Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

Archive for March, 2007

Guidance on the Use of Copyright Material

Posted by Admin on March 31, 2007

Contributors should be aware that material published on the internet is subject to the law of copyright. The unauthorised use of such material, either in “substantial part” or in whole, constitutes infringement of copyright.

In relation to the use of newspaper articles from external websites, it is permissible to cite a brief excerpt, together with a link to the site in question.

For more information about the internet and the law of copyright, please see the online resource, Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Digital Environment, published by Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) at the University of Cambridge. (Section 2.1.4 ff)

Posted in General | Comments Off on Guidance on the Use of Copyright Material

Reflections on Jewish-Muslim Dialogue

Posted by Admin on March 25, 2007


The relationship between Judaism and Islam was explored at a unique symposium which was held on Sunday 25th March.

The event, which took the form of a dialogue between the Islamic scholar Mona Siddiqui and the Middle East analyst Tony Klug, examined how Jews are perceived by the Muslim community.

Speaking at the third lecture sponsored by the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum, Professor Mona Siddiqui, Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam at Glasgow University, explored the history of relations between the two faiths, and their different approaches to the shared traditions of what she referred to as “Scripture, Story and Salvation”.

Dr Siddiqui noted that while there was an ambivalence towards the Jewish people in the Koran, there was, however, “no systematic theology of hatred towards Jews and Judaism”. The Muslim community’s perception of Jews was, she emphasised, related directly to the Arab-Israeli conflict and its understanding of Western foreign policy in the Middle East. She added that when the conflict is refracted through that prism, “the complexity is lost”.

Her interlocutor, Dr Tony Klug, Senior Policy Consultant at the Middle East Policy Initiative Forum, gave a brief history of Jewish-Arab dialogue from 1984 to the present day. Citing the work of the scholar Bernard Lewis, he rejected the view that Islamic hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people was based on an inherent hatred of Jews; rather, he argued that it was a consequence of “an inevitable response to occupation”, and “the offspring of the tragic conflict in the Middle East”.

While he acknowledged the rise of anti-Semitic currents in the Arab and Muslim worlds, Dr Klug argued that a just resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict would counter the enmity which exists at present. He affirmed his continuing support for a two-state solution, a position which he first set out in a Fabian Society pamphlet, “A Tale of Two Peoples”, published in 1973.

In relation to the Middle East conflict, Dr Siddiqui said that while she agreed with Dr Klug’s analysis, there was a moral imperative on the part of Europe and America to find a solution. As regards the UK, she said that the Muslim community was, in many respects, attempting to define its place in the post-colonial world. While the community was not monolithic, she noted that, in recent years, it had become more insular and there had been a resurgence of conservative tendencies in which identity was expressed through religious belief. 

Dr Klug expressed the hope that, in the long run, rapprochement between the two peoples would be established on the basis of an understanding of the history of the other. 

We welcome your thoughts on these issues.

Posted in Issues, Meetings | 21 Comments »

As Others See Us

Posted by Admin on March 14, 2007

Our next meeting, which takes place on Sunday 25th March, will examine how we are perceived by the Muslim community.

Professor Mona Siddiqui, Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam, at the University of Glasgow, will take part in a dialogue with Dr Tony Klug. (For more information, please see the advert below).

Mona Siddiqui Flyer

Some useful resources on the issue of relations between Jews and Muslims:

Tony Klug: Challenging Stereotypes (pdf)

Audio archive of Professor Siddiqui’s regular contributions to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4 (Real Player required)

Posted in Meetings | 18 Comments »

Breaking News

Posted by Admin on March 12, 2007

Paul Edlin, Vice-President of the Board of Deputies, has reneged on his commitment to debate with Dr Brian Klug about Independent Jewish Voices. His ostensible reason for cancellation was that the title of the meeting was not what he had agreed. GJEF disputed this, but, in an effort to facilitate the meeting, asked him to put forward his own title. He maintained his refusal.

Instead, he has suggested that he would like GJEF to give him a platform to have a discussion with the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. Paul Edlin is the Honorary Treasurer of that organisation so the reality is that he would like to have a conversation with himself. GJEF turned this option down immediately.

We will now actively pursue a replacement speaker who is prepared to have a meaningful debate with IJV and will announce this shortly. GJEF are merely facilitating a debate to allow the community to discuss what we believe is a critical issue, and we are completely impartial on the issue of IJV.

Posted in Meetings | 46 Comments »

New Meeting: Who Represents the Interests of British Jewry?

Posted by Admin on March 1, 2007

On Thursday 10th May, Dr Brian Klug, one of the founding members of Independent Jewish Voices, and Paul Edlin, Vice-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, will debate the issue of: “Who represents the British Jewish Community in matters to do with Israel, and is it possible for any one group to represent the community?”

This is the first time that a representative of the Board of Deputies has shared a platform with a member of Independent Jewish Voices, and it promises to be a lively and thought-provoking meeting. (Venue to be confirmed)

Posted in Meetings | 41 Comments »