British Muslims and Jews unite in advertising campaign to call for 'peace not hate'

Steep rise in hate attacks prompts the two groups to spread message of peace

Ghanem Nuseibeh, chair of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism, says hate against Muslims and Jews will not be tolerated. Photographer: Razan Alzayani/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ghanem Nuseibeh, chair of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism, says hate against Muslims and Jews will not be tolerated. Photographer: Razan Alzayani/Bloomberg via Getty Images

British Muslims and Jews have united to call for peace following a steep rise in hate incidents.

Earlier this month the Community Security Trust (CST) reported a 500 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents since clashes at the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, while Islamophobia monitoring group Tell Mama recorded a 430 per cent rise in reports of anti-Muslim hatred.

It has led Muslims Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Leadership Council to fund a full page advertisement in the Times newspaper to condemn hate and call for peace.

"We're on the same page," it says.

"At a time when emotions are running high with the desperate situation in the Middle East, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred are spiking alarmingly across the world, and across either side of the political divide.

"We accept that there is much to disagree about, whichever side of the argument we sit. But let us disagree without hatred. Let us negotiate in good faith in search of a just solution.

"We abhor anti-Semitism. Equally, we condemn anti-Muslim hatred. There is always room for debate. There is never space for hate.

"There are two words, one Arabic, one Hebrew, that share the same root. They both mean peace.

"Salaam. Shalom."

Extremists have tried to capitalise on the conflict by sharing hate posts about both Israelis and Palestinians online.

In London, a Rabbi was attacked near his synagogue in north London and in another incident a convoy of people in cars covered in Palestinian flags shouted threats to Jewish people.

Monitoring group Tell Mama recorded 56 anti-Muslim hate incidents between May 8 and 17.

The chairman of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism, Ghanem Nuseibeh, told The National that hate against both faiths will not be tolerated.

"The events of the past two weeks in the Middle East have unfortunately led to a rise in both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, like in many other Western nations," he said.

"Together with allies in the Jewish community, we agreed to send out a message to both Muslims and Jews that whilst disagreeing on political issues in the Middle East is legitimate, acts of hate in Britain aren’t.

"The UK remains a bastion of free speech and it is our collective interest to protect it as such. Neither the Muslim nor the Jewish community want events in the Middle East to affect our close relationship.

"Together with our Jewish allies, we are sending out a strong message that anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate will not be tolerated in Britain, or anywhere else."

The Jewish Leadership Council said it was "proud" to demonstrate its unity with Muslims Against Anti-Semitism.

"Today, we at the Jewish Leadership Council together with our allies at Muslims Against Anti-Semitism are proud to demonstrate our unity in a page in today’s @thetimes," it said on Twitter.

“Jews and Muslims: We’re on the same page. We say no to anti-Semitism and to anti-Muslim hate."

Muslims Against Anti-Semitism said the advert demonstrates unity.

"We (collectively) will demonstrate what binds us and the values that allow for differences within a framework of respect, love and empathy," it said on Twitter.

"Why we cannot allow those who seek to divide us, to ever overcome our values. We stand together."

Last week, UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick described the recent hate incidents as "deeply disturbing".

Published: May 26, 2021 04:14 PM

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