We, the leaders of Jewish and Muslim community and faith groups, along with Christian faith leaders, local and national politicians and national organisations, have come together to reaffirm our common commitment to one another, to our country and to its democratic tradition.

Despite the fact that our communities and faiths are an integral part of the history and future of these islands, recent years have witnessed a growing hostility, in some quarters, towards Jews and Muslims. This has resulted in violence, harassment and a narrative that suggests we are separate from the majority of people living in Great Britain.

Today we reaffirm that Jews and Muslims are at home in Great Britain, and we will continue to contribute towards the common good of all people of these islands. We reject, and will work together against, the hate speech that suggests the opposite and attempts to turn communities against each other.

We call on all leaders to join us in condemning unequivocally antisemitic, anti-Muslim and xenophobic speech and actions. We are particularly concerned that political parties do not give succour to racists and bigots by colluding with the denigration of immigrants and other minority groups, and remaining silent in the face of speech or policy proposals that incite such denigration.

We are also mindful of our own responsibility to recognize the pressures, often from abroad, that lead to tensions between us. We will work together to challenge expressions of hostility and incitement within our own communities.

Our people have a rich tradition of standing up against injustice and oppression. Muslims resisted the Nazi regime and gave shelter and protection to Jews during the Holocaust, just as Jews sought to protect Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Britain has a proud history of giving shelter to those fleeing persecution and creating an environment that benefits from their skills, experience and traditions. Today we celebrate those histories and call on all leaders to work with us to ensure that this rich heritage is not lost to the poison of those who deny it.

This statement with its signatories will be hung in our places of worship and places of work to remind us of our joint obligation to defend our democracy; to condemn violence; to find positive ways to deal with disagreement between us and to value the diversity that we all bring.

We are inviting charities, community groups and other organisations across the UK to join us and become signatories of the declaration. If you would like to sign, send us an email and be sure to include your organisation’s logo.

besa logos