I explain what British Muslims and Jews have in common, and the sources of division. I then outline how the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester was designed, and how we have been able to operate successfully for 11 years.
Delivered 16 June 2016. Posted 22 June 2016.
I gave this talk at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, London. The video below comprises the 51 minute sound recording plus slides.
The talk was prepared to address the following synopsis:
The following items give additional details regarding parts of the lecture:
Powerful or powerless? It is a choice. This was written in March 2010 at which time there were only four Muslim MPs and 52 Jewish MPs.
The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester Declaration of Principles is set out on its website.
Triangulating the Abrahamic faiths – measuring the closeness of Judaism, Christianity and Islam discusses this in detail.
A comparison of British Muslims' and Jews' engagement in interfaith dialogue - an article I wrote for Jewish News in August 2015.
Lessons from seven years of Muslim Jewish dialogue in Manchester - This was the Peter Bell Memorial Lecture in Leeds given jointly by me and David Berkley QC on 20 March 2013.
Advocating Israel to Muslims - My presentation at "The Big Tent for Israel" event on 27 November 2011.
Review of "Islamic Law - Theory and Interpretation" by Michael Mumisa This has a section "Can one deviate from the actual text of the Quran?" where Mumisa explains the point which led to the item on slide 24 "Caliph Umar deviated from Prophet’s practice and from Quranic text."
Review of "A Textbook of Hadith Studies: Authenticity, Compilation, Classification and Criticism of Hadith" by Mohammad Hashim Kamali
The Forum's listing of past events
Our petition to preserve religious slaughter in the UK and EU
The way I came to be giving the lecture illustrates the importance of individuals taking action to make our world better, whether that action is large or small.
As explained on my page "Sharing a country with adherents of other religions or none" I was asked to contribute an article to the Winter 2015/16 edition of "Common Ground", the magazine of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ). An 89 year old Jewish member of the CCJ was struck by the article when he read it, and asked the CCJ for my contact details.
Quite properly, the CCJ requested my permission before passing on my contact details, and I readily assented. The individual rang me, and asked if I would speak at his synagogue. Once I agreed he put me in touch with the Vice-Chair of Finchley Progressive Synagogue, and by email we agreed a date and subject.
I actually visited the synagogue for the first time two weeks before my talk, to listen to Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Deputy Director of the CCJ, talking about Israel's Arab citizens. As well as my knowing Elizabeth already and being very interested in the subject matter of her talk, it gave me the opportunity to see the venue in advance of the presentation. For example that enabled me to be confident that the wide-screen slides I wanted to use would fit sensibly onto the projection surface.