Jews and Muslims have formed an unlikely alliance to press for Britain to accept hundreds of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war.
More than 140,000 Syrians fled to Turkey last week as they faced the triple threat of being targeted by President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces, murdered by ISIS terrorists or being caught in US-led bombing raids against Islamic extremists.
British-based faith leaders will use next week’s Jewish festival of Sukkot – when temporary shelters are built to remember how Jews fled persecution - to call for the UK to offer shelter to refugees from the war-torn country.
Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “The main ritual of Sukkot is that we spend time in a temporary dwelling place. It is a tradition to welcome visitors into that temporary dwelling.
“That has gone on for a couple of thousand years.
“There are thousands of refugees from Syria living in temporary conditions because they can’t live anywhere else because their homes have been destroyed.
“Jews are a people who know what it is to be refugees, for all the reasons of our history. In those circumstances, it is appropriate that we should try and get local synagogues, mosques and churches to see if we can do something for Syrian refugees.”
Syrian Nebal Istanbouly, a Sunni Muslim, echoed the plea to help displaced Syrians, saying: “More refugees should be accepted in this country because Syrian people are suffering.
“What Britain has done so far is not enough, it isn’t sufficient at all. They can do much more.”
He welcomed Jewish support for the campaign, saying: “Jewish people have experience of seeking refuge. It is good that they are supporting us.
“We need all those who have experience of such causes to support us. We are grateful to Jews that they are working with us. It shows faiths can come together.”