For Immediate Release
Date: October 24, 2014
Ground Breaking Jewish Muslim Meeting in Calgary
Calgary Jewish-Muslim Council Established
Meetings between Calgary’s Jewish and Muslim religious leaders have culminated in the formation of the Calgary Jewish-Muslim Council (CJMC). The direct impetus for the CJMC was concern about the lack of civility and respect during last summer’s demonstrations regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. After issuing a joint statement calling for peaceful expressions of speech and for upholding the Canadian values of diversity, the group focused its attention on wider issues concerning the importance of good relationships between the two communities. The rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiments is a major concern for both communities.
The Jewish community was represented by Rabbi Shaul Osadchey and Rabbi Joshua Corber of Beth Tzedec Congregation and Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman of Temple B’nai Tikvah. Representing the Muslim community were both Shia and Sunni religious leaders including Imam Syed Soharwardy and Imam Muhammad Zubair Qadri of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Imam Taymoor Hussain and Imam Zareef Hanif of the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, Riazuddin Ahmed- a member of the Islamic Association of NW Calgary, Imam Hassan Rizvi, Riaz Khawja and Mansoor Naqvi of the Hussaini Association of Calgary, Saima Jamal of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce Institute, and Dr. Atthar Mahmood and Abdul Rauf of the Muslims Against Terrorism.
The CJMC agreed to the following goals for its upcoming activities:
o Help in building bridges of trust and understanding between the Jewish and Muslim communities of Calgary.
o Work at the grass root level to bring ordinary Jewish and Muslim families together so that we share our common values and interests and celebrate our differences. Through personal contact barriers of suspicion and ignorance can be broken down.
o Provide a common platform for Calgary’s Jews and Muslims to discuss issues of disagreement in a setting of mutual respect, honesty and dignity.
o Reject and isolate those individuals and organizations that incite hate, violence, discrimination and racism.
o Work together to counter anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
Rabbi Shaul Osadchey of Beth Tzedec Congregation and Imam Muhammad Zubair Qadri of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada were unanimously elected as the co-chairs of the Calgary Jewish-Muslim Council. The CJMC members will meet monthly for dialogue and organizing upcoming programs and activities that will include a Jewish-Muslim Conference on mutual relations, visits to synagogues and mosques, family exchanges, educational classes and programs, and holiday celebrations.
For any questions please contact Rabbi Shaul Osadchey at 403-255-8688 or Imam Muhammad Zubair Qadri at 403-389-5261.