Recently the Foundation set up a trailblazing project called “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”. This is a unique project to teach 15-17 year olds how easily they can make anti-Semitic statements or jokes either unconsciously or based on misinformation. How easily they can be misinformed about the Jews and Judaism through prejudiced media, organisations or anti-Semitic individuals. This is done simultaneously by comparing it with Islam phobic and anti-Islamic misinformation, statements and propaganda.
The Foundation has written this project specifically for the schools after a great deal of consultation and academic cooperation. The students are given an introduction by the project coordinator, a senior religious leader, and afterwards the students participate in a workshop to teach them about the holocaust and anti-Semitism by comparing them to the massacre in Srebrenica and Islam phobic material.
The Jewish speaker was Rabbi David Lister who spoke about the ethical principles of Judaism and their commonality with Islam. He also spoke about his parents personal experiences of the Holocaust. The Muslim speaker was Tasif Zaman, JIF project coordinator and author of the project.
The ethos and aims and objectives of the project are to make the young people aware of how easily they can fall unconsciously into accepting stereotyping of Jews and Muslims which leads to accepting misinformation and hateful statements about the Jewish and Muslim people in all aspects of life.
The session was attended by over 50 students aged 15-17 who had volunteered to participate. There has been a real buzz in the school from the event, with many students talking about it and coming to ask for more of such projects.
The project will be repeated at several schools during 2014.