Thursday, November 24, 2005

Jews in Yemen suffer discrimination

A US report on freedom of religion in Yemen claims that Jews are still subject to restrictions on the practice of their faith and occasional anti-semitic attack. (Via JIMENA News, November issue).

"The country is predominantly Muslim. Apart from a small but undetermined number of Christians and Hindus of South Asian origin in Aden, Jews are the only indigenous religious minority. Religious minorities generally live in harmony with their Muslim neighbors. However, during the reporting period, Jews faced some incidents of popular anti-Semitism. Jewish visitors to Sana'a reported being attacked by a number of students chanting anti-American and anti-Israel slogans. The students caused damage to their car and kicked them. Jewish children rode to school in a covered truck to protect them from stones. Jewish residents reported being unable to construct official schools or synagogues for fear that they would be destroyed by Muslim neighbors.

"Isolated attacks in recent years by anti-Jewish extremists have convinced most of the country's Jews to relocate to the town of Raida for safety and to sustain their community. The Jewish population has diminished significantly over the last 50 years due to voluntary emigration, from tens of thousands to a few hundred."

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