A campaign by a group of 12 French imams to portray themselves as friendly to Jews is set to take place on Sunday when they arrive in Israel for a five-day visit.

Imam Hassan Shaljoumi told Maariv newspaper that the imams spreading anti-Semitism in the name of Islam are a minority, and that there are Muslims who want to live in peace with Jews.

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Shaljoumi told Maariv that his interfaith work has subjected him to threats, and that he kept the trip a secret until the end to prevent enemies to his cause from thwarting the project.

The imams will meet with President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and other Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders, and visit Muslim sites throughout Jerusalem.

Group members issued a statement saying “our image in the world has been sullied and we must remedy it in the name of tolerance – we are the true face of French Muslims.”

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

11 COMMENTS

  1. These imams are definitely worth listening to. Westerns are so brainwashed that Muslims just want to kill, kill, kill. From these imams we can get a different side of the story. I have been in ecumenical dialogue with imams, and I am glad that I did.

  2. These imams are definitely worth listening to. Westerns are so brainwashed that Muslims just want to kill, kill, kill. From these imams we can get a different side of the story. I have been in ecumenical dialogue with imams, and I am glad that I did.

  3. I am a great admirer of the Jewish genius and talents. From my very young days in primary shools my best friends were Jewish. I am deeply saddended that much of the creativity of these outstanding individuals are diverted to sustaining conflict with Palestinians who have been deprived of their basic rights for more than half a century.

    It is obvious that repression and humiliation of the downtrodden leads to violence and extremism which often manifests itself in acts of terrorism. What hands are at work that prevents the God given talents to work for peace and harmony.

    There is so much that the Jewish creativity and knowledge can contribute to effectively defeating the real enemies of the people of Israel and Palestine, instead of having enormous human, scientific and economic resources being diverted to conflict. Common enemies such as insecurity, prejudice, intolerance, poverty, deprivation, injustice,

    I dream of the day when concerned mothers on both sides will come together in millions, demand an end to conflict and injustice and will compel war mongers, arms dealers, merchants of death and destruction, self serving politicians to retreat to their dark world. Concerned mothers will lead the Israel and Palestinian youth down the road to peace, collaboration and creation of democratic, tolerant societies, filled with love and humanism. These socieites will become a beacon of hope and models for the rest of the Middle East and the whole world to emulate.

    Media that perpetuates hatred and prejudice is much to blame.

    Please ask yourself which vision is being promoted by the material you disseminate. A future of love and peace or conflict and hatred.

    May the God of Abraham guide us all to the right path.

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