French Court Convicts Muslim of Hate Crime in Assault of Jewish Optician

A French judge convicted a Muslim man of committing a hate crime in the assault of a Jewish optician. As he was assaulting the optician, the perpetrator shouted words from the Koran.

Sliman Ouaki assaulted the owner of the Optical Center shop in Toulon on Oct. 4, the BNVCA watchdog on anti-Semitism reported last week.

According to the report, Ouaki targeted the shop owner because his shop bears a mezuzah at its entrance. The shop owner’s name was not given.

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

The Correctional Tribunal of Toulon convicted Ouaki of a physical assault aggravated by racist hatred and sentenced him to prison. It also imposed penalties as compensation for the victim.

BNVCA has often criticized French courts for being too lax on perpetrators of anti-Jewish hate crimes, but it lauded the Toulon court for its “firmness and fairness” in the ruling.

The defendant last month exhausted his right to appeal.