Jewish-Muslim Twinning proliferate in the Muslim World for the FIRST Time
Events in Indonesia, Singapore, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria
7th Annual Weekend of Twinning features hundreds of programs around the globe
In a year during which conflict in the Middle East has cast doubt on co-existence efforts, thousands of Muslims and Jews came together in over 200 events spanning over 30 countries during the 7th Annual Weekend of Twinning to make the point: ‘We refuse to be enemies. We will join together to build ties of communication and cooperation for the good of both our communities and the diverse societies around the world in which we live side by side.’
The Weekend of Twinning is an initiative spearheaded every November and December by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) based on the concept of synagogues, mosques and Muslim and Jewish student, women’s and young leadership groups in countries around the world forming partnerships and holding joint programs with the goal of building ties of communication, reconciliation and cooperation between Muslims and Jews.The official Weekend of Twinning is November 14-16, but Muslim-Jewish programming bringing together thousands of Muslims and Jews around the world kicked off on November 2 with a groundbreaking Muslim-Jewish women’s conference in Philadelphia and will continue until December 19, with upcoming events in Tunis, Abuja, Nigeria, Chicago, Paris and Bronx, NY.
This year’s Weekend of Twinning broke geographical records, with a greater range of twinning events particularly in the Muslim world. To visualize this range, check out our Twinning map and click on different locations for pictures and event descriptions.
Among the most notable twinning events this year were a series of appearances by FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali, a New York-based imam, in Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Bali, Indonesia before government leaders, university students and members of a major national Muslim movement to discuss their book Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues that Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims, which was recently translated into the Indonesian language. After a meeting with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalia, Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali traveled to nearby Singapore for a Muslim-Jewish event.
FFEU Media Director Tamar Schneck and European Coordinator Samia Hathroubi were among the featured speakers at a Jewish-Muslim-Christian women’s conference in Rabat, Morocco under the patronage of King Mohammed II from November 11-13 entitled “Women at the Heart of Monotheism”.
On December 5-6, FFEU will co-sponsor the first ever Weekend of Twinning in Nigeria together with the Chief Rabbi of Nigeria Israel Uzan and Tony Araoye, a Nigerian-Canadian, who serves as President of HD Public Relations Canada. At this unprecedented event in a country that has been torn apart in recent months by violence between Christians and Muslims, Rabbi Uzan will bring together prominent Nigerian Christian and Muslim leaders like Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, Pastor Sam Otenaike, and Dr. Abdul Isiaq to call upon Nigerians and all Africans, regardless of their faith tradition, to embrace a new culture in which people shift from ethnic and religious strife ‘to a new mindset of mutual respect and co-operation of its diverse community’.
On Sunday December 7, FFEU will co-sponsor together with the Tunisian Association for the Protection of Minority Rights and the Embassy of France, a Muslim-Jewish event, featuring film director Karim Miske screening his award winning documentary, Jews and Muslims, So Far Apart, So Close Together. FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director Walter Ruby will speak at the event, stressing the importance of Tunisia as a democratic Islamic country with a Jewish minority, where the two communities can and must forge strong ties.
In Paris on Sunday December 14, FFEU Executive Director Will Eastman and Suhail Khan, White House Liaison to South Asian and Muslim communities during the George W. Bush Administration. will take part in a panel discussion highlighting the ongoing efforts of the FFEU affiliated Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders to create a Europe-wide network of Muslims and Jews committed to standing together against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and educating our two communities about each other. The event is co-sponsored by FFEU and the U.S. Embassy.
According to FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier; “We are profoundly heartened that even as the grim headlines in recent months have created a picture of endemic conflict between our two faith communities, the Weekend of Twinning has shown that more and more Muslims and Jews around the world are reaching out to each other.
Russell Simmons, FFEU Chairman, commented, “I am so proud of the inspiring and critically important work FFEU is doing to buttress Muslim-Jewish relations. Despite difficulties in the Middle East, we are moving together with friends and collaborators around the world to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews.”