VIDEO: Imam and Rabbi team up for touching 'Love Actually' style video

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A Leeds Imam and Rabbi have made a touching ‘Love Actually’ style video inspired by The Great Get Together events taking place nationwide this weekend (17-18 June).

The two faith leaders - Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds - share their love of “God’s own country” Yorkshire, their toddlers and of food – plus a mutual aversion to bacon sandwiches. The video ends with the message ‘Great Together’.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR: Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and  Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds

LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR: Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds

Their film, using messages held up on cue cards, borrows from Richard Curtis’s film Love Actually, in which the character played by Andrew Lincoln uses the cards to declare his love for Keira Knightley.

The idea that we all have more in common than we might think takes its inspiration from the words of the late Jo Cox MP, who was tragically murdered one year ago this month: “we have more in common than that which divides us.”

Imam Qari Asim MBE, Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque and independent member of the Government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred working group, said: “There isn’t enough contact between our Muslim and Jewish communities, even though we have much in common.

“It was very moving to see how people from all backgrounds came together recently to show unity after the horrific attacks in London and Manchester. But uniting in the wake of terror and tragedy is not enough, if afterwards we retreat and lose touch. We need to keep it up, to maintain those links and to cherish all that we share together.”

Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and  Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds

Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Leeds Sinai Synagogue said: “For most people going about their busy everyday lives, there just aren’t many opportunities to sit down and have a conversation with someone from a different background. The more we meet and talk, the more we find out how many things we share.

“Some of those conversations will start this weekend at The Great Get Together and I hope they continue long afterwards. If they’re anything like making this video, people will find it incredibly good fun.”

The West Indian Carnival, Chapeltown, Leeds.29th August 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

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