A campaign by a group of 12 French imams to portray themselves as friendly to Jews is set to take place on Sunday when they arrive in Israel for a five-day visit.
Imam Hassan Shaljoumi told Maariv newspaper that the imams spreading anti-Semitism in the name of Islam are a minority, and that there are Muslims who want to live in peace with Jews.
Shaljoumi told Maariv that his interfaith work has subjected him to threats, and that he kept the trip a secret until the end to prevent enemies to his cause from thwarting the project.
The imams will meet with President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and other Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders, and visit Muslim sites throughout Jerusalem.
Group members issued a statement saying “our image in the world has been sullied and we must remedy it in the name of tolerance – we are the true face of French Muslims.”