‘Let’s fight hate together’, Board of Deputies president urges British Muslims

The Board of Deputies President also said terrorism, persecution and religious freedom are issues both Jews and Muslims face


Jonathan Arkush, Board of Deputies president, has appealed to Muslims to co-operate with Jews in the fight against hate.

Mr Arkush made his remarks on a visit to Mehfil E Abbas KSIMC mosque in Birmingham this week, telling a packed audience at the Shia mosque that terrorism, persecution and religious freedom are the issues jointly facing Muslims and Jews.

While in Birmingham, accompanied by the Board’s interfaith officer Anthony Silkoff, he also visited Birmingham Central Mosque, Al-Burhan Grammar School and King David Primary School.

On the Finsbury Park mosque attack, Mr Arkush said: “We know that, if a synagogue was attacked in this way, our Muslim friends would be there to stand with us. Likewise, we visited the Finsbury Park mosque last week to give our moral support.”

Mr Arkush also delivered a message on Islamist extremism on behalf of the Jewish community, saying that while moderate Muslims should not be held accountable for violent criminals, they are “our most powerful allies” in the struggle against terrorism.

Earlier this month, the Board president was accused by some of “fanning the flames of inter-community hatred” after calling on British Muslims to “go beyond mere condemnation” of the London Bridge terror attack by holding a “huge rally in a prominent location”.

At Al-Burhan, a girls’ school, the visiting group was shown a booklet written by an RE teacher titled Not in our Name, which condemns terrorism from an Islamic perspective.

At Birmingham Central Mosque, Mr Arkush was presented with a document called Terrorism is Not Islam, which has been produced and endorsed by 29 Birmingham mosques.

At King David Primary School – a Jewish school with a high proportion of Muslim pupils – Mr Arkush met teachers, governors and pupils, later holding a question and answer session with a Year 6 class.

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