As Jewish and Muslim friends, we have worked out what we have in common and how we can set a positive example
We have learned that the will of good people to create relationships between communities living side by side can overcome and break the dangerous cycle of fear and hate
In today’s environment some may ask what we – a Jew and a Muslim – could possibly have in common. The truth is, we’ve been friends for years and we share a great deal, including a common understanding of what it means to be on the receiving end of prejudice.
Prejudice, unfortunately, can be found in all corners of society, and spreads like a virus. It is often caused by a lack of knowledge and false interpretations, despite what Britain ultimately stands for, which is mutual respect, liberty and tolerance. But our lived reality shows that while there is hate and discrimination that certainly needs to be tackled, there is also huge compassion, cross-community understanding and shared values in our brilliant Britain.
As the directors of a grassroots organisation which aims to bring communities together, this climate leaves us more hopeful than ever that communities across the nation can play their role in cutting through the hate and insults thrown about in the media and on social platforms, and to set a positive example. This includes work colleagues sharing a lunch, parents getting to know each other at the school gates and inter-faith learning, like the recent Ramadan iftars that have just taken place, where Jews opened their doors to Muslims breaking the fast, and the upcoming Jewish festival of Sukkot, where mosques will be hosting the Jewish community. This gives communities the chance to create relationships and celebrate all that is positive about being different.