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Wednesday, January 26, 2005 

The New Face of France

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
PARIS (Reuters) - "Filthy Jew!" schoolchildren howl at a classmate. "Jews only want money and power," they tell their teachers. "Death to the Jews" graffiti appear on school walls outside Paris and other French cities.

These are not scenes from the wartime Nazi occupation or a fictional France where the far-right has taken control. Outright anti-Semitism like this is a fact of life these days in the poor suburbs where much of France's Muslim minority lives.

After a slow response when this "new anti-Semitism" flared four years ago, France has made fighting prejudice against Jews into a national priority. Holocaust education in state schools now starts with pupils as young as nine years old.

But even the best plans for teaching about the Nazi massacre of Jews can fall short when confronted with an Islamic identity spreading among a minority of France's five million Muslims.

"It works with those who are ready to listen," said Iannis Roder, a history teacher in the tough northern suburbs of Paris. "But it doesn't work with those who won't listen. They have their minds made up."
VIVE LA FRANCE! *Laugh*
Proof that liberalism is a mental disorder...

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