Interfaith conference promotes religious harmony

Katherine Fish 13 November 2008

The Cambridge University Law Faculty played host to a number of influential members of the Jewish and Muslim communities for a panel discussion entitled ‘Muslim and Jewish Relations in a Climate of Change’ last Wednesday, 12th November.
Students had the opportunity to air their views during the live talk and were also able to meet the panellists.
Those attending included former Conservative leader Michael Howard and shadow cabinet minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
Discussion ranged from lively debate as to how Jews and Muslims can understand themselves as British citizens, to the panellist’s personal experiences regarding the changing nature of Jewish-Muslim relations over the past few decades.
A number of pertinent questions from the floor were put to the experts.
The panel also comprised of Lord Mitchell, the Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, Trust founder Lord Greville Janner, the Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Kishwer Falkner and Sir Gulam Noon OBE, among others.
Jewish and Muslim people work together in all walks of life, yet we seem to live apart,” said Baroness Falkner.
“This tour will finally give us an opportunity to get beneath the skin and to talk of all the things that bring us together in this country and where we might make common cause. It’s long overdue.”
The event, which formed part of a UK campus tour organised by the Co-Existence Trust, focused on the shared experiences and common values of the two communities in order to bring Jewish and Muslim students together.
The Trust, established in 2005, works to encourage the growth of strong inter-faith relations on an international level.
Membership now includes leaders from over 40 nations.
Lord Parry Mitchell, Labour Peer and Chairman of the Coexistence Trust, said:
“In addition to promoting positive relations between young Muslims and Jews at UK Universities, we hope the tour will address the aspirations of Muslim and Jewish students as they integrate into society; their values and life-goals.”

Katherine Fish