Forging new friendships

November 2, 2012 by Michelle Favero
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Throughout this year, 24  Year 7 students from Sydney’s Emanuel School have met with Year 7 students from Iqra Islamic College to learn about each others’ cultures and beliefs, as well as to forge friendships.

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The students met in a variety of places, including Emanuel Synagogue, The Big Kitchen and Iqra College in Minto.  As the year progressed, the students were able to break down the barriers to their initial shyness and to build meaningful friendships with each other.

Year 7 Emanuel School student, Mikayla Sacks said, “The Interfaith experience was really interesting and educational. It taught my friends and me about Muslim people and how they are actually quite similar to us Jews. The project was meaningful to me because now, when I see Muslim people, I won’t see them as ‘different’ anymore, because I have learnt that, in fact, we are all human beings and we should all be friends.”

Both groups have asked for additional meetings in 2013 and have vowed to stay in touch through email and Facebook.  Emanuel students were warmly welcomed by an Iqra College teacher, Mr Ahmad Sari, who stated that although the two faiths have differences, they actually have more similarities.  He noted that both Jews and Muslims were ‘peoples of the Book’ and added that he hopes that this generation will find a pathway to peace.

Anne Hastings, Principal of Emanuel School commented, “Our teachers and School ethos encourage students to explore their beliefs and develop a set of personal values based on experience and understanding. This Together for Humanity project has provided our students with an unique opportunity to open their minds and broaden their experiences, helping them to understand other peoples and religions.”

This is the second year that Emanuel School has participated in the program that was created by Together for Humanity. The organisation is dedicated to bringing disparate groups together for the purpose of understanding and harmony.

Comments

10 Responses to “Forging new friendships”
  1. Ben says:

    How unsurprising it that some members of our community would begrudge children learning to overcome prejudice.

    Some of the comments posted above amply demonstrate the size of the task facing those children.

  2. Dr says:

    Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

    These Jewish kids are being ‘groomed’ for dhimmitude by those sweetly-smiling be-hijabbed little Muslimahs. (Let the Jewish girls research the story of Sol Hachuel ha-tzaddik, of Morocco, and her Muslim girl-‘friend’, and beware!).

    I would encourage these Jewish students to read N Dawood’s translation of the Quran. N Dawood was an Iraqi Jew, fluent in Arabic. And to underline every passage in it that talks about Jews, and think about what those passages say. And then to the Sirat Rasool Allah (the life of Mohammed) in either the A Guillaume of the Muir translation, and pay particular attention to what was done to the Banu Qurayza, and what was done to the Jews of the Khaybar Oasis, and in particular, to a 17 year old Jewish girl called Safiyya. Her husband was killed, at Mohammed’s orders; the same day, that evening, Mohammed raped her in his tent, and added her to his (Mohammed’s ) harem.

    Then there is Quran Surah 9, especially surah 9: 29. And there is Surah 48: 29 – ‘Mohammed is allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers, but merciful to one another’. And to read Surah 3: 28 – “Let believers [Muslims] not take for friends and allies infidels instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah – unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions (see also 2: 173, 2: 185, 4: 29, 22:78, and 40: 28). There are many Quran verses (Surah 58: 14, 15 and 22, Surah 60: 1 and 13; Surah 5: 57 and 81; that strongly forbid Muslims to make friends with non-Muslims; 3.28 says they can *fake* friendship if they think this will be advantageous to them (the Muslims) – and there is a Hadith, from the canonical Sahih al Bukhari, vol 7, p. 102, which says, ‘Verily we smile for some people while our hearts curse (those same people).”

    And then the students should read a translation of Moses ben Maimon’s ‘Letter to the Jews of Yemen'; and be helped, by their teachers, to read a chapter or two from Martin Gilbert’s ‘In Ishmael’s House'; and Norman Stillman, ‘The Jews of Arab Lands’, and Bat Yeor ‘The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam’.

    This is like pairing up a class of Jewish students with a bunch of sweet little pig-tailed girls from the Hitler Jugend (except that the Hitler Jugend and their teachers were much more upfront about their Jew-hatred; the Ummah is a master dissembler if it is in a situation where it is not yet strong enough to dispense with smiles and seize the scimitar).

  3. michael says:

    These Jewish Naive doogooders that are so desperate to force them selves on to a few uninflue4ncial Muslims are not doing it with my blessing in the name of all Jews. Some of us have some self esteem>

  4. Lynette says:

    So a few hours of ‘friendship’ is going to change the entire attitude of the people who want to destroy Israel? How can any school principal be so blind. And I doubt anybody bothered to explain to the Muslim children whi so much security is required around Jewish establishments.

  5. Lynette says:

    How absurd that a Jewish school would attempt to make friends with young people from a Muslim school. Apparently they have very short memories about the very people who want to “drive the Jews into the sea” and wipe Israel off the map. A few nice words and friendly smiles is going to change that ambition? What a crock!

  6. michael says:

    The Muslims must think we Jews are so desperate to engage with them . Ironically the only Muslims that do participate are the Muslims with little or no relevance to the majority [ similar to the Jews that participate] and in particular no reverence to those Muslims that slander Jews in their mosques and schools ,intimidate and cause the Jewish community to live under a siege mentality and spend tens of Millions of dollars in security costs.

  7. Shirlee. says:

    I wonder if the useless idiots organising these ‘activities’ have even skimmed through the Koran or the Hadith.

    I wonder if they even know of “The Reliance of the Traveller”

    The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law

  8. Otto Waldmann says:

    Why all these questions. It says up there. Security is needed in order to forge friendships and break down the barriers !!!

  9. Samual says:

    Michael, it would also be interesting if the Jewish students asked WHY security is required at Jewish establishments!

  10. Michael says:

    It would have been interesting to know if the Muslim students who visited the Synagogue asked or were told why security which is unique to Jewish establishments was required ?