March 7, 2021

Jewish Community Saves German Moslem Restaurant Targeted By Far Right

by Interfaith

Posted by: Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

Justin Huggler Fri, March 5, 2021

The German Jewish community has intervened to save a Muslim-owned kebab restaurant targeted in a far-Right terror attack from going out of business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With its slowly rotating kebab spits and stainless steel salad counter, Kiez-Döner in the eastern city of Halle is typical of countless Turkish fast food joints scattered across Germany.

In 2019 it made headlines around the world after it was caught up in a far-Right terror attack that also targeted a synagogue packed with worshippers marking Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

A bloodbath was averted when the lone gunman couldn’t force his way into the synagogue, but he turned his gun on a woman in the street making his way to Kiez-Döner, where he murdered a customer. Since then, the restaurant has become something of a shrine to the two victims, Jana Lange and Kevin Schwarze.

But Kiez-Döner has fallen on hard times. With Germany in lockdown since November and restaurants only allowed to sell takeaways, it was facing bankruptcy when the Jewish community stepped in.

The German Jewish Student Union launched an international fundraising drive around the world that brought in more than €30,000 (£26,000) to save the restaurant.

And a local Jewish leader paid for €1,000 (£1,000) of kebabs in advance, handing out coupons for members of the community to collect them.

“It’s really amazing what they did,” says Ismet Tekin, the restaurant’s Turkish-born owner. “They did it out of solidarity, to show that we are together, that we can get through these times when we stand together.”

Mr Tekin says he isn’t interested in historic tensions and distrust between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. “For me there are no tensions,” he says. “Religion is a private thing. Everyone is entitled to his beliefs.”

Kiez-Döner didn’t have many Jewish customers before 2019, he says — the Jewish community in Halle is very small. But in the wake of the attack many

Of its members became regulars and were among the first to learn of the restaurant’s business woes …

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