Word For Peace
A mosque in Golders Green hosted an interfaith blood donation drive where Jews Muslims and people of all faiths and none were invited to donate blood.
The event which took place on Sunday was attended by 100 people.
Faiths Forum, who organised the event, said it was pleased to welcome people from the local community to the Golders Green Mosque for an open door event for the first time.
The Forum, which encourages religious communities to work together, said giving blood within the faiths of Islam and Judaism is encouraged as it is an act of charity.
“There is a verse in the Qur’an which states ‘whoever saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind’,” a Faiths Forum spokesperson said.
“Similarly, in Jewish scripture ‘therefore, Adam [from whom all humanity descended] was created singly, to teach us that whoever destroys a single life’ is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.”
Rabbi Natan Levy was one of the faith leaders to take part in the event.
He said he went to “meet my neighbours and give blood at the Markaz Hippodrome because there are people right here in Golders Green who feel that this generous and open-hearted community does not belong here.”
His comments refer to opposition to the mosque when it was first due to open in 2017.
The Grade ll-listed Golders Green Hippodrome was bought for £5.25million by the Centre for Islamic Enlightening.
Opponents at the time cited concerns about congestion and noise, but some referred to possible tensions between Muslim worshippers and local Jews.
A petition against the plan posted on Barnet Council’s website attracted almost 4,000 signatures, with a further 186 objections lodged on the site, and only 93 comments in support.
Rabbi Levy said: “Not only do they most certainly belong, but their warmth, their charity, and their willingness to work with people of other faiths like me is inspirational.
“And I, my family, and my community are each deeply enriched by sharing Golders Green with a thriving Muslim faith centre in our midst.”