The Joseph Interfaith Foundation
in association with
RHUL Jewish Society and RHUL Islamic Society
A survey of the far right ideology against Jews and Muslims in Britain in 20/21 Centuries
Over 70 students attended the talk and panel discussion. One of the major aims of the talk was to show the similarities between the far right ideologies towards the Muslims and the Jews. This was also a way of encouraging the Muslim and Jewish students to become aware of the very real threat of the far right groups against people of both faiths, and to encourage the students to co-operate and support each other in confronting all forms of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic sentiments.
Professor Ansari began his talk with a definition of "the far right". He then gave a historical and sociological analysis of the ideologies of the far right against Islam and Muslims in Britain in the 20th century. He spoke about the similarity of language and imagery used by the far right against both Muslim and Jewish communities.
Professor Cesarani illustrated his talk by references to the anti-Semitic incidents and events in Britain in the last two years. He argued that while the prejudiced sources of anti-Semitism and Islam may have commonalities and similarities, confronting the two prejudices may require different approaches.
The audience listened to Fatima and Sina, as they gave their insights into the topic and shared some of their personal experiences.
Fatima spoke about her personal experiences of Islamophobia and how she refuses to allow such experiences to make her feel embittered or victimised. She spoke warmly about her friendships with young people of other faiths and her open mindedness and interest in learning about Judaism and Christianity. She found her interfaith actions rewarding and strengthening her belief in her own faith.
Sina spoke as a religious Jew and talked about the ethical values of Judaism in condemning all forms of racial hatred and oppression. He acknowledged that though there may be at times elements of tensions between students at the campus, in general the aim from both sides is to understand each other and work towards friendly relations.
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