“We Muslims have one word for Jews. Shalom.”

 

     by Alan Simons

Muslims Against Antisemitism (MAAS) is “a group of British Muslims who believe that there is a common cause for members of the faith communities and that is to ensure that all citizens who want to, can pray and practice in peace.” They state, “As British Muslims, we have therefore made our peaceful and non-violent struggle against Anti-Semitism our primary goal. In this goal we hope that others may come and help us when Islamophobia blights communities.

“In particular, we are deeply disappointed at the Anti-Semitism that is still present in society and we believe that Anti-Semitism was and is a pre-cursor towards the stereotyping of other migrant communities like the Muslim community.

“We will work with all groups and communities that believe that human and civil rights are important and that we all deserve the chance to live in peace!”

This Thursday, MAAS ran a full-page advertisement in the UK Daily Telegraph to which the Board of Deputies of British Jews responded, “The Board of Deputies of British Jews thanked signatories, saying it was an ‘Incredible solidarity – a full-page ad by Muslim sisters & brothers in today’s Telegraph. Thank you. Together we will defeat the twin evils of antisemitism & anti-Muslim hate.’”

In part the full-page advertisement, published below, states:

“As British Muslims, we believe that the time has come to speak out. For far too long anti-Semitism has gone unchecked. Sadly it has become entrenched across society. Its poison can be found in all political parties and among followers of all faiths, including Islam.

“To our Jewish sisters and brothers, we say the struggle against one of history’s oldest and most virulent hatred is not your fight alone but ours collectively.”

In Europe and in the USA, this advertisement is by no means unique and supplements a variety of examples of cooperation between Jews and Muslims.

  • “Thirty imams in France signed an open letter calling on their colleagues to help counter Muslim extremism. The letter, which appeared Tuesday in the daily LeMonde, expressed “compassion for all our fellow citizens who have been directly or indirectly affected by terrorism and by the anti-Semitic crimes that have blindly struck our country.”(April 24, 2018, The Times of Israel)
  • “German Muslim leader urges imams, rabbis to unite against school anti-Semitism.”- (March 28, 2018, The Times of Israel)
  • “Why these Muslims are fighting anti-Semitism.” (April 30, 2018, The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Eighteen months ago in the U.S., “Jewish-Muslim alliance formed against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia. The American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America Monday launched the new national group: The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council. Though Jewish and Muslim groups have cooperated before, the size and influence of these two particular groups — and the prominence of the people who have joined the council — marks a milestone in Jewish-Muslim relations. ‘Our council is coming at the right time,’ said Eftakhar Alam, senior coordinator at ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances. (November 14, 2016, Religion News Service)

In my piece published yesterday in the jewishinfoNews titled, “My personal message to the Palestinian people in honour of the month of Ramadan, I concluded by saying:

“As Ramadan approaches, wherever you live, be gracious and reach out to non-Muslims. Your concept of hospitality, charity, spirituality and community can be shared by all, irrespective of one’s religion, race and nationality. During Ramadan extend your hand out to non-Muslims by inviting them into your home for Iftar.

“According to a hadith, Prophet Muhammed said, ‘Charity is a proof of faith’ and ‘The best charity is that which is given in Ramadan.’ Make it so.

“Ramadan Kareem. Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair! May the future of your children’s lives find peace, happiness and a feeling of belonging amongst you.”

To all my Muslim sisters and brothers, I wish peace would hasten between us.

Salaam.

 

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