World Growing Less Tolerant of Muslims, Jews: Report

State Dept says anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic sentiments growing
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
Unidentified women are seen wearing a niqab during a demonstration outside the Dutch parliament in The Hague.   (AP Photo/ Fred Ernst, File)

(Newser) – Anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic sentiments are growing in many countries around the world, according to a new US State Department report. Venezuela, Egypt, and Iran in particular are singled out for anti-Semitism—the report says the Egyptian media engages in Holocaust denial and glorification, while the Iranian government regularly denounces Judaism, the BBC reports. "Even well into the 21st Century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of 'blood libel' and cartoons demonizing Jews continued to flourish," the report says.

And across Europe and Asia, discrimination against Muslims is also up, including restrictions on headscarves in schools in India and Belgium, as well as the discrimination of smaller Muslim groups by larger Islamic majorities, such as violence against Shia and Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. "The freedom to profess and practise one's faith—to believe or not to believe, or to change one's beliefs—that is a birthright of every human being," said John Kerry. "I urge all countries, especially those identified in this report, to take action now to safeguard this fundamental freedom."

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