French newspaper reportedly turns down rabbi’s Op-Ed criticizing Muslim leaders

(JTA) – A French daily reportedly declined to publish an Op-Ed by the chief rabbi of Strasbourg criticizing the perceived silence of Muslim faith leaders following the stabbing of an Orthodox Jew in the city.

Dominique Jung, editor-in-chief of the Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace newspaper, cited the aggressive style of Rabbi René Gutman’s article in refusing to run it following the non-fatal stabbing on August 19 of a Jew by a suspected Islamist, the blog JSSNews reported Monday.

Titled “God is not great: An open letter to Muslim faith leaders,” the Op-Ed by Gutman states that: “wherever such violence, nourished by radical Islam, appears, we expect you, dear friends, to condemn without fail those who commit it, be they radicalized or mentally ill,” he wrote.

“The God invoked in such actions is never great but very small, and His name is erased by the offense committed in his name,” Gutman wrote.

During the stabbing, the attacker reportedly shouted out “Allah hu akbar,” Arabic for “God is the greatest.” Exclaimed by Muslims in many situations to express great emotion, it is also commonly used by fanatics about to commit an act they regard as jihad – the Muslim term for holy war.

Gutman added: “When a religion or what we make of it becomes a religion of death, when those practicing it chose death, any bloodshed, any aggression, any attack should prompt us to say what God told Cain: ‘Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.’”

The newsroom of Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace did not immediately reply to questions from JTA as to the reasons for the decision not to publish Gutman’s Op-Ed.