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European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2013

Jews and Muslims: British Perspectives

This season’s topic is Jews and Muslims: British Perspectives which takes a look at British viewpoints, be they political, legal or cultural, on Jews and Muslims living in the UK in the 20th and 21st centuries.

These events are organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Jewish Museum, Frankfurt am Main and the Fritz Bauer Institut, Frankfurt am Main, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

Places are strictly limited and must be reserved in advance by contacting the Leo Baeck Institute, London
Email: info(ghi)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 5690

Venue: German Historical Institute London.

7 March

‘Quite Contrary to the Principles of British Justice’: The Jews of the Channel Islands 1940-1945

From 1940 to 1945 the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to fall under Nazi occupation. German anti-Jewish decrees became part of the Islands’ legal structures. Local police and government officials identified and registered the few remaining Jews. Jewish property was Aryanized and Jews were deported, all with the knowing involvement of government officials who remained officially loyal to the British Crown. This lecture examines both the legal and moral failures and the ambiguities which surrounded this little known part of British Jewish history.

David Fraser is Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of Nottingham. His research examines the intersections of law and the Shoah. In addition to his study of the Channel islands, his recent publications include, The Fragility of Law: Constitutional Patriotism and the Jews of Belgium, 1940-1945 (2009) and Daviborshch’s Cart: Narrating the Holocaust in Australian War Crimes Trials (2010).

Listen to this lecture (MP3 download, 46 min, 42 MB)

25 April

Jews and Muslims in the UK: In the Past and In the Future

This lecture examines attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in the UK in the past as a basis for discussing racism in the present. It argues that a distinct European model of persecution racializes Jews and Muslims in similar ways. One way to break out of the pattern is to recognize the similarities between prejudice against Jews and Muslims and for both groups, as well as others, to join together in challenging contemporary racism..

Maleiha Malik is Professor of Law at King's College, University of London. Her relevant publications include Discrimination Law: Theory and Practice (2008) and Anti-Muslim Prejudice in the West - Past and Present (2010).

16 May

Dealing with Difference: Jews, Muslims and the British Left Today

Generally speaking, the British left has been on the side of the disadvantaged and the oppressed. For this reason, socialists, radicals and liberals have instinctively rallied to the cause of newcomers in an increasingly multicultural society. But circumstances have changed and the waters now are muddied. This lecture will explore the reasons why it is difficult for the left today, given its origins and orientations, to deal with Muslim and Jewish difference when that difference is asserted by Jews and Muslims themselves.

Brian Klug is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish and non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton, and in summer 2012 was Visiting Scholar at the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia. His latest two books are Being Jewish and Doing Justice (2011) and Offence: The Jewish Case (2009).

Listen to this lecture (MP3 download, 59 min, 53.5 MB)

20 June

‘Jews and Muslims in Contemporary Britain: Getting Beyond Mutual Prejudice?’

This lecture will explore the relative position of Jews and Muslims in British society. Is Islamophobia, for example, the ‘new antisemitism’? Have Muslims replaced Jews as a marginal minority? And how do Jews and Muslims view one-another? By exploring politics, the media and the responses of ordinary people, the lecture will analyze a growing and important issue: how, in multi-cultural and multi-religious Britain, do large ethno-religious minorities get on?

Tony Kushner is Professor of History and Director of the Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations at the University of Southampton. He has written widely on British Jewish history, the Holocaust, refugee history, history and memory, and the history of antisemitism and racism. His most recent book is The Battle of Britishness: Migrant Journeys, 1685 to the Present (Manchester University Press, 2012).


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