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Co-Chair Heather Fletcher's speech at Adam Day 2017

15 August 2017

Adam Day is organised each year on 10 August by the UK arm of the Azeemia Foundation. The purpose of the event is to bring people together to reflect on mankind's common descent from Adam.

Our Co-Chair Heather Fletcher made a speech based on the wider aspects of the Jewish concept of "Achdut" (unity). It is reproduced below with her permission.

Speech

Good evening, ladies, gentlemen and distinguished guests. I am delighted to have this opportunity to speak from a Jewish perspective at this 15th Adam Day.

I will start by explaining the Jewish concept of ACHDUT. This word actually means UNITY. In the Jewish holy book,  the Torah, it is stated that every creation has its own purpose and reason for being and the mission of a Jew is to  find G-d’s glory in every single person and creation. Every person is unique, admirable and beautiful in their own way. Therefore ACHDUT in a wider sense also means seeing the spirituality in other people, even though they are different, and feeling at one with them. So ACHDUT embraces a general feeling of TOGETHERNESS.

Unfortunately 2017 has witnessed horrific attacks on Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and, of course, Manchester Arena, whereby evil people have sought to divide us. Considerable togetherness was shown immediately by large numbers of people of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures standing side by side in vigils in Albert Square and in other parts of Manchester. Also when the kosher JS Restaurant in Prestwich was subject to an alleged anti-Semitic arson attack in June, several members of Khizra Mosque in Cheetham stood outside the restaurant to show their solidarity with the Jewish owners and the local community.

However, my criticism is that these vigils and acts of togetherness generally occur after tragic incidents. I believe that we should practice this togetherness far more often and not just wait for a tragedy to occur to express solidarity.

Our Muslim Jewish Forum has been in existence for 12 years and we have organised over 110 events - picnics, concerts, and quizzes. Our events run throughout the year. Our members learn from each other’s diversity and continually express unity by working together.

As my Dad, who passed recently, used to say “All humans are exactly the same, just a little bit different". It is diversity which makes every person interesting in their own unique way.

It is Achdut, togetherness, and celebrating our “Unity in Diversity” throughout the year which helps to create a more cohesive society and sends out strong messages to those who wish to divide us. The twisted, negative messages of the bigoted minority who wish to cause unrest should ALWAYS be obliterated by the hopeful, positive messages of the tolerant majority who work together and celebrate diversity.

It is Unity and optimism which provides the basis for a stronger, happier and more peaceful society.

THANK YOU

 

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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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