Published On: Fri, Jul 18th, 2014 on 12:44 pm

A plea for peace: Leeds imam and rabbis call for an end to Gaza crisis

Gaza Strip Rocket

An Israeli rocket is fired into the Gaza Strip

Religious leaders in Leeds from both the Islamic and Jewish faiths have called on Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to work towards peace.

Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Rabbi Jason Kleiman of Bet Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue, and Rabbi Ian Morris of Sinai Synagogue, have joined other leaders across the country calling upon a two-state solution to end the Gaza crisis.

The trio are members of the National Council of Imams and Rabbis, a council run by a national interfaith organisation named the Joseph Interfaith Foundation.

In a statement, the council said: “We are extremely concerned at the escalation and continuation of hostilities between Israel and Gaza. We are deeply saddened and troubled by all the violence, hatred, suffering and the loss of innocent life to which it leads. We acknowledge the grief and pain which it causes.

“In these difficult and dangerous times we call on courageous and wise leadership to strive for a ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table to work towards a sustained peace and two-state solution.”

Israeli forces have recently entered Gaza as part of a ground assault after last-minute efforts to secure a ceasefire deal in Cairo collapsed.

Countless people have been killed and injured amidst clashes, including civilians.

The council added: “With regard to our shared responsibilities here in Britain, it is particularly important that we do not allow what happens elsewhere in the world to affect the very important levels of co-operation and understanding which we have built up between the Muslim and Jewish communities in this country.

“As members of the National Council of Imams and Rabbis we seek to replace fear and prejudice with knowledge and understanding and in this way work together for a more peaceful world.”

The National Council of Imams and Rabbis includes: Mufti AK Barkatullah of Islamic Shari’a Council; Dayan Rabbi Binstock of St John’s Wood United Synagogue; Rabbi Colin Eimer of Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue; Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE of Leeds Makkah Mosque; Rabbi Jason Kleiman of Bet Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue; Rabbi Ian Morris of Sinai Synagogue; Imam Abdullah Hasan of Masjid Khadijah and Islamic Centre; Sheikh Muhammad Ismail of Birmingham Central Mosque; Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue; Sheikh Ezzat Khalifa of London Central Mosque and Cultural Centre; Rabbi David Lister of Edgware United Synagogue; Imam Mokhtar Osman of York Way Mosque and Education Centre; Imam Shahid Raza CBE of Leicester Central Mosque; Rabbi Danny Rich of Liberal Judaism; Senior Imams of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre; Imam Mohammad Shafiq of Darul Ummah Jamme Mosque; Rabbi Reuven Silverman of Manchester Reform Synagogue; Rabbi Daniel Smith of Edgware and District Reform Synagogue; Rabbi Alexandra Wright of Liberal Jewish Synagogue; Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg of New North London Masorti Synagogue; and Imam Asim Hafiz OBE, Islamic Advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff and Service Chiefs.

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  1. Stevo says:

    Jews and Muslims should unite against Zionism, that is a racist ideology!

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