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Belgian Muslims Are Indicted for Hate Chants

(JTA) — Three men were indicted in Belgium for chanting in Arabic at an anti-Israel rally about a site where Muslims are believed to have massacred Jews centuries ago.

Two organizers of the Antwerp rally in July 2014 and a participant had cried out “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” the Gazet van Antwerp reported Tuesday about their indictment this week. The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

The Forum of Jewish Organization of Flanders filed a complaint against the men based on videos showing them chanting the slogan at the rally.

The defendants, identified only as Youssef R., Suhail A. and Marc D.Q., are denying the chant was incitement to hatred. The verdict is expected next month.

Last week, a criminal tribunal in the Belgian city of Liege affirmed a lower court’s sentence of two months in jail for Dieudonne M’bala M’Bala, a French comedian with multiple convictions on incitement to racial hatred against Jews and denial of the Holocaust. The Jan. 20 conviction was for a similar offense during a show Dieudonne gave in Liege in 2012, AFP reported.

Separately, a criminal court in the municipality of Foix near Toulouse, some 400 miles south of Paris, on Tuesday sentenced a 33-year-old man to 2 1/2 years in prison for making death threats online against Jews and praising the Islamist who in 2012 killed four Jews in Toulouse, Le Figaro reported.

In Britain, meanwhile, watchdogs on anti-Semitism flagged the defeat during a student union vote at a London university of a draft resolution proposing that Jews have a right to define what constitutes anti-Semitism just as members of other minorities are consulted on what should be considered expressions of xenophobia toward their own groups.

In the vote Tuesday at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, a draft resolution submitted by the local Jewish students society stating that “Jewish students should be given the right to self-determination and be able to define what constitutes hatred against their group like all other minority groups” was removed in the final draft.

An amendment to the motion was passed instead ruling that union members must abide by a pre-existing set definition put forward by David Feldman of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

The vote came during an emergency session convened by the Jewish association amid complaints that some students were afraid of self-identifying as Jews for fear of harassment by pro-Palestinian activists, the Independent reported.

Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said in a statement that the institution that scrapped the draft resolution is “on the brink.”

“Campus politics have become a nest of extremism and anti-Semitic bigotry,” he wrote.


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