Hindus and Jews ask EU intervention to stop dismantling of French Roma camps
Hindus and Jews have called for urgent European Union (EU) intervention to stop proposed dismantling of 300 Roma and travelers camps announced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on July 28.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a joint statement in Nevada today, said that it seemed like an attempt to demonize the already most prejudiced against communities in France and eternalizing negative stereotyping of them. It smelled xenophobia.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich questioned whether these ethnically and racially targeted evictions were fair and just according to EU laws which boasted of its human rights record. Were not Roma citizens of EU like other Europeans with ensured free movement anywhere in EU, they asked.
According to reports, it appeared to be a case of singling out a community, creating an easy scapegoat, ethnically-based penalty, trying to gain political capital by targeting helpless people, attempting to divert attention from serious issues, racism, avoiding underlying issues and solving real problems, demagogy, pushing xenophobic logic, exploiting the populist sensitivities, scandalous, racist targeting, etc., Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich argued.
Religious leaders of France should also come out openly against this unjust crackdown as religion told us to help the helpless. It was a sin to watch Roma continually suffer maltreatment for centuries and not do anything. Instead of unleashing repression, let us start a dialogue and try to rehabilitate these most discriminated against communities, Zed and Rabbi Freirich suggested.
Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly facing apartheid conditions in Europe. Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich pointed out.