French Jews Urged to Hide Religious Garments in Public After Attack

Posted: Jan 13, 2016 12:35 PM

On Monday in Marseille, a Jewish teacher was attacked by a machete-wielding teen, reportedly in the name of ISIS. Thankfully, the teacher only suffered minor injuries, but some religious leaders are urging Jews in the area to conceal their religious garments in public to avoid provoking another attack.

Speaking to La Provence newspaper (in French), Mr Ammar called on Jews "not to wear the kippah [skullcap] in the street to avoid being identified as Jewish".

"It is sad to find ourselves in this position in 2016, in a great democratic country like France," he said.

"But faced with an exceptional situation, we have to take exceptional measures. It causes me such pain to come to this conclusion but I do not want anyone to die in Marseille because they had a kippah on their head."

Mr Ammar, the head of Marseille's Israeli Consistory, the top Jewish governing body, said he knew his comments would anger some Jews, but "nothing is more important" than protecting human lives.

He told French media on Tuesday he was asking Jews to go without the skullcap "until better days".

However, France's chief rabbi said that Jews should continue to wear the kippah if they want to, saying "we should not give in to anything."

This is terrifying. A person should not be afraid to wear any kind of religious garment in public in a first-world democracy like France. Wearing a kippah is not asking for an attack and should never be construed as such. These are scary times.