French town launches model plan to fight racism and antisemitism

A town in the northern suburbs of Paris with large Jewish and Muslim populations has launched an ambitious plan to fight racism and antisemitism which it hopes will become a model for communities across France.

Sarcelles centre-left mayor Patrick Haddad said the plan was necessary in order to “deconstruct false ideas and emphasise what works well”.

To do this, Haddad has just signed a local project in collaboration with the Inter-ministerial Delegation for Combatting Racism Antisemitism and anti-LGBT hate (DILCRA), SOS Racism, France’s Union of Jewish Students and the regional authority of Roissy-Pays-de-France, north of the capital.

The plan has four themes. Education in public and private schools, and working through social media and with the national education system to instill values of citizenship, the separation of religion and state, tolerance and understanding of the other, Haddad said.

“In Sarcelles, we recognis the histories and the suffering of the communities, whether or not France itself was implicated in these,” Haddad said. “The idea is to create a collective memory. »

The broad plan will also contain exhibitions, documentaries, descriptions by former deportees and resistants and meetings, festivals and cultural events.

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