journeys at home and abroad
Surprise – two of my fellow panelists dropped out of a tv discussion, Should Muslims become more involved in interfaith activities?, and the two stand-ins took it in an unexpected direction.
It’s difficult to prove that intercultural activity is beneficial (easier to point to what happens when it fails – European history is littered with examples), but I gave it a shot. I mentioned MUJU, the Muslim-Jewish theatre company’s work on peace in the midst of the horrific Gaza-Israel conflict last summer. And, in contrast, some joint work between Islamic centres, churches & the NHS on mental health.
The show’s host allowed everyone a fair crack at it. London is a place where difficult conversations can still take place in relative safety; if we stop talking to people we profoundly disagree with, I said, we’re sunk.
Multifaith solidarity wasn’t up to the mark, it was alleged, citing its absence at the far right protest against Harrow Mosque a few years ago. As it happens, I was there – on the other side of the police line, with Jewish and many other friends, in solidarity with the Mosque and against Stop Islamisation of Europe. We must have kept too low a profile.
I just hope I didn’t come across too squeaky.