Feeling encouraged and inspired by so many positively moving stories that have been catching my attention this festive season!
Here is a true story published in The Guardian newspaper a few days ago:
In short: a synagogue in Bradford on the brink of closure, was saved by a fund raising effort led by the secretary of a nearby mosque. Through this incredible endeavor Rabi Rudi Leavor and Zulfi Karim, secretary of Bradford Council of Mosques; have formed a close friendship and brotherhood.
“Rudi is my new found big brother… It makes me proud that we can protect our neighbours and at the same time preserve an important part of Bradford’s cultural heritage.” [Karim]
In a world where racial and religious tensions are very high, this friendship speaks volumes.
Karim was unaware of the synagogue until recently, as they had taken their signage down after a man left the synagogue wearing his kippah, or skull cap, and was spat at by two Pakistani men passing in a car.
Karim makes a very good point:
“You look at those who killed Lee Rigby, supposedly in the name of Islam.
The question is: what makes these young men so radicalised, so angry, so intolerant?
I really, really deeply, strongly feel that the way forward is interfaith dialogue – perhaps through food, perhaps through visiting a synagogue or other places of worship.”
I agree. Sharing food together is a great step towards building peace and understanding within our multicultural communities around the world.
During Ramadan I was invited a few delicious Iftar feasts, with both Egyptian and Emirati friends. This Christmas I have already celebrated with a group of friends from both Christian and Muslim backgrounds.
Life is much better and easier when we focus on our similarities rather than our differences.
This Christmas, my wish is that we will put into practice those great lessons we have been taught…
‘Love thy neighbour’ [with no buts and no exceptions.]