Η ισλαμοφοβία και ο αντισημιτισμός βρίσκουν πρόσφορο έδαφος στην ελληνική κοινωνία / 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom (the case of Greece)

Εκθεση Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ για θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες

Αθ. Ελλις, εφ. Η Καθημερινή, 19-11-2010

Επεισόδια κατά μουσουλμάνων, όπως η εμπρηστική επίθεση κατά του τεμένους στους Τοξότες Ξάνθης, βανδαλισμοί σε άλλο τζαμί και κοιμητήριο στη Θράκη, και η τεταμένη ατμόσφαιρα κατά τη διαμαρτυρία χιλίων περίπου μουσουλμάνων μεταναστών στην Αθήνα, τον Μάιο του 2009, λόγω της βεβήλωσης αντιτύπου του Κορανίου από αστυνομικό, καταγράφονται στην ετήσια έκθεση του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ για τις θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες ανά τον κόσμο, η οποία υποβάλλεται κάθε χρόνο στο Κογκρέσο βάσει σχετικού αμερικανικού νόμου. Στην έκθεση σημειώνεται και η συνέχιση εκφάνσεων αντισημιτισμού στον ελληνικό Τύπο και στην κοινωνία, περιστατικά βανδαλισμών εβραϊκών μνημείων και περιουσιών, και οι δύο εμπρηστικές επιθέσεις κατά της Συναγωγής Χανίων, ενώ επισημαίνεται ως θετική εξέλιξη ο εγκαινιασμός του Μνημείου Ολοκαυτώματος στην Αθήνα από τον υπουργό Επικρατείας τον περασμένο Μάιο.

Στο κεφάλαιο για την Ελλάδα επισημαίνεται και φέτος ότι η ελληνική κυβέρνηση σέβεται εν γένει στην πράξη τα ζητήματα θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών, αλλά γίνεται λόγος για γραφειοκρατικά κυρίως προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζουν οι θρησκευτικές μειονότητες, όπως για τις αδειοδοτήσεις για την κατασκευή ή λειτουργία χώρων λατρείας, και για συνέχιση φαινόμενων θρησκευτικών διακρίσεων και εκδηλώσεων αντισημιτισμού. Επισημαίνονται τα θετικά βήματα του Αρχιεπισκόπου της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος για την πρόοδο του διαθρησκειακού διαλόγου με την Αγγλικανική Εκκλησία και άλλα θρησκευτικά δόγματα. Η έκθεση καλύπτει την περίοδο από τον Ιούλιο του 2009 έως τον αντίστοιχο μήνα του 2010 και, έτσι, δεν αναφέρεται στα πρόσφατα περιστατικά έντασης με τη μαζική προσευχή μουσουλμάνων μεταναστών στα Προπύλαια και της αντιπαράθεσης στην περιοχή του Αγ. Παντελεήμονα.

 

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

International Religious Freedom Report 2010

November 17, 2010

[…] Vandalism of Jewish monuments and properties continued to occur. In June 2010, days after the Israeli interception of the Gaza flotilla, a student was arrested in the act of spraying anti-Semitic graffiti on a Jewish tombstone in Komotini. The student claimed that his action was in solidarity with the flotilla and Palestinians. The Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki was vandalized in May 2010; three suspects were arrested several hours after the incident. The Jewish cemetery of Ioannina was vandalized three times in 2009.

In January 2010 the Etz-Hayyim synagogue of Chania, Crete, suffered two arson attacks. A total of 1,800 books and religious items, and the synagogue’s roof, were destroyed. The ministers of education and justice condemned the attacks, and in a positive development, local media commentators unanimously condemned the attacks and anti-Semitism in general. The police initially arrested four suspects, subsequently releasing three. The investigation was ongoing during the reporting period and a trial date had not been set. The government provided funds to the Jewish community for reconstruction of the synagogue.

Expressions of anti-Semitism continued to occur, particularly in the extremist press. The mainstream press and public sometimes mixed negative comments about Jews with criticism of the Israeli government, especially in the aftermath of the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, in which dozens of the country’s citizens were temporarily detained by the Israeli Defense Forces.

In April 2010 the Jewish community, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the country’s Helsinki Monitor protested that a cartoon in newspaper Ta Nea did not respect the memory of the Holocaust. The cartoon’s author apologized to the Jewish community.
In 2007 the Helsinki Monitor and the Central Board of Jewish Communities brought charges against newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos and former Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) political party candidate Kostas Plevris for racism and anti-Semitism. In 2007 Plevris was convicted of inciting hatred and racial violence with his book The Jew – The Whole Truth. He was acquitted by an appeals court in March 2009. A public prosecutor subsequently filed a “cassation in favor of the law” with the Supreme Court against the decision, seeking to ensure it would not be used as a precedent in the future. The Supreme Court rejected the cassation in April 2010.

In January 2010 a court in Athens convicted Ioannis Charalambopoulos, editor of magazine Apollonio Fos, to seven months in prison, suspended for three years, for distributing anti-Semitic leaflets during the Plevris trial in 2007.

The Jewish community reported that few of the publicly owned Jewish cemeteries in the country were properly maintained, stating that grass was not cut, fences were not repaired, and plants were not watered. Members of the Muslim minority also reported that some of their cemeteries were not maintained. Maintenance is required by law.

The Jewish community continued to protest anti-Semitic passages in the Greek Orthodox Church’s Holy Week liturgy. The Jewish community reported that it continued to discuss with the church removal of the passages.

During the reporting period, the Jewish community of Thessaloniki and the government continued discussions on compensation for the community’s cemetery, expropriated after its destruction during the Holocaust. Aristotle University, a public institution, was built on top of the expropriated cemetery soon after World War II. In July 2009 a Ministry of Finance experts’ committee, which included a member of the Jewish community, proposed a compensation solution. Official approval for the compensation plan remained pending at the Ministry of Finance.

International Jewish NGOs expressed concern that subway construction in the vicinity of the Thessaloniki Jewish cemetery could disturb human remains. The government continued dialogue with the Thessaloniki Jewish community to address these concerns. […]

Read the whole report here.

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