The world can often feel a very divided place, these days people appear to be at odds with one another over a range of different subject matters. That’s why it really piqued our interest when we heard that a music promoter and radio presenter in Keighley will be playing a big role in using music to help create and nurture understanding between various different religions. Working with both the Manchester Reform Synagogue and Bradford Asian Radio, Sabir Hussain (known as Saby Khan) will be organizing “Abraham’s Roots,” a series of events with the aim of bringing people from various faiths together.
Saby was inspired to launch the event after he was invited to the Manchester Reform Synagogue by Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen to attend a Hanukkah service. Following the service, he discussed the possibility of bringing together Christian priests and Muslims imams to the synagogue in order to create a live music and entertainment event which promotes both unity and peace. With the synagogue having been used as a host for interfaith events in the past, it appeared the perfect place.
Whilst there has been mistrust between Jews and Muslims over the last century, due to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Saby quite rightly points out that prior to this, people from both faiths had lived peacefully side by side for over 1,300 years. Seeing it as a huge opportunity to promote peace and build awareness of the presence and dangers of antisemitism and Islamophobia across the UK, Saby says “Over the past two years there’s been a sharp rise in Islamophobia and antisemitism across the UK…So I thought to myself that I could use my skills and contacts to promote Jewish-Muslim unity.”
So far, the reaction to the event has been overwhelmingly positive with a large number of young people having already declared their interest in the project, “Young people have been getting in touch with me to help provide something which will be both constructive and entertaining. Most of them are from Muslim and Christian backgrounds. They are looking to learn more about the Torah, Bible and Qur’an.”
Abraham’s Roots is due to run on a twice annual basis and will bring together musical talent from Muslim and European countries. It will feature a wide variety of music including Muslim Sufi styles as well as Jewish and Christian mystical music. It will also fundraise for charities which will help refugees and homeless people, especially in the North of England.
For us at Ummahsonic, we think this sounds like an absolutely amazing event and a great way of celebrating unity and peace. If you’re interested, check out Saby’s Facebook page here!