Jewish and Muslim Women Come Together to Remove Anti-Semitic Graffiti in UK
July 27, 2020
In Birmingham, UK Jewish and Muslim women came together this month to remove anti-Semitic graffiti which appeared on a local wall.
When it was discovered that the words “Die Jewish” had been spray-painted onto the wall, a resident called upon Citizens UK (an alliance of civil society institutions acting together for the common good of the city) and the local chapter of the women’s group Nisa Nashim (a group which brings Jewish and Muslim women together for social change) to help organize the removal of the anti-Semitic vandalism.
In an act of incredible solidarity, the Jewish and Muslim women joined together and painted over the graffiti with messages of peace and coexistence alongside a vibrant rainbow. Where “Die Jewish” was written now reads: “Standing Together Against Hate – Jewish and Muslim women together.”
Alongside the newly painted rainbow and messages of hope, women from diverse backgrounds also posed for photos, holding up notes stating ‘Active Allies’, ‘Standing Together’ and ‘We’re All Neighbours.” Messages saying “We are all part of the human race” and “I believe in the power of community,” were also placed on a tree nearby the anti-Semitic graffiti.
Karen Skinazi, one of the leaders of the effort and a Jewish member of Nisa Nashim told the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement that she was appalled when she learned of the anti-Semitic graffiti.
“As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I was deeply disturbed by the sight of anti-Semitic graffiti on my own doorstep in twenty-first century Britain.”
Nevertheless, Skinazi described the experience to CAM as ultimately a positive one which fostered interfaith co-operation and understanding.
“When my Jewish and Muslim sisters heard the news, they immediately stepped into action to replace the message of hate with one of solidarity. We have so much in common, so much shared history and culture, as well a continued need to challenge intolerance. I believe that together, we can win the fight against racial and religious hatred.”
Before painting over the vandalism, the women got in touch with West Midlands Police – the local department – who helped them remove the graffiti and lauded their collective effort to turn a hateful act into a positive situation.
Anti-Semitic incidents have recently reached a record high in the UK according to the Community Security Trust (CST), a group that monitors anti-Semitism across the country.
The trust recorded over 1,800 hate crimes in 2019 – a 7% rise in comparison to the same period last year. CST also noted that there have been over 100 anti-Semitic incidents each month in the UK for second consecutive year.
Photo Credits: IAM BHAM