The disturbing news from Europe over the past several weeks has challenged freedom of religion and belief. Qurans have been burned, and revered texts of the other Abrahamic faiths have also faced threats, with the situation seeming to escalate by the day.
In light of these provocative acts of hatred, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) organized a virtual global Jewish-Muslim solidarity rally on Thursday, bringing together two dozen distinguished religious leaders and grassroots activists from around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Israel, United Arab Emirates, India, and Panama, among other countries, to speak out and share messages of unity and mutual respect.
Thousands of viewers tuned in online to join this timely show of intercommunal coexistence and harmony.
“Recent events in Sweden, Denmark and elsewhere, including the burning of Qurans and threats to do the same to other holy books, including the Torah, highlight the urgent need to reinforce the bonds of interfaith solidarity and friendship between Jewish and Muslim communities worldwide,” CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa said in his opening remarks. “These despicable provocations, desecrating what we all hold sacred, are meant to incite hatred between us. We must respond by demonstrating that mutual respect, understanding, and love will overcome all. Together as allies, we will not let hate win.”
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mansoori, founder of the Crossroads of Civilization Museum in Dubai, observed, “It’s a rare historical moment when we have Muslim and Jewish people come together, rally, show solidarity, and defend one another. I always believed that when Muslims and Jews are in harmony, the world is made better. And this moment, on this platform, is a great moment to renew such solidarity.”
Pakistani journalist Ahmed Quraishi noted, “As much as many of us were horrified by the incident of burning the Muslim holy book in Sweden, many of us were equally horrified when someone thought a good answer to that is to burn Christian and Jewish holy texts. That is not acceptable. The desecration of sacred objects to religion must not be normalized. Let’s also encourage people of faith everywhere to exercise the power of jointly boycotting individuals involved in acts of desecration. Let’s not give them power by attention. Let’s deprive them of that attention.”
Anila Ali, president of the American Muslim and Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council (AMMWEC), commented, “It is the most beautiful thing to see people of different religions come together. We are all the same – we grieve the same way, we laugh the same way, and we must come together to find that common ground. It’s crucial that we come together today and every day and say discrimination, hate, intolerance, the burning of religious texts, it’s ignorance. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, all of these religions have common roots. They all want us to preserve the sanctity of knowledge. When you burn a book, you are taking away from humanity.”
Human rights icon and CAM Advisory Board Chair Natan Sharansky declared, “We have a mutual heritage that we have to share, and we have to remind ourselves that with all our differences, we have mutual enemies who want to destroy our connection and our heritage. So let’s fight together against this prejudice and bigotry, and against those who want us to forget that in the image of God man was created.”
Watch a full recording of the Jewish-Muslim Solidarity Rally here: