Religion

Muslims Save Bradford Synagogue From Closure

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The Bradford synagogue thought it would have to shut its doors and sell the building because of a lack of funds to make necessary repairs. A saving grace came in the unlikeliest of forms when an intervention from Bradford's Muslim community raised enough money to save the synagogue.

Through a fundraising effort led by the secretary of a nearby mosque, with the owner of a popular curry house and a local textile magnate, The Guardian says the synagogue was able to secure a long-term future. It also created a friendship between followers of Islam and Judaism. 

Zulfi Karim, the secretary of the Bradford Council of Mosques, told HuffPost UK, "Many people do seem to be massively taken aback that the Jewish and Muslim community are working hand-in-hand, when all you seem to hear about Bradford are the nasty things." Furthermore, Karim hopes this story of local collaboration, amid global Muslim-Jewish tensions, will be inspirational.

Bradford is known for its contention between Muslims and Jews. Local MPs, such as David Ward and George Galloway, have expressed their opposition against Israel, and have openly made disparaging remarks against "the Jews," reports The Guardian.

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This newfound cross-cultural cooperation is more than welcomed by Bradford synagogue's chairman Rudi Leavor. He said to The Guardian, "It makes me proud that we can protect our neighbours and at the same time preserve an important part of Bradford's cultural heritage."