For so many reasons, it was good this story dominated the headlines over the weekend; showing positive tales of cooperation can occasionally grab headlines alongside the usual media diet of conflict and tension of religion-related stories. His appointment won't be a miracle cure to ingrained prejudice but he now has an awesome opportunity to enhance interfaith understanding from his City Hall pulpit.
I've not heard any Labour figure suggest Kirby's comments aren't anti-semitic or defend the system that let her be suspended, re-admitted and elected vice-chair of a local party branch. Members have cut up their membership cards over this. MPs spent another fraught Parliamentary Labour Party meeting last night demanding to know how this was allowed to happen. But Labour's crime isn't that it defends this behaviour, it's that it tolerates it.
Those who respond by asking about other forms of racism identify the next issue. There is a serious problem with those who struggle to recognise that antisemitism is a serious problem. Why can we not see a case of antisemitism and call it out for what it is? Why must people always diminish it relation to other forms of racism?
The statistical reality is that Britain remains one of the least antisemitic countries in the world... Indeed, Jewish life in Britain is thriving. British Jews have benefited enormously from multiculturalism, and compared to a generation ago, Britain has become a fabulous place to live a meaningful Jewish life. But perhaps that is what helps to fuel the anxiety.
In the midst of continuous negative portrayal of Muslims, there seems to be genuine fear in wider society that 'Islamist aliens' are taking over this island. Whilst many Muslims feel under siege and tend to think they are probably subject to a 'McCarthyite' witch hunt, others still question Muslims' place in this land and if they are part of a 'Trojan Horse' entryist plot. Both these assertions are wild.
As long as Muslim communities do not have the equivalent to a Chief Rabbi, sadly, there will be a space in the social sphere which will be filled by those who are less interested in the welfare of Muslim communities, and more interested in making a name for themselves. Now is the time to grab this challenge with both hands.