Opinion: Religious Conflict Spilling Into Europe

Jordan Walker, Contributing Writer

One-third of Jewish citizens living in Europe have seriously contemplated emigration because they feel unsafe in their own homes as a result of sectarian bigotry between Jews and Muslims, according to the New York Times writer Andrew Higgins, who quoted a recent survey of Jewish perceptions released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Deep-rooted religious hostility between Jewish minorities and far-left extremist Muslim groups as a result of the violent power struggle in the Middle East is starting to spill over into Europe. This hostility has even escalated into an attempted firebombing of a Jewish synagogue, a fatal shooting of four innocent people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, and more. The barrier to peace seems to be rising once again with anti-Semitism at the top and the growing extremist Islamic State forming the foundation. Hateful words such as “Gas the Jews!” are being thrown around in the streets by pro-Palestinian marches in Belgium and France.

If the Islamic and Jewish communities are unable to make space for their ideological religious differences, then we might see history repeat itself. The real issue lies not in the existence of religious minorities in Europe, but in the constant clashing of nationalist and extremist views and the resulting belief of “ethnic cleansing” of inferior faiths, races, and cultures that serves as the stepping stone to the top of the economic and social ladder. It will be a 21st-century battle to overcome religious, racial, and ethnic disputes before the propaganda of the Internet can catalyze a catastrophe or a war.

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