Government Islamophobia adviser: ‘Jews and Muslims must stand together on hate’

Government Islamophobia adviser: ‘Jews and Muslims must stand together on hate’

Imam Qari Asim in rallying call for co-operation between communities during panel chaired by Board of Deputies vice president

The Government’s Islamophobia adviser has told the Board of Deputies that the Jewish and Muslim communities “must stand together on hate”.

Imam Qari Asim, charged with advising on a definition of Islamophobia, was speaking during an interfaith conference on Sunday alongside Jewish, Christian and Sikh religious leaders.

Speaking on a panel chaired by Board vice-president Edwin Shuker, Imam Asim said: “Islamophobia and antisemitism have been on the rise in recent years with increasing attacks on Muslims and Jews.

“This is why our communities must stand together against hate, and the Board of Deputies is right to empower more interfaith activists through events such as this conference.”

Other speakers included Jemma Levene from Hope Not Hate, Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, the Director of the Council of Christians and Jews, Revd Dr Jonathan Dean from the Methodist Church, Randeep Singh Lall, founder of Sikh charity SWAT, and Rabbi Helen Freeman from the West London Synagogue.

A mixture of academics, activists and community members engaged in sessions covering a range of interfaith topics, from tackling racism, to scriptural reasoning and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Shuker said: “The conference was designed to empower participants by widening their network of contacts and share successful interfaith projects and best practices. Feedback and evaluations were very encouraging.”

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