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Muslim imam in France defies death threats to heal
International Herald Tribune
A fragile cease-fire has silenced the violence in Gaza, but a continent away, a Muslim prayer leader known for reaching out to France's Jews is facing death threats.
Hassen Chalghoumi is one of the most visible victims of the raw friction between French Jews and Muslims, and among the best poised to help heal the wounds between the two faiths.
France is home to western Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities, with 600,000 Jews and an estimated 5 million Muslims. Anti-Semitic attacks have soared in France after Israel opened its Dec. 27 offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The Tunisian-born Chalghoumi, 35, has found himself caught in the middle. His car had oil poured on it. He has received anonymous death threats on his cell phone. His house is now under police watch and he is shadowed by a bodyguard.
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