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Tensions between Muslims and Jews in France periodically erupt, mostly keeping pace with the Israeli-Palestinian standoff. Jewish synagogues and cemeteries have been attacked in recent years — either by gangs of Muslims or far-right youths, authorities say. Muslim institutions are also desecrated, often by neo-Nazis. Young Muslims and Jews occasionally clash.
But at Beth Hanna, Rabbi Azimov is focusing on healing. It is up to religious leaders, he said, to unite the two communities. Both must work to get beyond the killings.
"We have a special tradition that says that when bad things happen, you have to increase kindness and goodness and prayer," he said. "We have a belief that when you have light, darkness disappears."
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