Panel of Prominent Muslims Speak at a Major Jewish School - November 2017

In a ground-breaking Jewish-Muslim educational project, the Joseph Interfaith Foundation was invited to organise a visit by a panel of Muslim speakers to speak to the students at the Jewish Community Secondary School, JCoSS, on Thursday 15th November during the Interfaith Week. The panel had representatives from both the Sunni and Shi’a communities in the UK. JCoSS is a mixed secondary school with 1400 students and has a vibrant and dynamic pluralist Jewish environment.

This was the first time that a panel of prominent male and female Muslim religious leaders and professional representatives addressed one of the largest Jewish schools in London. The panel had representatives from both the Sunni and Shi’i communities in the UK.

The speakers were Shaykh Muhammad Yazdani, Chairman of London Fatwa Council; Dr Yasmin Drabu, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE, Director of Public Affairs at Al-Khoei Foundation (Shi’a).

The GCSE students have been studying Islam as part of their GCSE Religious Education. 350 students as well as several teachers and representatives of the parents attended the discussion and an enthusiastic Q & A session

Among the questions discussed were: “How do you reconcile being British and Muslim?” “What is your opinion on faith schools?”

Further questions included: “God’s omniscience and omnipotence in relation to Determinism and Free will in Islam” and “Should children have the right to choose their own religion?”

Ben Abram, Informal Jewish Educator at school who invited the Foundation to organise the project said it was a positive event and students engaged with the speakers and found it constructive. He said based on the success of the event, the school would like to organise a further such event in cooperation with the Foundation.

The speakers said they valued their meeting and discussion with the students and would be very pleased to participate in future discussions.

The event was reported by the media: http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/panel-of-muslim-speakers-address-350-jcoss-students

Cooperation between the school and the Foundation is ongoing.