A cross-party group of Jewish and Muslim MPs are beginning a tour of English universities to promote better interfaith relations between students. The Coexistence Trust will address tensions created on campuses by the Middle East conflict. It aims to highlight similarities in the histories of the two communities and encourage unity in the face of the prejudice that both have suffered. The tour will visit London, Birmingham, Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge. Led by Labour peer Lord Mitchell and shadow minister for community cohesion Baroness Warsi, the tour begins on Monday at the London School of Economics.
The BBC’s religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said tensions between Jewish and Muslim students had emerged in the form of hostile message on internet sites and inflammatory posters on campuses. Occasionally, they have escalated into the recruitment of Muslim students by extremist groups, he said. Hostility towards Jewish students intensified during the Israel-Lebanon war in 2006 and led to calls for the police to take tougher action in cases of incitement against them.
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