More 50 women, Muslims and Jews packed the room at the British Muslim Heritage Centre last night to launch the newest Nisa-Nashim Jewish/Muslim Women’s Network in South Manchester.
The event was a huge success. Rapidly gathering themselves into small groups, the women shared stories, got to know each other and started planning future events including a trip to a vegetarian Chinese restaurant, a theatre visit, volunteering at a food bank and a workshop on well being. Within two hours,project co-chairs were appointed and plans made for ongoing connections and
more opportunities to meet.The event had been targeted by the very small but vocal MPACUK who called on the Heritage Centre to cancel the event in a clear attempt to focus on divisionrather than on unity.
The event was hosted by Manchester based co-chairs Elinor Chohan and Joanne Feldman, already great friends through their commitment to building inter-faithrelationships over many years. Julie Siddiqi and Laura Marks, co-founders of Nisa- Nashim spoke at the event which followed on from launches in the past six months in Camden, Brondesbury, Harrow, and Birmingham with several others including Bournemouth and Watford, in the pipeline.
Elinor Chohan said: “Relationships start by getting to know one another, from this comesunderstanding, respect and trust; where there is good intention and true faith youwant for others what you want for yourself. It is the foundation for al else. Social cohesion requires a commitment by each individual to shared values and the norms of society. The positivity, enthusiasm and determination that resulted from the launch of Nisa-Nashim in Mancheseter inspires me that the outcomes will benefit
our wonderful and diverse society. With Laura Marks and Julie Siddiqi driving this project nationally it is an exciting addition to the interfaith dialogue happening in Manchester and the UK, thank you”
Joanne Feldman said: “Women can join together and use their inner strength to bring harmony not only to their own family but to increase friendship and good relationships in our communities and I hope the message will spread even further. We need to change the misconception that Jewish and Muslim communities are unable to have a peaceful co-existence and remember that we have so much in common. What we don’t realise is how much unity is already happening right in front of us.”