Muslims, Jews petition to remove statue of St. Louis’ crusader namesake


Muslims, Jews petition to remove statue of St. Louis’ crusader namesake

Amid calls to take down statues of leaders with a history of racism ringing out across the US, Jews and Muslims in St. Louis have launched a petition to take down a monument to their city’s namesake, and even hope to rename the city.

St. Louis is named after King Louis IX, the only French King to be canonized by the Catholic Church, who is considered by the church to be a model Christian monarch. King Louis IX was also a notorious anti-Semite. He oversaw one of the infamous medieval disputations, in which rabbis were forced to debate with Christians the merits of Judaism, and the subsequent burning of 12,000 copies of the Talmud in 1243. He required Jews to wear badges so they can be easily identified, and he outlawed banking, which led to the expulsion of many Jews from France and the confiscation of their property. The funds that Louis IX confiscated went towards his two crusades, in 1248 and 1270, to fight Islamic kingdoms for control over the Land of Israel.

Louis IX is honored with the entire city of St. Louis being named after him, as well as a statue in Forest Park, the city’s major park, atop Art Hill overlooking the city. Umar Lee and Moji Sidiqi, of Muslims for a Greater St. Louis, together with Israeli-American restauranteur Ben Poremba want to change that and have launched a petition.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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