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New Jewish Muslim Centre

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-02-04

CMJR

The Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has opened a Cambridge centre that aims to build bridges between Jews and Muslims.

Speaking at The Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR), Sir Jonathan spoke of the need for improving dialogue between communities.

"We as Jews, Christians and Muslims have to keep talking. It doesn't matter if we don't agree," he said. "Difference makes a marriage work."

The Centre has also received support from a number of world leaders including Prince Hassan of Jordan and Prime Minister Tony Blair and has been set up by Dr Edward Kessler and Dr Amineh Hoti.

Dr Kessler is also the founding director of a similar group for Jewish and Christians, the Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations. Dr Hoti will be director of CMJR.

"The objectives of the CMJR will include the development of the first-ever curriculum on the study of Jewish-Muslim relations at undergraduate and postgraduate levels," said Dr Kessler. "...an examination of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, including anti-Semitism in radical forms of contemporary Islam and the training of Jewish and Muslim lay leaders as well as rabbis and imams."

Dr Hoti added: "This is a sensitive period for Muslim-Jewish relations and it is therefore even more important to build bridges of understanding. CMJR will address the great need for teaching, research and dialogue in today's world."

To mark the launch, a tree was planted on the Centre's grounds.