Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Recent Developments

German court indicts anti-Israel protester for inciting anti-Semitism

27 May 2015

"An anti-Semitic agitator has lost his appeal in a German court on his conviction for incitement to hate. In January, Judge Gauri Sastry had stated that calling for “death and hate to Zionists” was tantamount to anti-Semitism. She sentenced Can to three months of probation and a fine of about $200.

The appeals court has affirmed her verdict and extended the probation period to 10 months.

The May 22 decision “is an absolute milestone in an otherwise very upsetting setting,” commented Sacha Stawski, founder and president of the German pro-Israel media watchdog Honestly Concerned."

Read more at: http://www.timesofisrael.com/german-court-indicts-anti-israel-protester-...




German judge convicts man for shouting ‘Death to Zionists’ at march

31 January 2015

Landmark case equates lethal anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

"BERLIN – A judge in Essen ruled on Friday that an anti-Israel activist incited hatred against Jews because of his calls to kill Zionists.

“‘Zionist’ in the language of anti-Semites is a code for Jew,” Judge Gauri Sastry said in a groundbreaking legal decision.

German Turk Taylan Can, 24, yelled “death and hate to Zionists” at an anti-Israel rally in Essen in July."

Read more at: http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=389568 


German court rules Muslim girls must join swimming classes

(Reuters) - 11/09/13- "A German court ruled on Wednesday that Muslim girls must take part in school swimming lessons with boys, in a landmark decision that touches on the sensitive relationship between religion and the state. The decision by Germany's top court for public and administrative disputes signals that the state's constitutional obligation to educate children can take precedence over customs and practices linked to an individual's religious beliefs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-right government have sought dialogue with the country's roughly four-millions Muslims, but have also said they must make an effort to integrate and learn German. The court said Muslim schoolgirls could not be exempted from swimming lessons, provided they were allowed to wear so-called 'burkinis', full-body swimsuits worn by many Muslim women which leave only the face, hands and feet exposed. The plaintiff was a Muslim girl, originally from Morocco, who goes to school in the western state of Hesse. Her parents have tried for several years to stop her from joining swimming lessons with boys. She was 11 years old when the case started. "The plaintiff has not made sufficiently clear that ... taking part in co-educational swimming lessons with a burkini breaches Muslim rules on clothing," said the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, rejecting her appeal.Two courts in Hesse had already rejected her bid to be exempted from swimming lessons. However, the girl's lawyer argued that she was embarrassed to see boys wearing nothing but swimming trunks."The Koran not only forbids being seen by others in light clothing but she herself should not see boys and girls with (swimsuits) on," Klaus Meissner, her lawyer, was quoted in German media as saying before the hearing. The question of Muslim girls taking part in physical education and swimming lessons has prompted legal disputes in several European countries in recent years, highlighting the challenge of accommodating different religious beliefs. German Islamic groups say they are not against burkinis."From our point of view, a full body swimsuit is appropriate and acceptable in Islam. However, freedom of belief and conscience should be respected," Aiman Mazyek, head of Germany's Central Council of Muslims, told German radio. In May, the Swiss Supreme Court rejected a Muslim family's case against a school rule that their daughter had to take part in swimming classes and could not wear a burkini. In staunchly secular France, which has banned religious dress such as Muslim headscarves and Jewish skullcaps as well as large Christian crosses in state schools, some public swimming pools have banned burkinis.

(Additional reporting by Tom Heneghan, editing by Noah Barkin)."

Taken from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/11/us-germany-muslims-swimming-idUSBRE98A13120130911