Tony Blair urges faiths to make difference

April 2, 2009

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken passionately about the importance of all faiths uniting to make a difference to global poverty and conflict.

He made his comments at a central London fundraising breakfast in which the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) joined with World Jewish Relief for the first time to raise awareness of and funds for both organisations’ vital work in Africa.


Play performed by Jews and Muslims is celebrated in Lords

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2009

On Sunday night, London’s Tricycle Theatre staged a play with a difference about the recent Gaza war — it was performed by a group of young local Muslims and Jews.

Homecoming was the latest project of Muju, the Muslim-Jewish arts group founded four years ago.

“People had warned us against doing it because it’s such an emotive issue,” said Georgina Bednar, who co-chairs Muju with Salman Siddiqui. “But we wanted to face the elephant in the room — which we did to a sell-out audience.”


Muslims offer to help shul

By Stephanie Brickman, March 19, 2009

The Scottish-Islamic Foundation has offered to protect a synagogue which was damaged in an attack.

Its chairman Ken Imrie wrote to Rabbi David Rose of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation to say the Foundation “would wish to physically guard the synagogue ourselves” if the Jewish community was unable to arrange suitable security.

The synagogue suffered £1,000 of damage, including smashed windows, last Thursday.


What the Koran says about the land of Israel

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2009

According to the Hamas charter, Palestine is an Islamic endowment “for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection” which no one may renounce. The Arab-Israeli conflict is seen as not just a political dispute but an implacably religious one.


Dayan attacks plan to twin shuls with mosques

By Simon Rocker, March 5, 2009

A Board of Deputies plan for synagogues to twin with mosques in order to improve Muslim-Jewish relations has been attacked by a senior Orthodox rabbi as contrary to Jewish law.

Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, head of the Federation of Beth Din, wrote to communities under its aegis last Friday to say they should not take part “on religious grounds”.

The initiative was among a number discussed by Jewish interfaith organisations at a special meeting at the Board last week to discuss Jewish-Muslim relations.


Board reaches out to repair faith relations

By Marcus Dysch, February 26, 2009

An Islamic community centre will host a major Jewish exhibition as interfaith groups attempt to repair relations in the aftermath of the Gaza conflict.

The Board of Deputies’ Jewish Way of Life exhibition will be held at the centre in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in the spring.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of the London Jewish Forum, synagogue bodies and the Board reaffirmed their dedication to developing stronger ties with the Muslim community.


CCJ adds 3 new rabbis

February 26, 2009

Three new rabbis have been appointed as presidents of the Council of Christians and Jews.

The interfaith group has added Rabbi Abraham Levy, of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation; Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism; and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, senior Rabbi of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues.


Mosque guests on Shabbat

February 18, 2009

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue welcomed 20 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to its Shabbat morning service.

The visitors, ranging in age from eight to 98, also joined congregants for lunch, where a talk by Waqar Ahmedi on the Ahmadiyya community was followed by a question and answer session led by Rabbi Margaret Jacobi and Imam Maulana Tahir Selby.

Rabbi Jacobi said that “in these difficult times, it is heartening to feel that we can form friendships with people of a different faith and discover how much we have in common”.


Muslim is 'changed forever' by her visit to Auschwitz

By Bernard Josephs, January 29, 2009

A Muslim student received an ovation from MPs and Holocaust educators after delivering an impassioned plea for a united front against racial prejudice and hatred.

Addressing an HMD event at the House of Commons, Ifraah Samatar said that 60 years after the Holocaust, “we still live in a society where hatred and discrimination exist.

“We are all neighbours on this planet, be we Jewish, Muslim, Christian or whatever. We have to realise that when people look back 60 years they will ask themselves: ‘How could this have happened?’ Yet racism and genocide still happen today.”


Interfaith tensions rise in Britain and France

By Marcus Dysch and Rebecca Assoun, January 22, 2009

Interfaith groups are attempting to preserve lines of communication amid the fallout from events in the Middle East.

British-based organisations say their members are working to remain united despite events in Gaza, but in France tensions have risen after Muslims quit the country’s only Jewish-Muslim forum.

Jane Clements, director of the UK-based Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine (Fodip) said the past month had created “difficulties. When these things happen it always points out that relations are not improving.