Scotland’s Muslim and Jewish leaders unite against prejudice

28th Dec 2018

Nadine Osman

Muslim and Jewish community leaders united to help fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Scotland last month.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) and the Muslim Council of Scotland (MCS) gathered at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on tackling Islamophobia on November 27.

Ahead of the meeting, they issued a joint statement setting out various aims in the fight against racism and prejudice.

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, who chairs the cross-party group and revealed details of the document, said: “This is a landmark communiqué, bringing together communities to work together to address Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Silence is no longer an option for those who believe in equality and unity, and we can’t just pick and choose which type of equality we speak up for.”

“We can’t leave the fight against anti-Semitism to the Jewish community and we can’t leave the fight against Islamophobia to the Muslim community. This is a collective fight for all of us,” Sarwar added.

The document notes the two groups “stand together determined to end the hatred and extremism that affects us all”.

It adds: “There have been Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attacks on mosques and synagogues here at home and we should never be blind to the fact that racism, intolerance and prejudice exist in Scotland.”
It sets out several points for action, including resolving to address barriers to

reporting incidents to the police, challenging the spread of hate online and creating a Muslim/Jewish women’s network.

Dr Muhammad Adrees, the Convener of the MCS, said: “This joint communiqué sends out a powerful message about working together to tackle the evils of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

“We are delighted that the CPG on tackling Islamophobia has facilitated this meeting, and believe that by working together we can make a lasting difference for Jewish and Muslim people living in Scotland.”

Director of the SCoJeC, Ephraim Borowski, said: “It beggars belief that while the Holocaust remains within living memory, the attitudes that led to it are on the rise again. SCoJeC, therefore, welcomes the opportunity to join the MCS and the CPG on tackling Islamophobia to discuss the similarities between the experiences of our two communities, and to explore how to work together to challenge them.”

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