Thursday, 11.21.2013, 09:59pm
DETROIT — At a time of increased Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, thousands of Muslims and Jews came together in Detroit and in cities around the world during the 6th Annual International Weekend of Twinning, November 15-17, to pledge to be there for each other if either community is victimized by hate crimes or incitement.
This year, there are expected to be more than 130 twinning events involving Muslims and Jews in more than 30 countries on all six inhabited continents.
The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and the Muslim Center of Detroit participated in the International Weekend of Twinning, by hosting a social action program to help feed the hungry in southeast Michigan. The event was held on Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Muslim Center of Detroit. Together Muslims, Christians and Jews served food to the needy, socialized and viewed a film about Muslim and Jewish cooperation.
The Weekend of Twinning is an annual event sponsored by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and held every fall.
Participating synagogues and mosques and Muslim and Jewish organizations around the world undertake a wide range of activities during the Weekend of Twinning including study sessions to learn about commonalities in the two faith traditions and joint social service efforts, including feeding the hungry and homeless and visiting sick and elderly people.
Rabbi Marc Schneier, the President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a New York-based not-for–profit that sponsors the Weekend of Twinning, asserts that “Dialogue is an important first step in building ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews, but it is not enough. Whenever Jews or Muslims are targets of bigotry anywhere in the world, members of the two communities should stand together against both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”
Imam Shamsi Ali, co-author with Rabbi Marc Schneier, of the newly released book Sons of Abraham; A Candid Conversation about the Issues that Divide and Unite Muslims and Jews (Beacon Press) asserts; “No two faiths in this world have more in common than Islam and Judaism. In that spirit, we must truly become our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”
The FFEU encouraged this year’s participants to join the movement against bigotry by forming local Muslim-Jewish Solidarity committees and by signing a pledge on Twitter to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in addition to all forms of hate.