Last Sunday, I had the absolute joy of attending the third annual Nisa-Nashim conference, which brought together around 250 Jewish and Muslim women from across the country. As the only organisation of its kind in the UK, it really is privilege to be part of this fantastic movement and to have joined Nisa-Nashin on this special day.
This year’s theme was Faith and Friendship: Shaping the Future Together, which really embodies what Nisa-Nashim is all about. In an increasingly hostile climate of rising antisemitism and Islamophobia, the friendships and relationships being developed through Nisa-Nashim are allowing us to grow, develop and face whatever lies ahead in Britain today.
What’s more, we’re not only building a sense of solidarity to face the future, we’re also striving to change things for the better. The new #ActiveAllies campaign is embodying the active role that wecanand musttake in challenging hate and being part of the change that we wish to see. As Nisa-Nashim ladies, we’ve pledged to take an active stance against antisemitism and Islamophobia as “active allies” to call out these forms of hatred wherever and whenever we encounter them, to challenge attitudes and to support our fellow sisters.
This very concept of standing against all forms of hatred (other than those affecting our own faith group) – and more specifically Muslim and Jewish women leading the way in this fight – is itself incredibly forward-thinking, bold and enthusiastic. For many people, we simply “don’t get on” (two words: Israel – Palestine!), so to stand together and take such a prominent stance in unity and friendship, would be normally (or apparently so!) unheard of. Well, here at Nisa-Nashim we don’t’ agree – we’re proof that we’re more than this (!) and we’re on a clear, visible, undeniable mission to put these misconceptions and the hatred surrounding them to rest.
As women and more specifically women of faith, we can learn a lot from each other and from being part of this united movement. As a proud member and local co-chair of the Marylebone group (London), here’s what my journey with Nisa-Nashim has taught me/strengthened my belief in so far!