Trailblazing dinner – Jewish and Muslim leadership in Victoria

July 27, 2011 by  
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A further significant step in cementing an ongoing meaningful relationship between Victorian Jews and Muslims was marked at the recent executive dinner held for the leadership of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria.

John Searle and Hyder Gulam

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle, said “the significance of the meeting for both communities cannot be underestimated; the feeling of friendship in the room was palpable as was the desire to dispel misconceptions about one another”.

Searle went on to say “the dinner served to develop relationships and understandings between the executives, as people first, with diverse backgrounds, interests and skills and as representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities and the key challenges we both face. The funny thing is that when discussing our individual backgrounds, it became clear that there were far more similarities than differences”.

Hyder Gulam, President of the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), said that a key priority of the ICV is to establish peaceful and harmonious relationships with all Australians, regardless of race, religion or overseas events.

Hyder stated “taking the first step to build bridges and useful partnerships with the Jewish community makes the critical statement, that the ICV says no to all forms of racism and that the ICV will forge partnerships on issues that affect them as Australians and as practising members of the Islamic faith.”

The executives considered the many issues facing the Islamic and Jewish communities and found much in common. They spoke of the importance of imagery and leadership in developing religious harmony. One only need imagine the sight of a Rabbi and a Sheikh walking down the street together or deep in discussion over a coffee to understand how simply a few can make a significant difference.

The outcomes of the dinner were that the JCCV and ICV plan to work together on issues of mutual concern such as Kosher and Halal slaughter, events and activities to create harmony and understanding and engaging youth in faith and community activities. The ICV have already extended an invitation to their next function and have invited Searle to give a lecture on Leadership to representatives of their community.


6 Responses to “Trailblazing dinner – Jewish and Muslim leadership in Victoria”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    One of the disciplinary virtues of the genuine civilised Australian general ethics is that it has been imposing of late the necessity for “correcteness pantomimes”. Ears joinings smiles all-round provide the amusing ( academically sapeking ) polarisation as follows:

    – Jewish leaders DO believe that they have achieved – what was the word ??!!_ a…watershead. They are really, really convinced of it. Get MC Searle to reply to these postings and he will, in all sincerity – insist that he achieved “that” breakthrough. ” They talked about so many things we have in common……” Identically we believe that Israel is ours, they believe it is theirs. To be lexically utilitarian, we need actual people to keep alive the cute Yidish word “freier”.And thus, how can onyone still acuse us of being “inward looking”.

    – Muslim leaders made a decorative amendment to their immutable ideology by displaying worldly – as in Western World – and timely – as in 21st century – pantomimely correct gestures. Highest points gained by publicly joining those ears with excessively stretched smiles RIGHT next to the freiers mentioned above.
    The only difference is that THEY DO know that the smiling “opposite” side is a real, real freier. Free publicity on top of free dinner !!

    Guess who is going to march down Collin and George street respectively next time muslim brothers find out the hard Israeli way that they cannot get too close to Israel by virtue of Kassam means of transport…

  2. Michael Burd says:

    Yael wake up . THis its is only a minority Mantra blah blah it only took a small Minority i.e 20 of bad apples to bring down the Twin Towers in New York and start two wars.
    It only took a small minority of bad apples to massacre innocent victims in Bali, Spain, UK, Africa and countless minority bad apples to murder Jews in Israel, Sth America and beyond..

    The Nazi party were once only a small Minority there were Jews like you Yael back in the 1930’s that said oh those Nazi’s are only a small minority of extremists don’t worry etc etc..

    If as you say [ and that can not be proved] the epidemic of Islamic inspired global terrorism is only being carried out by a Minority of bad Muslims they are sure doing a good job of destabilizing the world. I’m sure the victims of 9/11 and the many Israeli families would feel much better when you assure them that their loved ones were only murdered by a minority of bad Muslims..

  3. Paul Winter says:

    We Jews do have a great deal in common with mohammedans. And with Christians, buddhists, hindus, even atheists. The issue is not that Jews do not see the humanity of fellow humans having other beliefs or none, but that mohammedans fail to condemn those of their confessional group which wages jihad in the name of a caliphate, the imposition of sharia, the murder of Jews and the second rate status of their women. Just to name a few. There are a few rare followers of Mohammed who follow those parts of his religion which he stole directly from Judaism and who speak out against the exteremists. They are uninfluential! Until the mohammedan leadership condemns extremists among them, they are useless to Jews world wide and to Western civilisation i.e. that system of ethical social interactions which we Jews have given to the world. As long as Islamic society remains silent about the ills within it, as long as it defensively condemns any criticism of its barbarities and as long as Islamic societies regress to ancient traditions of jihad and 7th century Arab primitivism in response to internal or external pressures, there is nothing meaningful to discuss with them.

  4. Ben Derusai says:

    How sweet! I wonder what answer John would get if he asked his interlocutors this very simple question: “Do you accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish sovereign state in the Middle East?”

    I suspect they wouldn’t be smiling so much.

  5. Yael says:

    This is very good, heart-warming news. The great majority of Muslims is often misunderstood and vilified because of the attitudes and actions of a small minority who act in the name of their religion – or abuse it for political or nationalist causes – but have no real understanding of it. This is Australia and we have to live with each other. We have more in common than many of us realise.

  6. Michael Burd says:

    Perhaps our feel good Jewish community leaders can ask their Muslim counterparts if the Muslim community would contribute to the cost tens of Millions of dollars each year in securing our community and property against extremist Muslims ?

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