STANDING ROOM ONLY ‘WE REFUSE TO BE ENEMIES’ EVENT ON NOVEMBER 26 AT HOLY BLOSSOM TEMPLE IN TORONTO

Hundreds of Jews and Muslims came forward at Holy Blossom Temple, one of Toronto’s largest synagogues,on the evening of November 26 to declare ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies and to vow to work together for the betterment of both communities and the larger Toronto community  There was a palpable sense of urgency at the event, which came less than two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris, about the need to redouble efforts to strengthen Muslim-Jewish ties in Canada, and to combat both extremism and heightened Islamophobia in the wake of the attacks. In that regard speakers at the event urged Canadians not to give in to fear and bigotry, but to reach out a welcoming hand to Syrian refugees fleeing persecution and terrorism who are desperate for shelter in Canada. .

 

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See below a brief account of the event on the FB page of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, the world’s first and longest-running organization focused on strengthening Jewish-Muslim ties, and the main sponsor of the event at Holy Blossom, CAJM is  FFEU’s leading collaborator in strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations in Toronto and across Canada. The event was hosted by Rabbi Michael Satz of Holy Blossom
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photo in article (l-r) Yoni Goldstein, editor in chief of Canadian Jewish News, Alia Hogben, esecutive director Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Dr. Karen Mock,human rights consultant and former Executive Director and CEO of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Shahid Akhtar, co-chair of CAJM,  
See below also a powerful statement by Akhtar and CAJM co-chair Barbara Landau issued immediately after the Paris terrorist attacks urging Canadian government and civic leaders to remain steadfast in accepting Syrian refugees. h.

Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims

November 16, 2015

Dear Leaders

We urge you to stay steadfast in your heartwarming and responsible position on providing a safe haven for those families and children who have suffered for many years. We believe that giving in to fear and prejudice will serve no one’s interests, and may encourage those who seek to divide us.

The Canadian, Ontario and City governments along with many refugee agencies are engaged in a wonderful project of cooperation – one that speaks to the best of our Canadian humanitarian instincts. Most of us are refugees or come from refugee families. We depended on the kindness of those who saw beyond prejudice and fear mongering.

We know you are being careful in your selection – starting with families who have languished in refugee camps for years. We send you our support and hope that the success of your efforts will be celebrated for decades to come as another outstanding chapter in Canadian history!

Yours respectfully,

Dr. Barbara Landau and Shahid Akhtar
Co-Chairs
Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims

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