France: Muslim convicted of hate crime for assaulting Jewish optician

Muslim man who assaulted Jewish optician in his shop in Toulon, France last October convicted of hate crime.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA,

Gavel (illustration)
Gavel (illustration)

A French judge convicted a Muslim man of a hate crime, after the man last year assaulted a Jewish optician at the victim’s shop while shouting about Allah.

The perpetrator, Sliman Ouaki, on Oct. 4 assaulted the owner of the Optiocal Center shop in Toulon near Marseille while shouting “Allah hu akbar,” Arabic for Allah is the greatest, the BNVCA watchdog on anti-Semitism reported last week.

Ouaki targeted the shop owner, who was not named, because he had a mezuzah on the front door, the report said.

The victim sustained minor injuries and was unable to work for two days due to his injuries, the report said.

The Correctional Tribunal of Toulon convicted Ouaki of a physical assault aggravated by racist hatred and sentenced Ouaki to prison. It also imposed on him penalties as compensation for the victim. The report did not specify the penalties. The maximum prison term prescribed in the French penal code for the offense is three years. The maximum fine in nearly $50,000.

BNVCA has often criticized French courts for being too lax on perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crimes but it lauded the Toulon court for its “firmness and fairness” in the ruling, whose first part was handed down on Oct. 11.

The defendant last month exhausted his right to appeal.