British Muslims write letter opposing anti-Semitism: ‘The time has come to speak out’
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British Muslims write letter opposing anti-Semitism: ‘The time has come to speak out’

Group called 'Muslims Against Anti-Semitism' take out full-page advert in the Telegraph urging people to call out Jew-hatred

Prominent British Muslims have published an open letter in a full-page advert in The Telegraph urging other Muslims to call out anti-Semitism when they see it.

The group, which includes senior police officers, human rights activists and interfaith champions, warn that the prosperity of British Muslims “cannot be ensured while Jewish communities feel under threat”.

Writing at the start of Ramadan, and after a the deadliest week in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2014, signatories say: “The time has come to speak out. For far too long, anti-Semitism has gone unchecked.”

Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters and founder of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism (MAAS), were among those signing the letter, which was posted under the headline: “We have one word for Jews. Shalom.”

Another signatory included Ayesha Hazarika, a broadcaster and political commentator who formerly advised Labour leaders. Her latest book – ‘Punch and Judy Politics: An Insider’s Guide to Prime Minister’s Questions’ – which she co-wrote with Tom Hamilton, was published to great fanfare this week.

The group wrote: “To our Jewish sisters and brothers, we say the struggle against one of history’s oldest and most virulent hatreds is not your fight alone but ours collectively.”

They acknowledged that race-hate was found in all faiths and cultures, including Islam, and say: “We must be ever vigilant against those who cynically use international issues to vilify Jews or promote anti-Semitic tropes.”

The Community Security Trust (CST) has, over recent years, repeatedly shown how violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East can affect levels of anti-Semitism seen in the UK, with clashes referred to as “trigger points”.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews thanked signatories, saying it was an “Incredible solidarity – a full page ad by Muslim sisters & brothers in today’s Telegraph. Thank you. Together we will defeat the twin evils of antisemitism & anti-Muslim hate.”

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