I wanted to offer a short post to contrast with (though not of course to cancel out) Dr Lebens’ upsetting account of events in Leicester. Birmingham is another city with a large Muslim population. Recently I had the opportunity to meet Sajida Asif, a teacher and artist, who is keen to promote dialogue between different communities.
The children she teaches, most of them Muslim, have been designing and writing beautiful postcards decorated with peace symbols, the odd Mercedes sign(!), doves – and Stars of David, for they are to be sent to children in Israel. This project was part of an entire ‘peace week’ which involved the children learning songs in both Hebrew and Arabic.
I know she is just one person, but when I visited her exhibition in Birmingham a few months ago – all the proceeds went to charities helping victims of conflict, including Blesma– she seemed warmly supported by many, Muslims and non-Muslims, in her community.