In response to incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe connected to the Gaza war, The Council of Mosques and the Union of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands called upon their congregations to champion respect and tolerance. A spokesperson for these Dutch mosque groups explained that they were not trying to ban or forbid criticism of Israel, but that they simply were insisting that even strong opinions “should not be a license for anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim statements or actions.” The spokesperson also said, “all mosques in Netherlands are in agreement about that our behavior should encourage relationships of brotherhood between Islam and Judaism.” This is hopeful.
It is to be expected that the tragic reality of the Gaza war will give rise to passionate opinions. We pray desperately for peace and healthy life environments for all in the Holy Land. In the mean time, we laud affirmations made by the Council of Mosques and the Union of Moroccan Mosques Netherlands. May their call be heeded. As these groups follow the clear Islamic principle to honor Christians and Jews, “people of the book,” tied together “by a common belief in the God of Abraham.” We pray that all world religions find ways to emphasize our common hopes for good and make small the effects of our differences. It is possible to live as champions of this ideal even in common activities of our day to day lives.