More than 100 imams, rabbis and Muslim and Jewish leaders came together on Sunday December 11 to vow to stand up for each other of either community is demonized or discriminated against by either private citizens or by governmental action.
The occasion for this outpouring of mutual support was the 3rd Annual Summit of Washington Area Imams and Rabbis at Congregation Tifereth Israel in northwest Washington. The event was organized by FFEU, Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum, Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society of Washington and Interfaith Action for Human Rights.
During the discussion, many Muslim participants said that they or their loved ones have experienced harassment or threats of violence in the weeks since the November 8 election. A Summit Steering Committee was set up under the aegis of the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum to implement ideas discussed at the Summit for strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations in the threatening environment that now exists. These ideas include encouraging Jews to gather outside area mosques during Friday prayers to hold up signs and shout slogans declaring their solidarity with Muslim worshippers, and for Muslims to do the same outside synagogues during Shabbat worship services. In addition the Summit will encourage more area mosques and synagogues to implement one-on-one twinning relationships and seek to strengthen youth involvement in Muslim-Jewish relations.
According to FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director, Walter Ruby, who addressed the Summit; “It is so important that during this time of fear and uncertainity that we redouble and accelerate our ongoing efforts to build ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews.. People in both communities need to know that we will stand united against any efforts to hurt either of our communities—or any other faith or ethnic community.