Marie van der Zyl pledges solidarity with Muslims at Board of Deputies iftar
Muslims and Jews came together in London for an iftar laid on by the Board of Deputies to express thanks for the Muslims Against Antisemitism campaign.
The event which was attended by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as well as representatives from a variety of Jewish and Muslim organisations, took place at the Central Synagogue in London.
In welcoming guests to the traditional dinner at which Muslims break their Ramadan fast, Marie said: “In March, we called on our community to gather in Parliament Square to say ‘enough is enough’ to antisemitism. When – in the midst of this turbulent time – Muslims took out full page adverts in national newspapers to show their solidarity with Jews, the response throughout our community was extraordinarily positive, indeed even emotional. We had messages on social media from Jews all over the world, who said they had tears in their eyes when they read the text of your advert.”
She added: “We will never accept people inciting hatred against Muslims, whether this occurs on the street, online, or in any political party. Let me be clear, it is absolutely the responsibility of all political parties to properly investigate racism in their ranks. I can assure you that, in my tenure as President, you can count on me as a committed ally of the Muslim community.”
The Chief Rabbi spoke of the historic closeness between Jewish and Muslim communities: “Jews and Muslims are part of the same historic family. Our friends here tonight are true and genuine brethren in every sense.”
Fiyaz Mughal, Founder of Muslims Against Antisemitism and Tell Mama, said: “The recent significant rise in antisemitism and the discourse of political antisemitism cannot be left and it is the duty of us all, including Muslim communities, to stand up and challenge it where we find it. Protecting the dignity, integrity and well-being of our Jewish brothers and sisters is the right thing to do and also means protecting the space where other diverse communities can flourish. We stand with them, as Muslims at this time.”
At the end of the evening, during which guests were given a tour of the synagogue, Vice President Edwin Shuker gave a vote of thanks.
Photo: Gary Perlmutter