Jewish and Muslim women unite as #ActiveAllies against hate

10 April 2019

A number of Liberal Jews, including Rabbi Janet Burden of Ealing Liberal Synagogue, took part in the annual conference held by Jewish/Muslim women’s network Nisa-Nashim on Sunday – where they made a commitment to take firm and united action against antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The 250 delegates – who also included members of Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community, Kingston Liberal Synagogue, East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue, Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue and youth movement LJY-Netzer – signed up to the #ActiveAllies campaign and charter. The charter vows to:

    1. Call upon every political party in Britain to review their processes for preventing, exposing and dealing with both Islamophobia and antisemitism within their party – to ensure they include measures to address gendered Islamophobia and antisemitism.

    2. Demand that government increase support for integration projects across the UK particularly those led by and affecting women.

    3. Call on devolved assemblies, regional authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners, to ensure that all meetings with policy makers focusing on issues of hatred, include representation of women – with a view to 50% representation within three years.

    4. Enable and encourage Jewish and Muslim women to understand and speak out about hatred against the other faith group, and also against all other women, wherever we see it.

    5. Encourage and role model a gentler and kinder use of language, in the media, social media and face to face, across society including amongst people in leadership roles.

Speaking to BBC News from the conference, Rabbi Janet Burden said: “It was fascinating to hear how much similarity there is between antisemitism and Islamophobia and how women are particularly target. We must now be #ActiveAllies and support each other – I will call out Islamophobia and my Muslim sisters will call out antisemitism – because hatred is hatred is hatred.”

You can watch the full interview here.

Speakers and presenters at the conference included Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Countdown star and antisemitism campaigner Rachel Riley, London Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard and the Deputy Director of Hope Not Hate Jemma Levene.

Nisa-Nashim’s co-chairs Laura Marks OBE and Julie Siddiqi said: “For too long in both of our faiths communities we have seen insular thinking when it comes to tackling hatred. The time for talking is over, now it’s time for us to take united action together.”

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