Rabbi and Imam Forge Interfaith Alliance in Australia

Imam Saeed Wasama Bulhan is seen touring St Kilda Shule, accompanied by Rabbi Yaakov Glasman.

January 19, 2021

A rabbi and an imam in Australia have forged an interfaith alliance against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, The Australian Jewish News reported.

After the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh two years ago, Imam Saeed Warsama Bulhan — from the Melbourne suburb of Truganina — left a phone message for Rabbi Yaakov Glasman — president of the Rabbinical Association of Australasia — to express his condolences.

Half a year later, after the Christchurch mosque shootings, Glasman tried to reach out to Bulhan to voice solidarity, but did not have his number, as Bulhan had not included it in his message.

Eventually, early last year, the two were able to speak with each other, and just last month Bulhan visited Glasman’s St Kilda Shule.

Bulhan was briefed on the history and traditions of the congregation and was shown a Torah scroll, which prompted a discussion on the similarities between Jewish and Muslim holy texts.

The two agreed to meet again in the future and Glasman was invited to tour Bulhan’s mosque.

Glasman was quoted as saying that local Muslims had been unfairly maligned by images of terrorism overseas, and he also noted his alarm over rising anti-Semitism worldwide.

Bulhan declared, “Any progress made against anti-Semitism is also progress made against Islamophobia, and vice versa.”

Read more here at The Australian Jewish News.