Knoll, il y avait des imams conscients que l’antisémitisme musulman est la plus grande menace qui pèse sur l’islam du XXIème siècle et sur le monde de paix et de liberté dans lequel ils ont choisi de vivre. Ils sont, pour la plupart, sous protection policière, ce qui en dit long sur la terreur que font régner les islamistes sur les musulmans de France.

"En conséquence, nous demandons que les versets du Coran appelant au meurtre et au châtiment des juifs, des chrétiens et des incroyants soient frappés d’obsolescence par les autorités théologiques, comme le furent les incohérences de la Bible et l’antisémite catholique aboli par Vatican II, afin qu’aucun croyant ne puisse s’appuyer sur un texte sacré pour commettre un crime.

"Nous attendons de l’islam de France qu’il ouvre la voie. Nous demandons que la lutte contre cette faillite démocratique qu’est l’antisémitisme devienne cause nationale avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Avant que la France ne soit plus la France.

"La liste des signataires:

"Eliette ABECASSIS ; Richard ABITBOL ; Ruth ABOULKHEIR ; André ABOULKHEIR ; Laure ADLER ; Paul AIDANE ; Waleed AL-HUSSEINI ; Mohamed ALI KACIM ; Michèle ANAHORY ; François ARDEVEN ; Pierre ARDITI ; Janine ATLOUNIAN ; Muriel ATTAL ; Charles AZNAVOUR ; Elisabeth BADINTER ; Patrick BANTMAN ; Laurence BANTMAN ; Adrien BARROT ; Stephane BARSACQ ; Maurice BARTELEMY ; Stéphane BEAUDET ; Patrick BEAUDOUIN ; Annette BECKER ; Florence BEN SADOUN ; Georges BENSOUSSAN ; Gérard BENSUSSAN ; Alain BENTOLILA ; André BERCOFF ; Aurore BERGE ; François BERLEAND ; Françoise BERNARD ; Florence BERTHOUD ; Naem BESTANDJI ; Muriel BEYER ; Jean BIRENBAUM ; Claude BIRMAN ; Joelle BLUMBERG ; Marion BLUMEN ; Lise BOËLL ; Jeannette BOUGRAB ; Céline BOULAY-ESPERONNIER ; Michel BOULEAU ; Laurent BOUVET ; Lise BOUVET ; Fatiha BOYER ; Anne BRANDY ; Caroline BRAY-GOYON ; Zabou BREITMAN ; Claire BRIERE-BLANCHET ; Jean-Paul BRIGHELLI ; Pascal BRUCKNER ; Laura BRUHL ; Daniel BRUN ; Carla BRUNI ; François CAHEN ; Séverine CAMUS ; Jean-Claude CASANOVA ; Bernard CAZENEUVE ; Hassen CHALGHOUMI ; Catherine CHALIER ; Elsa CHAUDUN ; Evelyne CHAUVET ; Ilana CICUREL ; Eric CIOTTI ; Gilles CLAVREUL ; Brigitte-Fanny COHEN ; Marc COHEN ; Jonathan COHEN ; Danielle COHEN-LEVINAS ; Antoine COMPAGNON ; Jacqueline COSTA-LASCOUX ; Brice COUTURIER ; Fabrice D’ALMEIDA ; Eliane DAGANE ; Gérard DARMON ; Marielle DAVID ; William DE CARVALHO ; Elisabeth DE FONTENAY ; Xavier DE GAULLE ; Bernard DE LA VILLARDIERE ; Bertrand DELANOË ; Richard DELL’AGNOLA ; Chantal DELSOL ; Gérard DEPARDIEU ; Guillaume DERVIEUX ; Patrick DESBOIS PERE ; Alexandre DEVECCHIO ; Bouna DIAKHABY ; Marie-Laure DIMON ; Joseph DORE MGR ; Daniel DRAÏ ; Michel DRUCKER ; Richard DUCOUSSET ; Stéphane DUGOWSON ; Martine DUGOWSON ; Frédéric DUMOULIN ; David DUQUESNE ;

Frédéric ENCEL ; Raphaël ENTHOVEN ; Francis ESMENARD ; Christian ESTROSI ; Elise FAGJELES ; Roger FAJNZYLBERG ; Luc FERRY ; Alain FINKIELKRAUT ; Pascal FIORETTO ; Marc-Olivier FOGIEL ; Renée FREGOSI ; Michel GAD WOLKOWICZ ; Aliou GASSAMAL ;

