A leader of the Muslim Council of Britain has warned Muslims that they must take more care to ensure that criticism of Israel does not slide over into anti-Semitism.
Inayat Bunglawala made his comments in The Jewish Chronicle the day after The Times disclosed that Leeds University had cancelled a lecture on “Islamic antiSemitism” by a German academic on the ground of security.
Mr Bunglawala, assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council, said that tensions in the Middle East should not obscure that Jews and Muslims living in Britain had much in common. He said: “Muslim communities must take more responsibility to ensure that criticism of some of Israel’s policies does not slide into a kind of a casual antiSemitism. Perhaps the best way to encourage this vigilance is to ensure that grassroots ties prosper between our communities.”
He admitted that most British Muslims and British Jews were unlikely to agree any time soon about the fundamental reasons behind the continuation of the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict.
He said that one area where the communities could work together was faith schools, attended by 50 per cent of Jewish but 3 per cent of Muslim school-children. “It surely makes sense for Muslims and Jews to work together to uphold the right of parents to send their children to faith schools if they so wish and that they should be properly resourced.”
In the glacial world of Muslim-Jewish relations, the tone of the article is considered highly significant.