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Memories of the Muslim Jewish Forum

29 July 2012

A poem written by our Secretary, Heather Fletcher. It is copyright and reproduced here with her permission. Please contact her using the Contact us page if you wish to reproduce it elsewhere.

I went to a meeting at Manchester Town Hall in August 2004.
The message there was to spread peace and harmony, not war.

It was the very first meeting of over a hundred Muslims and Jews.
Attending the gathering I saw I had much to gain and nothing to lose.

The meeting was organised by Cllr Afzal Khan and the late Henry Guterman MBE.
Their positivity and good intent was clear for all to see.

A few months after this meeting in June 2005.
They co-founded the Muslim Jewish Forum and it has continued to thrive.

The Forum was created to promote stronger ties between the two communities and a mutual respect.
As we learnt from each other the similarities rather than differences were easier to detect.

Once a month our committee at the Town Hall would discuss and meet.
I was appointed the Forum Secretary and I thought that it was quite a fete!

Throughout these years our members have done so many things together.
Including sharing meals and holding picnics in the rainy Manchester weather!
We have also visited Mosques and some Synagogues too.
And institutions like the Jewish Museum and British Muslim Heritage Centre to name a few.

On occasions we have discussed parts of the Qur’an and the Torah.
And each year we hold a Womens’ Event well organised by Laura.

The Forum has become quite prominent and in the spotlight more.
And there have been many interesting Events for those in Accountancy and Law.

Our enthusiasm for the Forum has grown and there is certainly no sign of any wane.
Some members have visited countries together with Muslim and Jewish interest such as Morocco and Spain.

Last year I was looking on the Internet and saw some photos quite by chance.
Of another Muslim Jewish group in Paris, the capital of France.

I e-mailed them and asked if I could be their “Friend” on Facebook.
To discover them was fate, kismet, beschert and very good luck.

In 2012, Manchester was buzzing under a bright new moon.
And our visitors from Shalom Paix Salam ! in Paris arrived at the end of June.

We took them to the British Muslim Heritage Centre and the Jewish Museum on Cheetham Hill.
Our French friends spread their positive messages of harmony and goodwill.

We prayed Friday lunchtime prayers and Shabbat morning at the Synagogue together.
We shared food and jokes and walked round Manchester in the wet, windy weather!

As our French friends left we kissed, we cried and we gave each other a big embrace.
It dawned on me that we were all members of the same family known as the Human Race.

I am pleased that I engaged in Inter Faith work and that I have played a part.
In taking the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester closer to our community’s heart.

© 2012 Heather D. Fletcher

 

 

 

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

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