A new online radio station launching tonight claims to be the first in the UK to be run jointly by Muslims and Jews. Bristol-based Radio Salaam Shalom has been attracting media interest from around the world for promising not to avoid the potentially divisive issues over Palestine and Israel during live discussions.
Farooq Siddique, a presenter and member of the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, said he hoped Radio Salaam Shalom would help improve community relations.
He said: "Basically when you think of two communities who don't get on, the first one you think of is Jews and Muslims. The idea behind the station, at a time when chasms are opening up between communities here in the UK and around the world, is to act as a bridge and bring communities together to discuss their problems. There's so much we have in common. The Israel/Palestine issue has come to define Muslim and Jewish relations, but prior to that the relationship was the
The station is being run by around 35 volunteers after an idea by students at Bristol University and the University of the West of England, and has been nine months in the planning following the award of a £50,000 grant from the government's Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund. It will broadcast in English.
The chair of the organisation, Peter Brill, who is Jewish, told the Press Association that the station would give the "moderate majority" in the two faiths a voice.
Mr Brill said: "We're not going to shy away from the controversial issues, but they will be discussed in an environment of understanding and respect rather than a shouting match. This is really about the voice of the moderate majority to be heard. It's the first station of its kind in the UK as far as we're aware and we've had a staggering amount of interest from around the world from the likes of Al Jazeera."
Radio Salaam Shalom, which means Peace in Jewish and Arabic, begins broadcasting tonight from 6pm on their [link=http://www.salaamshalom.org.uk]website[/link].
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