Muslim leaders at the new Islamic Centre at the old Golders Green Hippodrome turned up at Golders Green United Synagogue on Sunday in order to donate blood for Mitzvah Day.
In a tonic to those who have waged a toxic campaign to prevent the Islamic Centre from opening, several members of the would-be mosque turned up to give blood, saying they wanted to be good neighbours with the heavily-Jewish community.
“As a Muslim organisation in north-west London we will do everything in our power to help our community to integrate into the local community,” said Ahmed Al-Kazemi from the centre, which is called Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami (the Centre for Islamic Enlightening).
“The blood drive at the synagogue is a really wonderful opportunity to find common ground and realise how much we share when we look past the externals.
“A few of our youth members were honoured to donate blood, and we look forward to working with all our neighbours in the future, whether they are Jewish, Christian, from any faiths, or none.”
Rabbi Sam Fromson said the shul was “delighted” to welcome the Islamic delegation, saying: “It was a pleasure to meet our new neighbours and we look forward to working together to establish a warm and constructive relationship between our communities.”
Rabbi Natan Levy, of the Faiths Forum for London, which facilitated this initial meeting said: “It is small gestures of cooperation like this that speak louder than the calls of hate and fear that attempt to divide us. We can all be proud of our Jewish community for opening its doors with grace and warmth.”
- For full Mitzvah Day coverage, see here: In pictures: Thousands take part in Mitzvah Day