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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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How Muslims and Jews set aside the Palestine conflict to cooperate against Fascism c1933-1942

20 November 2022

On Sunday 20 November we held an online event as part of Interfaith Week UK. This was a lecture given by Robert Kanter over Zoom.

Background information on Robert Kanter and his talk

The relationship of Jews and Muslims in Britain in the 20th century is uncharted territory for most people. However Robert Kanter, lecturer in History Education at Manchester Metropolitan University and previously head of History at Bury CE High School, is researching it for his PhD thesis.

This was his second talk for us about his research. The first, in March 2021, covered “Anglo-Jewry’s interactions with converts to Islam in the period 1900-1920.”

For this talk, he covered “Jewish-Muslim solidarity in Britain against the rise of Fascism / Nazism c1933-1942.” While this was a time of rising Muslim/Jewish tension in Palestine, Robert’s research has found that leading Muslims and Jews in Britain, and further afield in places like Germany and France, were able to set the Palestine conflict to one side, and make common cause against Fascism and Nazi racial ideology.

Video recordings

Using Zoom enabled us to record the event. You can watch it below in four parts.

1. Co-Chair Cllr Heather Fletcher introducing herself and Robert Kanter

2. Presentation by Robert Kanter which includes his PowerPoint slides

3. The Question & Answer session

In the video below, we have not included recordings of the questions for privacy reasons. Instead the question has been condensed into a slide, which is followed by Robert Kanter's answer to the question.

4. Vote of thanks by Executive Commitee Member Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar

Audience feedback

The question and answer session showed how informative audience members found the talk.

Rabnawaz Akbar, who is Muslim, said:

"Robert's talk was enlightening and thought provoking. We learnt new history of the Jewish-Muslim relations in the UK in the first half of the 20th century which can and should help us improve Jewish-Muslim relations in the present and the future, very important in a city region which has a significant Muslim population and the largest Jewish community outside of London.

It was heartening to hear that during this period individuals from both Muslim and Jewish communities consistently highlighted the closeness in belief and practice of the two faiths and that the Jews and Muslims have always been friends."

Gill Komoly, who is Jewish, said:

“An interesting and informative talk illustrating the connections between the Jewish and Muslim religions and the sense of unity in the 1930’s against the increasing dangers of Nazism. It reminded us how international politics disturbed that unity whereas a good relationship benefits both communities.”



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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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