Jews Are Advised Against Wearing Yarmulkes in Cities

By David Berkowitz from New York, NY, USA (Berkowitz_250) [CC BY 2.0 or CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Anti-Semitism is a sin: German Muslim leader

Josef Schuster, the chief of Central Council of Jews in Germany told a German radio station that although wearing the yarmulke is correct in principle; he will nevertheless advise Jews in Germany not to announce their presence in public areas by wearing a kippah. He suggested they should wear a secular head covering like a baseball cap to conceal their Jewish identity.

This suggestion came after an Israeli Arab was attacked by two people in the Prenzlauer Berg locality of Berlin. The victim wore a yarmulke which supposedly triggered the attack. One perpetrator of the April 17 incident repeatedly shouted “Yahudi,” meaning “Jew,” while hitting the victim with a belt. A spokeswoman for the German police force described the attacker as a 19-year-old Syrian asylum seeker. He had surrendered to the police a few hours after the attack.

This is not the first time Schuster has asked Jews residing in and visiting Germany to be discreet. He suggested in 2015 that Jews must not wear traditional skullcaps when visiting areas having substantial Muslim populations. He also noted that anti-Semitic sentiment has risen among non-migrants as well.

It is an irony that the attack victim, Adam Armush, about 21 years old, is an Israeli citizen but not a Jew. He was able to take a video of parts of the attack. He posted the details of the attack online. In his interview with German media, Armush said he is from Haifa and he wore the kippah to prove to his friend that anti-Semitism is not rife in Berlin. His video was widely shared by various Jewish organizations like Against Anti-Semitism and Jewish Forum for Democracy, a Berlin-based organization.

The Jewish community in Berlin has organized a demonstration to protect against attacks. This protest bears the name “Berlin wears a kippah.” The participant list includes interfaith groups, academic and political entities, and pro-Israel organizations. The venue of this protest will be the public space in front of Berlin's Jewish community center.

The anti-Semitic attack has come under criticism from Aiman Mazyek, the leader of Central Council of Muslims in Germany. He said that abusing minority groups violates Islamic teachings. In his interview with German media, he stressed that anti-Semitism, hatred, and racism are the blackest sins in Islam. These kinds of behavior will not be tolerated. The Muslim leader admitted that refugees and other Muslims of Arab origin have imported a different strain of anti-Semitism into Germany.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter