Coming together to fight hatred

Luton delegates. Photo by Yakir Zur
Luton delegates. Photo by Yakir Zur

Delegates from Luton attended Europe’s largest Jewish/Muslim conference last week as hundreds of women from across the country vowed to come together and fight hatred.

The conference was hosted by Nisa-Nashim, Britain’s Jewish Muslim Women’s Network, on Sunday, April 22, with the aim of challenging misconceptions through friendship. The women bonded over food and poetry and took part in yoga.

Nisa-Nashim Conference Group. Photo by Yakir Zur

Nisa-Nashim Conference Group. Photo by Yakir Zur

Nisa-Nashim unites Jewish and Muslim women to combat ignorance and misconceptions in their communities and in wider society. The network was launched in 2015 and aims to empower women to challenge rising levels of anti-Muslim hatred and antisemitism.

In her opening remarks, Laura Marks OBE, Jewish Co-Founder of Nisa-Nashim, said: “Over the last year, the world has continued to be a difficult and dangerous place.

“Seventy one people died in the horrific Grenfell Tower tragedy, 22 young people were murdered at a concert in Manchester, we’ve seen cars driven into innocent people in Stockholm, Barcelona and New York City and Darren Osborne’s murderous attack at Finsbury Park Mosque.

“Antisemitic hate incidents have reached a record level in the UK. Anti-Muslim hate crime has increased, both here and abroad. But what we are focusing on at this conference is the need to stick together - and genuinely support each other – no ifs, no buts, no what abouts, just friendship and support.

“One thing I have learnt over many years of campaigning with and for women is that we get things done and we don’t put more barriers in the way in doing so.

“Women are driving change in society today and everyone in this room is a part of that.”