Are there legitimate concerns about the Centre for Islamic Enlightening’s £5million purchase of the old Golders Green Hippodrome? Absolutely.
For one, many who’ll use the new centre won’t be locals, so congestion issues must be seriously addressed.
Are these concerns being used by some to mask race-based opposition to an influx of Muslims into an area popular with Jews? Undoubtedly.
Does this show, in 2017, that those engaged in interfaith work have their work cut out? Sadly, it does.
When asked to support the campaign against the mosque, Jewish News said no.
When offered money for an advert for said campaign, Jewish News again said no.
For this we were called “kapos” and peppered with hatred from within our own community.
We are only saddened that the irony of asking to parade a campaign of thinly-veiled hate in Hate Crime Awareness Week was lost on those who subsequently sent us all those vile messages we had to delete from our website.
Such rhetoric, from those who are rightly quick to oppose anti-Semitism, undermines our community’s real battle against intolerance.
In what light does all this show us? When did Golders Green become a Jewish ghetto, its online foot soldiers fiercely manning the barricades?
When did we get so quick to cast out the stranger?
What a way to behave. Shame on us for not realising that this is a people who, like us, just want to live and pray in peace.
When asked to support the campaign against the mosque, Jewish News said no. When offered money for an advert for said campaign, Jewish News again said no. For this we were called “kapos” and peppered with hatred from within our own community.
The mosque’s leaders, who experts say have no connection to extremist organisations, have extended their hand and opened their doors to the Jewish community.
Let us reciprocate their offer of friendship. Let’s share bread and build bridges that will stand us in good stead.
Because from within this ugly angst we see a silver lining – the chance for two great Abrahamic faiths to come together and show the doubters what their forebears have known for thousands of years, but what today’s generation seems to have forgotten amid endless reports of terrorism.
Enough with the protest. Let’s welcome this religious community to the area. Acting to the contrary makes us hate-mongers.