Two weeks ago Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and Imam Shamsi Ali, former spiritual leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, discussed the important topic of "Combating Islamophobia" while finding a common ground for peace.
Not long after, a 23-year-old Muslim terrorist by the name of Mohamed Merah shot and killed students at the Ozar Hatorah School in Toulouse, France.
A rabbi and three children were killed during the massacre and Merah died after a 30 plus hour standoff with police.
Rabbi Marc Schneier penned an op-ed piece outlining one of the amazing parts of the story in which Muslims and Jews in France have stood side-by-side in denouncing the heinous acts.
Thousands of Muslims and Jews marched in their communities in Paris condemning the violence that has plagued the city in the last month.
Here is an excerpt from the op-ed piece written by Schneier and Shamsi Ali:
As a rabbi and an imam, we deeply mourn the tragic loss of innocent lives in the murderous terrorist attacks in France. We express our heartfelt sympathy and compassion for the bereaved.
Amid the wall-to-wall media coverage of the attacks and their aftermath, one piece of the story has received less attention: the inspiring manner in which Muslims and Jews in France have stood side by side in denouncing these heinous acts.
Thousands of Muslims and Jews reacted to the savage killings of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse and the earlier murders of three French soldiers, including two Muslims, by joining together in solidarity marches in communities throughout Paris.
Meanwhile, top French Muslim and Jewish leaders have vowed to stand united in opposition to acts which Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, has accurately characterized as being “in total contradiction with the foundation of this religion [Islam]."
This heartening coming-together of Jews and Muslims in France did not happen in a vacuum.
To read Rabbi Marc's entire piece, click here.
Rabbi Marc Schneier is president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Imam Shamsi Ali is the spiritual leader of the Jamaica Muslim Center in New York.