Finding common ground between Christianity, Islam and Judaism


An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi walk into a shul…

The Imam was Imam Rashied Omar of the Claremont Main Road Mosque, the Priest was Father Andrew Cox of St Margaret Church in Green Point and the Rabbi was Rabbi Malcolm Matitiani of the Temple Israel. They came together for a very unique and powerful inter-communal/inter- faith event looking at how the three Abrahamic faiths relate to the concept of ‘fasting’. The event, themed aptly The Fast & the Furious, facilitated a fascinating engagement between the three faiths. Although we live side by side in Cape Town, the three communities (Catholic, Jewish and Muslim) actually know very little about each other’s faith and traditions. Fasting plays a central role in all three religions, and each speaker acknowledged the deep spiritual importance of fasting, which is seen as an extremely powerful and necessary way to focus one’s soul, by denying the body. Both Imam Rashied Omar and Father Andrew Cox referenced the strong Jewish roots for fasting — a spiritual tradition that had been absorbed into the other two faiths and had become central pillars for them. The evening ended with the symbolic blowing of the Shofar, after which Father Andrew and Imam Rashied joined the Jewish guests for some tea and cake. It is incumbent upon us to constantly reach out to other faiths in our country — the more we engage together, stressing our common monotheistic theology, the greater will be our tolerance and acceptance for each other.



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