Judaism and Islam are in many ways the closest of cousins. Sharing a rigorously monotheistic faith as articulated by a shared canon of prophets in related Semitic tongues, tracing their common origins to the patriarch Abraham, their destinies have been inextricably intertwined. In dispersal in western countries such as Britain or France, Jews and Muslims have together occupied the ambiguous position of being constructed as both ‘ethnic communities’ and ‘faith communities’ at odds with their normatively Christian wider societies; both have suffered forms of racism and persecution, been accused of dual loyalties, condemned for refusing to integrate, stereotyped as terrorists.

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