Lucile GELLMAN; Jasmine GETZ ; Sammy GHOZLAN ; Jean GLAVANY ; Bernard GOLSE ; Roland GORI ; Marine GOZLAN ; Olivia GREGOIRE ; Mohamed GUERROUMI ; Ghislaine GUERRY ; Olivier GUEZ ; Lydia GUIROUS ; Talila GUTEVILLE ; Patrick GUYOMARD ; Noémie HALIOUA ; Françoise HARDY ; Frédéric HAZIZA ; Jean-Luc HEES ; Serge HEFEZ ; François HEILBRONN ; Marie IBN ARABI-BLONDEL ; Aliza JOBES ; Arthur JOFFE ; Michel JONASZ ; Christine JORDIS ; Dany JUCAUD ; Liliane KANDEL KARIM ; David KHAYAT ; Catherine KINTZLER ; Alain KLEINMANN ; Marc KNOBEL ; Haïm KORSIA ; Julia KRISTEVA ; Rivon KRYGIER ; Estelle KULICH ; Philippe LABRO ; Alexandra LAIGNEL-LAVASTINE ; Lilianne LAMANTOWICZ ; Jack LANG ; Joseph LAROCHE ; Damien LE GUAY ; Daniel LECONTE ; Barbara LEFEBVRE ; Yoann LEMAIRE ; Pierre LESCURE ; Bernard-Henri LEVY ; Maurice LEVY ; Stéphane LEVY ; Michèle LEVY-SOUSSAN ; Marceline LORIDAN-IVENS ; Christine LOTERMAN ; Patrick LOTERMAN ; Enrico MACIAS ; Richard MALKA ; Wladi MAMANE ; Yves MAMOU ; Juliette MEADEL ; Sylvie MEHAUDEL ; Yael MELLUL ; Françoise-Anne MENAGER ; Daniel MESGUICH ; Richard METZ ; Habib MEYER ; Radu MIHAILEANU ; Yann MOIX ; Antoine MOLLERON ; Thibault MOREAU ; Jean-Jacques MOSCOVITZ ; Slim MOUSSA ; Laurent MUNNICH ; Lionel NACCACHE ; Marc NACHT ; Aldo NAOURI ; Xavier NIEL ; Sophie NIZARD ; Anne-Sophie NOGARET ; Karina OBADIA ; Jean-Pierre OBIN ; Edith OCHS ; Christine ORBAN ; Olivier ORBAN ; Marc-Alain OUAKNIN ; Yann PADOVA ; Brigitte PASZT ; Dominique PERBEN ; André PERRIN ; Serge PERROT ; Laurence PICARD ; Céline PINA ; François PINAULT ; Jean-Robert PITTE ; Nidra POLLER ; Richard PRASQUIER ; Michael PRAZAN ; Nadège PULJAK ; Jean-François RABAIN ; Marianne RABAIN-LEBOVICI ; Ruben RABINOVITCH ; Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN ; Christiane RANCE ; Jean-Jacques RASSIAL ; Renaud RENAUD ; Jean-Louis REPELSKI ; Solange REPLESKI ; Ivan RIOUFOL ; Jacob ROGOZINSKI ; Olivier ROLIN ; Marie-Helène ROUTISSEAU ; Catherine ROZENBERG ; Philippe RUSZNIEWSKI ; Boualem SANSAL ; Georges-Elia SARFAT ; Nicolas SARKOZY ; Josiane SBERRO ; Jean-Paul SCARPITTA ; Eric-Emmanuel SCHMITT ; Dominique SCHNAPPER ; André SENIK ; Joann SFAR ; Vadim SHER ; Stéphane SIMON ; Patricia SITRUK ; Jean-François SOLAL ; Paule STEINER ; Jean-Benjamin STORA ; Francis SZPINER ; Anne SZULMAJSTER ; Pierre-André TAGUIEFF ; Maud TANACHNIK ; Jacques TARNERO ; Michel TAUBER ; Daniel TECHNIO ; Julien TROKINER ; Cosimo TRONO ; Monette VACQUIN ; Henri VACQUIN ; Philippe VAL ; Caroline VALENTIN ; Manuel VALLS ; Sibyle VEIL ; Jacques VENDROUX ; Natacha VITRAT ; Sabrina VOLCOT-FREEMAN ; Régine WAINTRATER ; Laurent WAUQUIEZ ; Aude WEILL-RAYNAL ; Simone WIENER ; Annette WIEVIORKA ; Jean-Pierre WINTER ; Jacques WROBEL ; André ZAGURY ; Alain ZAKSAS ; Paul ZAWADZKIv Marc ZERBIB ; Céline ZINS ; Jean-Claude ZYLBERSTEIN."

* Y. Graff is a research fellow at MEMRI.


[1] Upon the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, on October 28 1965, Pope Paul VI read out the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate)." The declaration expresses respect for other religions and calls for Catholic dialogue with them. It also rejects the notion that all Jews at the time, or Jews today, can be charged with the crucifixion of Jesus, and

deplores "all hatred, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews" (

[3] Le Parisien (France), April 21, 2018.

[4] The reference is to marches in memory of Mireille Knoll held on March 28, 2018 in Paris and other French cities., March 28, 2018.

[5] Al-Qaeda even called to kill the author of the manifesto, Philippe Val, for publishing it. See MEMRI JTTM report, Al-Qaeda Media Outlet Threatens Former Editor Of French Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo, May 17, 2018.

[6] In many Arab media reports about the manifesto, its call to "declare obsolete" certain Quranic verses was translated as a demand to "freeze," "omit" or "revoke" them.

[7] Al-Ahram (Egypt), May 5, 2018.

[8] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), June 11, 2018.

[9], April 26, 2018.

[10] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), April 29, 2018.

[11] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), April 29, 2018.

[12] Marechal-Le Pen said this in a November 21, 2015 interview with the right-wing Présent magazine.

[13], April 24, 2018.

[14] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), June 3, 2018.

[15], May 10, 2018.

[16], April 24, 2018.

[17] It should be noted that almost no articles in the Arab press justified or supported the manifesto, except for one article by Mahmoud Sultan, acting director of the independent Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun. He noted that extremist Muslims who support jihad and perpetrate crimes, including against Muslims, use Quranic verses to justify their actions, and therefore the Muslims bear some responsibility for the publication of the manifesto. Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), April 30, 2018.

[18] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), April 28, 2018.

[19] Roger Garaudy (1913-2012) was a communist French philosopher and writer who in 1982 converted to Islam and became a leading champion of the Palestinian cause. In the latter part of his life he challenged the veracity of the Holocaust, especially in his 1996 book The Mythical Foundations of Israeli Policy. In 1998, he was prosecuted for Holocaust denial under French law.

[20] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 1, 2018.

[21] The reference is apparently to the car-ramming attacks that took place in Nice on July 14, 2016 and on the Champs Elysee on June 19, 2017.

[22] Al-Watan (Egypt), April 29, 2018.

[23], April 26, 2018.







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