Salaam-Shalom Europe is a project meant to bring together people of different faiths, with special focus on the Jewish-Muslim relations in Europe. To bring together these two groups means bridging the divide created through extremists on both sides and ensure solidarity between all people.
Copenhagen, Denmark, Berlin, Germany
The media does a good job of delivering the message that we are at war. This is true on many levels, but in order to break the cycle, new content in the media is needed, to show that in fact people are working together in unity. The focus of Salaam-Shalom is on the Jewish-Muslim relation, because these are two communities that many see as the farthest apart from each other. If the basis is a collaboration between communities that are farthest apart, we show that we can create a new reality, not based on division that exists in other parts of the world. This idea is easily transferable, and in fact already exists on a small-scale in Berlin. Copenhagen's group has also started, but it would be even more powerful to connect the communities in a few different cities around Europe.
Preventing all expressions of violent extremism is difficult. Therefore, if and when these events do occur, the hope for this project is that solidarity will speak louder than violence. By putting in place such a group, we are working towards a world where divisions based on cultural identity do not cause hatred, anger, division. People also begin to realize that these divisions are in fact also constructed by the person and their need for an identity. But these identities can all co-exist in peace, and for every violent event that happens, this group would rise up, together and in their own communities, to establish that this reality is not chosen, and there is a better way.
Because this project deals with people getting to know each other, it is important that face to face interactions happen. While the planning can take place online, the heart of the project is in the meetings that will take place in Copenhagen. After the initial planning meeting, the events in Copenhagen will have three parts:
1. A lecture and discussion on the "isms" - what links anti-Semitism with Islamophobia? Is it necessary to separate the two or can we learn from looking at what is mutual to both?
2. A poetry slam - involving young people from Jewish and Muslim communities around Europe.
3. A film screening and discussion.
All events will have Jewish and Muslim participants from Denmark and the participating countries.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe