• 516-434-0313
  • info@interfaithny.com

We Refuse to be Enemies

We Refuse to be Enemies

Sunday Aug. 23, 2020 — 10:30 AM


How Muslim and Jews can make Peace, One friendship at a time.

Interfaith Institute of the Islamic Center of Long Island and Temple Or Elohim, A Community Reform Congregation Host Impassioned Appeal for Muslim-Jewish Unity in Defense of Democracy
Contact: Laurel Fried, friedworks@gmail.com || Dr. Faroque Khan, Faroquekhan@outlook.com

The Muslim and Jewish co-authors of a book promoting Muslim-Jewish friendship and trust appealed directly to members of their respective communities to “stand together to protect democracy, pluralism and religious liberty in America.”

Addressing a zoom forum co-sponsored by the Interfaith Institute of the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) and Temple Or Elohim, A Community Reform Congregation, the speakers, Sabeeha Rehman and Walter Ruby, whose book We Refuse to be Enemies. How Muslims and Jews Can Make Peace, One Friendship at a Time (Arcade Publishing. April 2021), argued, “As members of the two largest minority faith communities in America, we must stand together at a portentous moment in American history. Neither of our communities will be able to prosper in an America characterized by xenophobia and bigotry.”

Rehman and Ruby, who have worked to strengthen Muslim-Jewish communication and cooperation since 9-11, believe that Jews and Muslims are natural allies who share a great deal including common Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and shared principles at the core of both faiths, including: ‘If You Save One Life, It Is As If You Save The World’; ‘Welcome the Stranger’; ‘Tikkun Olam and Islah—the common moral imperative to help those in need; and ‘Standing Up for the Other’.

Yet they acknowledged the roadblocks to Muslim-Jewish solidarity: the longstanding differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They argued, American Muslims and Jews cannot afford to let the conflict drive us apart, especially at a time when our collective well-being in America is at stake. We can agree to disagree respectfully, even as we contribute together to humanitarian efforts to save lives and improve the quality of life for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

Rehman and Ruby shared their respective life journeys during which they were able to overcome longstanding biases. Rehman explained that growing up in Pakistan until the age of 20, she had never met a Jew and viewed Jews through the lens of the middle-east conflict; a viewpoint replicated in reverse by Ruby; who grew up in suburban Pittsburgh and for an extended period in Israel with a deeply negative perspective on Muslims and Arabs. They shared fascinating anecdotes about how their perspectives shifted as Sabeeha found herself “living in an Orthodox Jewish community on Staten Island and being attended by a Jewish obstetrician during her first pregnancy; while Walter spoke of sipping coffee and discussing politics with Palestinian Arabs as a young journalist and witnessing Yasser Arafat deliver the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. Ruby and Rehman spoke of their work in Muslim-Jewish relations, and of the eight-point roadmap they have developed for moving forward, that begins with: “We are Americans first. While the Israeli-Palestinian issue matters greatly, we live here, not there, and our collective well-being is at risk unless we stand up for each other and unite, together with other Americans dedicated to enhancing democracy and pluralism’

According to Laurel Fried, Vice President of Temple Or Elohim, A Community Reform Congregation, and moderator of the forum; “Together with the Interfaith Institute, we were proud to sponsor this timely event, which powerfully made the case for Muslim-Jewish and Interfaith solidarity.” Dr. Faroque Khan, founder and president of the Interfaith Institute of ICLI, and a pioneer in Muslim-Jewish relations going back to the early 1990’s, commented, “Now more than ever, Muslims, Jews and interfaith allies need to come together and stand up for core American values that sustain us all.”



Back To Events List

Start:

April 19, 2018

Address:

New York, USA
  • Share:

Check out our other events

Interfaith Institute Image Events
01 October 2015

LAUNCH OF INSTITUTE ON SUNDAY OCT 25TH 2015

New York, USA

This event attracted a large gathering, received extensive TV and print media coverage in Newsday, Long Island Press and Islamic Horizon magazine.


See full story
Interfaith Institute Image Events
25 September 2015

WITNESS TO PEACE

New York, USA

Earlier this year when we heard about the visit of Pope Francis we extended an invite for him to formally launch the interfaith institute at ICLI which he was unable to accommodate.


See full story
Interfaith Institute Image Events
February 2016

CONFERENCE AT UN SPONSORED BY OIC AND PAKISTAN EMBASSY

New York, USA

The presentation was very well received. We were able to share a short video from the Oct 25th launch of the interfaith institute of ICLI

See full story
Interfaith Institute Image Events
21 October 2016

Honored for promoting harmony through the hijab

New York, USA

When some countries began to ban the hijab of Muslim women and attack the Islamic dress code, Dr Larycia Hawkin, a Christian and former associate professor...


See full story
Interfaith Institute Image Events
25 October 2015

New LI Interfaith Institute at mosque opens to promote understanding

New York, USA

John Andrew Morrow speaks during interfaith event at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury on Sunday 25, 2015. (Credit : Steven Sunshine)

See full story
Interfaith Institute Image Events
24, October 2015

LI mosque creates Interfaith Institute to educate about Islam.

New York, USA

Dr. Farooque Ahmed Khan is shown in front of the triple arches that lead into the newly constructed building that will house the Islamic Center of Long Island...

See full story