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Communities united by tragedy

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OPINION: Many New Zealanders have apparently been surprised by the warm and respectful relationship between the Muslim and Jewish communities of Aotearoa New Zealand that has become evident in the wake of the horrific events of March 15.

It is understandable that New Zealanders who are neither Muslim nor Jewish have been unaware of and are surprised by this relationship, given certain geopolitical matters and other events in the news. But our communities have a shared, if unarticulated, understanding that those matters are to be left on the other side of the world; that we are New Zealanders first and foremost. We embrace a harmonious society and the Kiwi way of life.

Our community members have celebrated together the inauguration of a new Torah (sacred scrolls) in our Auckland synagogue, we have grieved together at the loss of Dr Hashem Slaimankhel, a friend of the Jewish community who was killed by a suicide bomb when visiting his homeland of Afghanistan, we have broken bread together and collaborated on interfaith initiatives.

There is much that unites us. We share the same forefather, Abraham, and many of the same prophets, philosophies and practices, such as dietary restrictions and burial rites. We value education and family and delight........

© Stuff