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The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester
Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish communities of Greater Manchester

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The conflict in Gaza should not be allowed to harm community relations in Greater Manchester

11 October 2023

At the time of writing, the BBC News website reports that the death toll in Israel after the attack by Hamas on Saturday has reached 1,200. It also reports that more than 900 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

At times like this, passions run high.

The Muslim Jewish Forum has only one main purpose, which is reproduced below:

The objects for which the Forum is established are to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester; to educate members of the Muslim and Jewish Communities in relation to their shared values and common Abrahamic tradition, heritage, history and culture; and to promote better understanding within the wider community of the interests and values that are common to the Muslim and Jewish Communities.

Given the contested positions the Muslim Jewish Forum has expressed no position on Israel / Palestine.

That does not stop us being distressed by the murder of civilians which cannot ever be justified; and the tragic loss of innocent lives on both sides.  

In these distressing and difficult times, we cannot allow what is happening in the Middle East to affect our communities here in Greater Manchester.

We call upon local Muslim and Jewish communities to act responsibly and to support and protect each other against any form of hatred and provocation. We should unite in remembering that what we have in common far surpasses the differences in our culture and heritage.

Individual members of the Muslim Jewish Forum, whether members of the Executive or ordinary members, in their personal capacities, are free to take any position on how the Israel / Palestine conflict should be resolved.

However, we urge everyone in Greater Manchester, whether a member of the MJF or not, to remember the following:

It is essential that we all be able to live together harmoniously as fellow citizens of Greater Manchester. There is no incompatibility between that vital goal and the civil expression of one’s views about the conflict.


The above statement was met with widespread approval and was picked by the media. Co-Chair Mohammed Amin appeared on BBC News Northwest, LBC Radio and BBC Radio Manchester amongst others. The Manchester Evening News quoted from it in their story “"We must protect one another": Jews and Muslims uniting for peace in Manchester” including the phrase in the story's title.

The statement was endorsed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor for Police, Crime, Fire and Criminal Justice Kate Green in their "Statement from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict."

On 18 October 2023, Co-Chair Mohammed Amin was interviewed by Sophie Reaper of GB News and a clip of that can be watched in the tweet embedded below.

'As tensions between Israel and Hamas intensify, Manchester's Muslim-Jewish forum is urging people in the city to keep the peace.'

GB News Reporter, Sophie Reaper, questions if the Middle East conflict is impacting Muslim and Jewish communities in the UK.

— GB News (@GBNEWS) October 18, 2023

On Thursday 26 October 2023, four members of the Forum (Heather Fletcher, Mohammed Amin, David Berkley, and Rabnawaz Akbar) were interviewed for the BBC1 North West Tonight programme, which was transmitted at 18:30 the following evening. While the programme is no longer available, its content was by the BBC's Lauren Hirst for her BBC Online article "Israel-Gaza war: 'Dialogue is not easy, but we can't shut the door'."

On 4 February 2024 the Manchester Evening News published the story "'Ignorance leads to intolerance': The people bringing Manchester's Muslims and Jews together — With the war in Gaza still raging the work of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester is more vital than ever" by Damon Wilkinson. This was based on him interviewing the same four members of the Forum in the previous week.



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The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester
Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester

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