Jews, Muslims in DC Area Pledge Peace

September 18, 2005

Source: The Washington Times

On September 18, 2005 The Washington Times reported, "A group of Muslims and Jews who had been meeting secretly in Montgomery County surfaced late last week with the release of a joint statement promising that the two faiths will work together to find common ground. 'We're deeply committed to the idea of pluralism, tolerance, peace, co-existence and one God -- the same God,' said Tom Kahn, president of the Washington chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). 'A bird needs two wings to fly: a left wing and a right wing.' The statement, which was read aloud during a reception Thursday night at the Potomac home of Muslim couple Aquilur and Rukhsana Rahman, promised to 'develop closer ties between our communities' and stand together against 'hate crimes and other forms of discrimination against all religious and ethnic communities.' It also supported separate Palestinian and Israeli states and denounced 'all forms of terrorism and violence directed at civilians'... David Elcott, director of interreligious affairs for the AJC's national office in New York, said Jewish-Muslim gatherings are happening quietly across the country. 'Muslims have experienced prejudice and lack of civil rights, and Jews have already been there,' he said. 'We understand prejudice and discrimination. So we want to help instruct a moderate Muslim community on how to work with Christians and Jews to expand civil and human rights and fight against polarization and extremism that can do enormous damage in this country,' Mr. Elcott said."