Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Press Release: Center for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations

Though I haven't written a new post in months, I thought the following press release was important to share.

Many in the West, including myself, have been critical of the fact that moderate Muslim leaders have not spoken up loudly enough to offer an alternative to the bin Ladens and Ahmadinejads of the world. So when such leaders speak out, I want to make sure that we in the West hear them.

Below is a press release from the Center for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations. The next post will contain the letter from the group.

(P.S., Time permitting, I hope to restart this blog in the near future. -Adam)


World’s First Cross-Denominational Statement from Muslims to Jews

Leaders from the international Muslim community are to issue a statement to the world’s Jewish Community at the Centre for the Study of Muslim - Jewish Relations in Cambridge on Monday 25 February.

This is the first example of such a gesture from the Muslim to the Jewish community and demonstrates a genuine desire within the Muslim community to reach out to the leaders’ Jewish peers. The letter describes itself as ‘a call for positive and constructive action that aims to improve Muslim – Jewish relations’.

The initiative behind the statement comes from the Muslim members of the Centre for the Study of Muslim – Jewish Relations (CMJR), Cambridge, UK, Dr Amineh Hoti (Director) and Sheikh Michael Mumisa (Lecturer). It will be formally announced following the Centre’s annual Stone – Ashdown lecture* on Monday 25 February.

The signatories of the letter include:

Professor Akbar S Ahmed, Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University Washington, DC

Professor Bunyamin Duran, Vice-Rector: Islamic University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Ambassador Mahmud A. Durrani, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C.

Sayyed Nadeem Kazmi, Director of International Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation (the largest Shia Institute in the UK)

Lord Khalid Hameed, High Sheriff of Greater London, UK

Dr Musharraf Hussain, Chief Imam and Director of Karimia Institute, UK

Professor Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University, Beit Hanina – Jerusalem

Dr Ataullah Saddiqui, Director of Markfield Institute of higher Education

A response from the Jewish community is expected in the days following the announcement. This will also be released by the Centre for the Study of Muslim – Jewish Relations.
For more information or for a press ticket for the lecture on Monday 25 February at 2pm, please contact Esther Haworth, 01223 741048 or
Venue: CMJR, Woolf Institute, Wesley House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge. CB5 8BJ

Notes for Editors
About the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (CJCR) and the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR)

CJCR and CMJR are members of an independent educational charity, the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths based in Cambridge UK. Through teaching, research and dialogue they are dedicated to the academic study of Jewish-Christian relations and Muslim-Jewish relations respectively.

Under the auspices of the Woolf Institute, they aim to overcome prejudice and intolerance between Jews, Christians and Muslims, and to establish a more positive basis for relations.

CJCR was founded in 1998 by Dr Edward Kessler of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. Its flagship educational programme is the University of Cambridge Master of Studies (MSt) in the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, which it offers in conjunction with the University’s Faculty of Divinity and the Institute of Continuing Education. The first and only course of its kind, the MSt can be studied in Cambridge or predominantly via e-learning. CJCR also offers a range of other educational programmes and since 1998 has taught over 1000 students, many of whom have gone onto take positions of leadership. CJCR is also an Associate Member of the Cambridge Theological Federation (, which provides the Centre with teaching resources and accommodation.

CMJR was founded in 2006 by Dr Edward Kessler and Dr Amineh Hoti as a sister organisation to CJCR and is built on the same core principles of Teaching, Research and Dialogue. CMJR is pleased to work with the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education whose Certificate programme in Islam, Judaism and Muslim-Jewish Relations is offered at the CMJR this academic year. CMJR offers a menu of e-learning courses - 'An Introduction to Muslim-Jewish Relations' - to students of all ages, backgrounds and religious (or non-religious) beliefs. The Centre published its Teacher’s Guide, Valuing Diversity in October 2007 and aims to prepare A Dictionary of Jewish-Muslim Relations, to sit alongside the recently published A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations.

The CJCR and CMJR offices are located in the heart of Cambridge where they are hosted by Methodist Theological College, Wesley House.

*The CMJR’s annual Stone – Ashdown Lecture is named in honour of the Stone – Ashdown Trust who last year donated £1 million to the Institute.

For more information contact Esther Haworth on 01223-741048, or visit