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The event brought people of all faiths together to discuss Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Britain

Over 100 Jewish, Christian and Muslims people came together at the Jewish Museum in Manchester to discuss anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. 

Hosted by a number of interfaith organisations last Thursday, the event saw two panels discuss the sensitive issues with an array of expert speakers. 

Chaired by the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) director, Dr Jane Clements, the first panel included Dr Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, Dr Mustafa Baig, from the centre for the Study of Islam in the UK at Cardiff University, and Prof Philip Alexander, University of Manchester IMG_4085

The second panel, chaired by Dr Micharl Ipgrave, CCJ chair, included Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah mosque, and the head of RE at King David School, Rabbi Benjamin Rickman. Also speaking, was Yasmeen Akhtar, Three Faiths Forum (3FF) Programme Manager, David Arnold , CCJ Manchester Co-Chair, Pasha Shah, Chair, the Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine.

Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko of the Council of Christians and Jews praised the event for bringing people together to speak about issues which they had previously not had the opportunity too. 

Writing on the Jewish News Interfaith channel, she said: “we can’t avoid discussing these two evils anymore, and it is ever more powerful when we are able to discuss them together, to hear one another and to examine our innermost selves.”

Rabbi Benjy Rickman told Jewish News: “When we learn to listen and are brave to reach outside our own community  we can  make a world worth living in.  More unites than divides and we are  our brothers keepers, in difficult time and in times of joy.”

Imam Qari Asim said: “We must join hands and heads to eliminate prejudice, bigotry and intolerance from our society – whether it be anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred or hatred towards other minority communities. There should be no place in Britain for any kind of prejudice and hatred.”

The event was hosted by the International Abrahamic Forum (IAF), in partnership with CCJ, 3FF and the Manchester Muslim Jewish Forum. 

Opening remarks were made by Rabbi Ehud Bandel (co-chair of IAF), whilst closing remarks were made by Francesca Frazer who is IAF Coordinator and on the advisory Council of CCJ.

Guests of all faiths enjoy a meal in between the two panel events

Guests of all faiths enjoy a meal in between the two panel events