World

France's Muslim leaders to boycott high-profile Jewish event due to criticism of Muslims

  • French President Francois Hollande, centre, attends the 30th annual dinner held by the French Jewish Institutions Representative Council (Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France, CRIF) next to French Parliament President Claude Bartolone, left, and French banker David de Rothschild, right, in Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. French president Francois Hollande addresses the Jewish council’s annual dinner to express France’s solidarity toward the Jewish community as Semitism acts are on the rise in the country. (AP Photo/Etienne Laurent, pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, centre, attends the 30th annual dinner held by the French Jewish Institutions Representative Council (Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France, CRIF) next to French Parliament President Claude Bartolone, left, and French banker David de Rothschild, right, in Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. French president Francois Hollande addresses the Jewish council’s annual dinner to express France’s solidarity toward the Jewish community as Semitism acts are on the rise in the country. (AP Photo/Etienne Laurent, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, right, attends the 30th annual dinner held by the French Jewish Institutions Representative Council (Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France, CRIF) next to French Parliament President Claude Bartolone, left, in Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. French president Francois Hollande addresses the Jewish council’s annual dinner to express France’s solidarity toward the Jewish community as anti- semitism acts are on the rise in the country. (AP Photo/Etienne Laurent, pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, right, attends the 30th annual dinner held by the French Jewish Institutions Representative Council (Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France, CRIF) next to French Parliament President Claude Bartolone, left, in Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. French president Francois Hollande addresses the Jewish council’s annual dinner to express France’s solidarity toward the Jewish community as anti- semitism acts are on the rise in the country. (AP Photo/Etienne Laurent, pool)  (The Associated Press)

France's Muslim leaders are refusing to attend a prestigious annual dinner of the country's main Jewish organization, angry over comments by a Jewish leader associating young Muslims with violence.

Roger Cukierman, head of the CRIF Jewish council, was denouncing a growing number of acts against Jews in France. He specified that he was talking about a "very small minority" of Muslims.

The French Muslim Council (CFCM), in a statement denounced Cukierman's comments as unfounded, including his use of the expression "Islamo-fascism."

French President Francois Hollande will be among dignitaries at the dinner. Leaders of the CFCM have attended the event for several years.

This year's event comes amid increasing fears of anti-Semitism and religious tension in France after attacks by Islamic extremists against a kosher market and satirical newspaper.