Friday, 20 March 2009

Muslims offer to guard synagogue after attack




Scottish Muslim leaders have offered to stand guard at a synagogue in the capital city of Edinburgh following an attack by vandals who smashed up the Jewish place of worship's windows last week, press reports said on Friday.

The chairman of the Scottish Islamic Foundation voiced "revulsion and horror" at the attack in a letter to Rabbi David Rose of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, Scotlands national newspaper, the Scotsman, reported.

"We wish you to know that the Muslim community stand full square with you in revulsion and horror at this vandalism. To violently damage any building is wrong. That this is a respected place of worship, faith and spirituality makes the crime even more heinous," chairman Ken Imrie said in the letter.

" We wish you to know that the Muslim community stand full square with you in revulsion and horror at this vandalism. To violently damage any building is wrong. That this is a respected place of worship, faith and spirituality makes the crime even more heinous "
Chairman of the Scottish Islamic Foundation

"We trust you have adequate security arrangements in place, in line with places of worship across the country. If not, such is our strength of feeling on this matter, we would wish to physically guard the synagogue ourselves," Imrie continued.

Imrie said Scottish Imans would address the matter in their sermons during Jumaa (Friday) prayer and would warn against attacks on places of worship.

The attack, believed to be carried out by two Muslim youths, comes amid a reported increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks across the United Kingdom following the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians dead in 22 days.

Two men, aged 22 and 17, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in connection with the attack and were charged with "malicious mischief aggravated by religious prejudice," the Scotsman reported, adding both men pled not guilty.
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Jewish reaction
" This statement and others like it around the UK will hopefully encourage both communities to regard each other as allies in the face of racism and extremism "
Jewish spokesperson

The paper said Rabbi Rose could not be reached for comment but said other Jewish leaders welcomed the Muslim offer.

"This was a disturbing incident. Scottish Jews do not expect to experience the relatively high level of anti-Semitism that has occurred during and since the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza at the turn of the year," Mark Gardner, spokesman for an organisation that protects British Jews against anti-Semitic attacks, told the paper.

"This statement and others like it around the UK will hopefully encourage both communities to regard each other as allies in the face of racism and extremism," he added.

This is the second time the synagogue, which serves an estimated 700 memebers of the Jewish community in Edinburgh, has come under attack in seven years.

Muslims are the second largest religious group in Scotland, which has thirty mosques, catering to more than 50,000 Muslims.

Arabiya.net

To be honest, I don't know what loney thinks attacking another man place of worship is acceptable? Have they not read the book they preach from?

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