Where are the Jewish “extremists”? Where are the Jewish groups in Europe doing violence in order to impose Jewish law on the continent? What on earth can these rabbis be thinking? From The Telegraph, with thanks to Anthony:
Imams and rabbis from across the world will gather in Brussels today in an unprecedented effort to quell the rising tensions between Muslims and Jews in Europe.
The “imams and rabbis for peace” conference will bring together 150 leaders of the two faiths, allowing them a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face.
It promises to be much more than a mere talking shop. Speaking before tonight’s opening ceremony, a British Muslim delegate called for the “naming and shaming” of extremists.
Dr Abduljalil Sajid, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain, said he hoped the conference would demonstrate that “99.9 per cent of Muslims, along with 99.9 per cent of Jews” favoured peaceful co-existence.
The organisers are seeking to “create dialogue and an enduring partnership between Islam and Judaism”, promoting personal friendships and joint initiatives.
Alain Michel is the founder and president of the Paris-based peace foundation, Hommes de Parole (Men of Their Word), which is staging the conference.
He said: “A lot of imams and rabbis never get the chance to meet and work with each other, though there are many initiatives between Islam and Christianity, and Judaism and Christianity.”
The aim was to provide a unique forum for inter-religious discussion, in which an influential gathering could demonstrate its mutual opposition to violence, Islamophobia and anti-semitism.
The chief rabbis of Austria, Brussels, Bulgaria and Denmark are among Jewish religious leaders taking part, while a strong contingent from Israel includes the chief rabbi of Haifa and prominent members of the High Rabbinical court of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, the chief rabbi of France, said: “The assembly is an important moment because it carries hope and freedom for a disillusioned world.”
During the conference, Dr Sajid, who is also the imam of Brighton, will chair a session in which imams and rabbis will study values common to both religions.
He said: “We should stand shoulder to shoulder to name and shame the tiny minority of agitators and extremists within our own communities and stress our respect for the sanctity of life.”
Meanwhile, “Jews in Switzerland are reportedly “infuriated” at a passage in the government’s new extremist report that refers to Jewish extremism in the country.” (Thanks again to Anthony.)