American Jewish Committee chief attends historic multi-faith rally in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A historic gathering of religious leaders from all faith traditions took place this week in Saudi Arabiaand included 12 rabbis, including Rabbi David RosenDirector of International Interfaith Relations for the American Jewish Committee.
The event, organized by the Muslim World League in Riyadhmarks the first time Saudi Arabia organized a multi-faith gathering, which included leaders from the Catholic Church, the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate, Evangelical Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as religious leaders from other countries in the Muslim world.
“We are seeing a transformation in Muslim-Jewish relations around the world,” said Rosen, who has decades of experience building interfaith relations and was the only rabbi present since. Israel. “It is encouraging and exciting to see the Muslim World League and Saudi Arabia demonstrate leadership in promoting cooperation among religious communities around the world. The work of forging a cross-faith alliance against extremism and hatred of all kinds, including anti-Semitism, must include traditional religious voices as well as more liberal ones. Every country and every religious community has a role to play. »
The event addressed the theme “Promoting Common Values among Followers of Religions” and was dedicated to charting concrete ways to promote inter-religious cooperation and solidarity in response to conflicts and tensions between religious communities.
In recent years, the AJC has developed a formal partnership with the Muslim World League and its Secretary General, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al-Issa. In 2019, the CEO of AJC David Harris and Dr. Al-Issa signed a memorandum of understanding to promote Muslim-Jewish relations and take initiatives to combat racism, hatred and extremism in all its expressions. The memorandum of understanding was followed by a historic joint mission to Auschwitz and Warsaw in January 2020attended by Muslim and Jewish leaders from 28 countries to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.
The mission, held a few days before the 75and anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, also honored the endurance of Jewish life. In June 2020Dr. Al-Issa spoke at the AJC Global Forum about the need for Muslims and Jews to work together to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
For decades, AJC has been a global leader in developing Muslim-Jewish relations, including through regular programs with leaders across the Middle East and North Africa. Earlier this year, the AJC opened the Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding in Abu Dhabi strengthen ties between Arabs and Jews, enrich Jewish life through the Middle Eastand increase understanding of Israel in the Arab world.
AJC has also built an online community of nearly 800,000 Arabic speakers through @AJCarabic platforms. His series of Arabic-language videos on Jews and Judaism, “An Al-Yahud,” has garnered more than 25 million views.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee