This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1558
The AJC's interreligious affairs director Rabbi David Rosen partners with Saudi Princes Alwaleed Bin Talal & Al Saud to spread Wahhabism via" Western Islamic World Dialouge "
January 19, 2006
Jews for Jihad?How the American Jewish Committee abets Islamism
By Binyamin Axelrod
January 19, 2005 - Washington, DC - PipeLineNews.org - What do the American Jewish Committee, and Wahhabists have in common?
They are both helping to perpetrate jihad through Da'wa [faith spreading through aggressive conversion] via the "Chicago Coalition for Interreligious Learning," a program launched by the American Jewish Committee which is aimed at "creating guidelines for teaching other faith traditions - for Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim educators."
In the 2005 newsletter, the coalition's founder and AJC board member, Esta Star proclaimed that "the group saw the endeavor as a breakthrough for Jewish, Christian and interfaith relations in Chicago, and would produce changes in how differing religions were presented in textbooks and classrooms in an effort to promote respect among the communities." - Source Link
But instead of promoting "mutual understanding" those running the AJC's misguided "Coalition for Interreligous Learning" program have allied themselves with Islamists who cynically exploit interfaith programs to spread Wahhabism and Saudi hate propaganda. The inclusion of Kazi publications and the IQRA Education Foundation in the AJC's interreligous learning initiative will enable Da'wa materials to be introduced into school curriculums as the Muslim "contribution" to this "learning program."
Both the Northbrook and Batavia Islamic Centers have a history of activities with radical Islamists including CAIR and ISNA.
Islamisation via conversion was hailed as the ultimate weapon by Yusuf al-Qaradawi who told a 1997 conference of Muslim youth that, "We will conquer Europe - we will conquer America! Not through the sword but through Da'wa." - Source Link.
Ironically it was none other then the director of the AJC's counter terrorism division, Yehudit Barsky, who labeled CAIR and ISNA, as "extremist" and warned about Islamist groups using interfaith to gain legitimacy. In a widely disseminated interview entitled - "Expert - Saudis have radicalized 80% of all US Mosques," Barsky declared that:
The Islamic Society of North America, "supports the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi regime," and that [CAIR] the Council on American Islamic Relations "[was] founded in the 1980s by pro-Hamas activists."
Barsky noted that many mainstream Muslim organisations were "pro Saudi and pro Muslim Brotherhood." She suggested that her colleagues should "proceed with caution, [since] some of the [extremist] organizations have concluded that interfaith dialogue is a good way to spread the ideology."
"'Interfaith dialogue' gives such organizations a public legitimacy that their ideology would deny them if they expressed it outright...and that these organizations come to the Jewish community to talk about interfaith ,while they still teach anti-Western and anti- Christian doctrines to their followers." - Source Link
Such considerations raise troubling questions:
Why has Barsky done nothing to stop the AJC - which has just announced the launch of a new website called "Counterterrorism Watch" under her direction - from working with similarly constructed Islamist groups who are spreading Wahhabism under the auspices of the Chicago Coalition for Interreligous Learning?
Why does the AJC continue to work with radical Islamists who are affiliated with the very same organizations that their own counter terrorism "expert" has labeled as extremist?
[Editor's note: It is worth mentioning that the AJC website recently removed the interfaith links page, which listed the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding an organization which recently changed its name to the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, in honor of their Saudi benefactor who also raised money for the families of suicide bombers.]
One would like to speculate that the link was removed because it was deemed unseemly for the AJC to list the Alwaleed Center as a partner but this seems unlikely given their other - blatantly Islamist - affiliations.
The AJC is also working with people like Dr. Scott Alexander, [please refer to the PipeLineNews.org series The Catholic Theological Union And The Limits Of Understanding] the head the Muslim Christian program at the CTU's Bernardin Center. In 2004 Alexander had planned to act as an expert witness at the terrorism trial of Fawaz Damra. He declined to appear after a controversy erupted over his justification or Damra's urging of Muslims to kill Jews "on the grounds that he was speaking as a victim."
Instead of severing their ties with the CTU and the Bernardin Center, AJC director Emily Soloff, and Jonathan Levine - the AJC's Chicago regional outreach director - joined CTU's advisory board.
Fellow Bernardin Center board members include seven representatives of radical Islamist groups such as CAIR and ISNA , including Sayid Sayeed - the General Secretary of ISNA - and John Esposito - the director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding." - Source Link.
In 2004 the head of the AJC's New York office, David Harris, lead a delegation of 100 members to meet with the terrorist Jabril Rajoub in Jerusalem. - Source Link
The Buffalo branch of the AJC recently held an 'interfaith meeting' entitled "Religious expression in the public square," at which they hosted Welton Gaddy, the director of the Interfaith Alliance, whose board members include noted Islamists Mahdi Bray of MAS and Maher Hathout of MPAC. - Source Link
The Muslim groups which the American Jewish Committee has chosen as partners in their interreligous education endeavor, offers a casebook study of how Saudi backed Islamist propagation - Da'wa - enterprises can enter the mainstream under the aegis of interfaith and become undeservedly legitimized.
Kazi Publications is an Islamist publishing house based in Chicago. Kazi's webmaster and production director, Mary Bakthiar, aka Laleh, is a living testimony to the crazy quilt that missplaced multiculturalism and interfaith produce - as an American Christian who converted to Islam after marrying an Iranian who had been dispatched to the United States to study on an Islamic missionary scholarship in 1927. [Prior to divorcing her husband, Bakthiar lived for years in Iran where she and her spouse ran the Hamdami publishing house in Teheran] - Source Link
The Kazi website states that they are "the oldest Islamic bookstore in America." Kazi offers an array of Islamist books and multimedia materials by radical theologians like Jamal Zarabozo, Al Ghazali, and Abdul Al Mawdudi - whose "Principles of the Islamic State" - stresses the necessity of the establishment of the Khalifate. Kazi also stocks videos and CD's of rabid anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan and Malcolm X. Source Link
The AJC's Coalition for Interreligous Learning is also working together with IQRA and the International Educational Foundation - an international source of Wahhabist propaganda which disseminates DVD's such as "Why the West is Coming to Islam," and books like "Sacred Law in Secular Lands" by Abdullah Bin Bayyah - a radical Islamist cleric who is cited as a source of spiritual inspiration by jihadist websites. Source Link
IQRA's refers to itself as an "Islamic Waqf," [Islamic trust] which means that it falls under the auspices of the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT] an arm of the Saudi government, which controls and funds 80% of all the Islamic institutions in North America to insure that Muslims can live "in a shari'a compliant way." Source Link
NAIT is one of America's largest Islamist umbrella organization; its goal is to "Islamise North America through conversion." - Source Link
A mosque partner in the AJC's Coalition for Interreligous Learning is the Batavia Islamic Center, whose vice president Mazher Ahmad, worked as the executive director of the Islamic Research Foundation, based in Bombay, which also has a branch in the United States. The aim of the IRF is "to promote "Islamic Da'wa proper presentation, understanding and appreciation of Islam, as well as removing misconceptions about Islam amongst less-aware Muslims as well as non-Muslims."
Ahmad's experience as head of an Islamic missionary organization is another example of how the AJC in Chicago is aiding Muslims with Islamic propagation by granting them legitimacy through participation in a coalition for 'interreligous learning'.
Mazher Ahmad the vice chair of the Council of World Religions [CWR], another interfaith vehicle used by Muslims to lure other faiths into contact with Islam [one member of the executive committee is Abdul Malik Muhajid, the director of Sound Vision, a radical Islamist media company directly tied to Hamas and the radical Bridgeview Mosque Foundation.]
The American Jewish Committee is inexplicably partnering with the CWR - the head of the AJC's Council for Interreligious Affairs -Rabbi David Rosen - was listed as a member of the CWR's Advisory Board Committee in 2002. His name appears directly under that of Adullah Omar Naseef, a Saudi millionaire who was cited in US government indictment for involvement in Al Qaeda funding. - Source Link
The AJC has affiliated itself with the Northbrook Islamic Center, which was "founded by Bosnian Muslims, and boasts of their commitment to interfaith activities."
"Imam Senad Effendi Agic is representative of the Bosnia-Hercegovina National Ministry of Religion in America. As imam of the Northbrook Mosque of Chicago and Chairman of the Bosnian Relief Committee of Chicago, where perhaps the most Bosnian refugees in the nation are located, Imam Senad is extremely active in helping the refugees in relocating to their new homes in the US, in collecting donations and supplies for the Muslims in the former Yugoslavia who are in dire need, and in supporting the jihad movement in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
After attending the International Islamic Unity Conference as the leader of the Bosnian Youth Mawlid Group and as a speaker, Imam Senad returned to Sarajevo, Bosnia to meet with rais al-ulema, Dr. Mustafa Ceric." - Source Link
Ceric was a pivotal figure at the Northbrook Islamic Center.
"In the 1980s, Ceric earned his Ph.D. in Islamic studies at the University of Chicago. For four years he was also the imam at the Islamic Cultural Center in Northbrook, one of the area's oldest mosques and an important gathering place for Bosnian Muslims in the United States." - Source Link
Mustafa Ceric is now the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, among other associations, he also works with the UK branch of the AMSS - The Association of Muslim Social Scientists, which is the sister organisation of the the International Institute of Islamic Thought [IIIT], a Wahhabist funded group which is being investigated for terror funding. Source Link
According to a recent Bosnian news report Mustafa Ceric also played a leading role in CIRKL, another funding front which was organised by Osama bin Laden and Sheik Abdel Rahman, that functioned as:
"...the only link between the Bosnian Muslim political leadership of the time and its wealthy Islamic benefactors...key people in the CIRKL in charge of Bosnia as Dr. Fatih al Hassanein, Hasan Cengic, Salim Sabic, Muhamed Catic, Mustafa Ceric, Husein Zivalj, and Senad Sahinpasic." - Source Link
[Editor's note: for PipeLineNews.org's analysis of Bosnian Islamist politcs see - 10 Years And Counting - Still No Exit Plan From Clinton Created, European Al-Qaeda Base.
Of additional interest regarding how organizations like the AJC have been duped in the recent past by media savvy Islamists, the international PR firm, Ruder Finn and Hill & Knowlton, Inc., of Washington, D.C, were hired by the Bosnian Muslims to spin publicity in their favor, successfully obscuring the association that the Bosnian Muslims had with the Nazis during World War II.
James Harff the director of Ruder and Finn Global Public Affairs, bragged that the firm's campaign had not only "outwitted" groups like the AJC, but had used them:
"We outwitted three big Jewish organizations - B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. We suggested to them to publish an advertisement in the New York Times and to organize demonstrations outside the United Nations." - from French TV2's Jacques Merlino's interview with James Harff. The interview was published in Merlino's 1993 book "Les vérités Yougoslaves ne sont pas toutes bonnes à dire," an analysis of the PR campaign that accompanied the war.
For the record, in 1993 Ruder Finn was awarded the "Silver Medal of the Public Relations Society of America" in the category "crisis communication," relating to its work assisting Bosnia in selling the Muslim slant on the war in the Balkans to the American public.
Seemingly having learned little, more then a decade later, the AJC continues to support the Bosnian Muslim cause. In 2005 the assistant director of the AJC Melanie Maron, spoke at a rally organised by the Council of Islamic Organisations of Greater Chicago - a Saudi funded umbrella group also tied to the Muslim World League. The CIOGC Chairman Abdul Malik Mujahid , who is the CEO of Sound Vision a radical Islamist media company linked to Hamas and the IAP, also spoke at the rally. The event was hosted by a member of the Northbrook Islamic Center.]
The NIC continues to work closely with the Council on America Islamic Relations, a group which was described by the AJC's head of counterterrorism , Yehudit Barsky, as being "founded in the 1980's by pro-Hamas activists." In 2005 the NIC helped CAIR recruit elderly converts to Islam with a program entitled Building Bridges to Islam, co-sponsored by a group called Elderhostel. - Source Link
The Northbrook Islamic Center also hosted a 5 week program by the Saudi funded Nawawi Foundation, on "The Universal Precepts and Concepts of Islamic Law," a study which they hoped would "foster a deeper understanding of Islam within and beyond our community." - Source Link.
The Muslim partners in the American Jewish Committee's "Coalition for Interreligous Learning" are part and parcel of the Saudi propagation enterprise which the head of the AJC's Middle East and International Terrorism division, Yehudit Barsky, said was "...spreading anti-Western and anti-Christian teachings to their followers..."
It's time that donors to the AJC start demanding that the organisation halt their interfaith programs which are abetting jihad through Da'wa, and that AJC leaders cease their interaction with individuals and institutions tied to terrorism both in the United States and abroad.
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MIM: The html has been removed but the pdf contains information on an interfaith program, and and a picture with the AJC's interreligious affairs 'rabbi;' David Elcott meeting with the head of Kazi Publications and the IQRA Foundation mentioned above.
Summer Newsletter 2005
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
world, including AJC International Interreligious Affairs Director Rabbi David ... meeting of the "Chicago Coalition for Interreligious Learning: Catholics, ...
www.ajcchicago.org/atf/cf/ %7BDDCFFE02-F892-433B-AC2C-EB2181D85044%7D/Volume5No2Newsletter2005.pdf -
MIM: According to the information in the article above, the AJC appeared to have removed the link to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown from their website together with their Muslim Jewish links page.The author speculated that this could have been because the Saudi funded center had now 'outed' itself as Wahhabist and been renamed the Prince Awaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding.
A search reveals that the links page does indeed exist, and it is reprinted below.
The AJC whose mission statement is to 'protect Jewish interests' seems to have no 'conflict of interests' when it comes to working with Wahhabists.
The director of their Interreligous Affairs Committee, Rabbi David Rosen, also sits on the board of the Western Islamic World Dialouge which is chaired by uber Wahhabist Prince Turki Al Saud, the present Saudi ambassador, who was a consultant to Osama Bin Laden when he was waging Jihad against the Russians. The Western Islamic World Dialouge organisation is also funded by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and is an international Da'wa (Islamic propagation and conversion) enterprise comprised of "100 religious leaders"
The name or the group expresses the goal - i.e, to have a Western Islamic World and Dialouge only for Islam and about Muslims.
For more about the World Economic Forum and he Western Islamic World Dialouge aka Western Islamic World Da'wa movement see:
On the Western Islamic World Dialouge website the AJC head of interreligous affairs Rabbi David Rosen's name is listed above that of Abdullah Omar Naseef, who is cited in the above article as being linked to funding for Al Qaeda and as being named on a U.S government indictment against the SAAR terror financing network.
MIM: The AJC interfaith links page goes directly to the what is now the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. They also partner with the Hartford Seminary. which is a radical Islamist enterprise which has hosted the jailed Imam Fawaz Damra, who is awaiting deportation from the US for not mentioning his association with a terrorist organisation on his immigration forms, and the vice president of the Islamic Society of North America, Ingrid Mattson. ISNA is one of the largest Islamist propagation enterprises in North America and it's mission is in it's name - to turn the the United States and Canada into an Islamic Society of North America. For more on the Hartford Seminary see:
"Dupes for Da'wa: How the Muslims exploit interfaith programs in schools and universities to promote Wahhabist Islam via Hartford Seminary
Muslim-Jewish Related Links
Muslim-Jewish Related Links
Links to Muslim Organizations
American Islamic Congress (AIC)
Founded in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, concentrates on the issue of pluralism-within Islam, and for Islam as part of the pluralistic make-up of America.
The American Sufi Muslim Association
Muslims AGAINST Terrorism
Three Faiths Forum
Islamic Supreme Council of America
Links to Muslim-Christian Studies Centers
Note: At the present time, no center for Muslim-Jewish Studies exists, but Jewish participation is sometimes included in projects or events coordinated by the two Muslim-Christian Centers that exist at this time.)
Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), Georgetown University
The Duncan Black MacDonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary.
MIM: The head of the CORE group is none other then Turki Faisal Al Saud Ambassador from the KSA to Washington. The Western Islamic World Dialouge group is also funded by Prince Alwaheed bin Talal who raised money for the families of suicide bombers.
"...The World Economic Forum is pleased to acknowledge Xenel /Saudi Cable Company and HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulazziz Al Saud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Co., Saudi Arabia as Initiative Partners providing support to the C-100..."
Lord Carey of Clifton, Former Archbishop of Canterbury, United Kingdom
H.R.H. Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the USA
Khalid A. Alireza, Chairman, Xenel/Saudi Cable Company, Saudi Arabia
Geda Condit, Owner, Storybook Partners, USA
Thomas Pickering, Senior Vice President, International Relations, The Boeing Company, USA
Muna Abu-Sulayman, Executive Manager, Strategic Studies, Kingdom Holding Co., Saudi Arabia
Katherine Marshall, Director and Counsellor to the President, World Bank, Washington DC
Jan Petersen, Member of Parliament, Norway
Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland
Rabbi David Rosen, President, The International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Relations, USA
Abdullah O. Nasseef, President, World Muslim Congress, Saudi Arabia
John L. Esposito, Founding Director, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA
Heba R. Ezzat, Lecturer, Cairo University, Egypt
Farhan Nizami, Prince of Wales Fellow in the Study of the Islamic World, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, United Kingdom
Jihad B. Khazen, Director, Al Hayat Newspaper, United Kingdom
Shamil Idriss, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
From the World Economic Forum
Monica Lodygensky, Senior Project Manager, C-100 Initiative
Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, Senior Advisor, C-100 Initiative
Richard Samans, Managing Director, Global Institute for Partnership and Governance
In 2001 the AJC announced their appointment of Rabbi David Rosen the head their department of interreligious affairs.
"...The American Jewish Committee announced today that Rabbi David Rosen will head up the organization's worldwide pioneering initiatives and programming in interreligious affairs.
"Rabbi David Rosen is a true leader in the interreligious affairs world, and we are delighted to have him head AJC's efforts in this new century," said David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee. "Rabbi Rosen exemplifies the kind of visionary leadership that is essential to enhancing religion as a tool for bettering the human condition and for achieving the international peace and harmony we so much desire..."
In 2005 he was appointed to head the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations which was touted as being the most "...authoritative official position for interelligious relations in the Jewish world..."
Which begs the question as to who, besides the AJC, has made Rosen and his organisation (which promotes secularism) into the leaders of "the Jewish world".
August 11, 2005 – New York – Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee has been appointed President of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC).
"I am grateful to my colleagues in all the Jewish organizations that make up IJCIC, for the confidence they have placed in me in electing me to this position, which is both a great privilege and a real challenge," said Rabbi Rosen, AJC's International Director of Interreligious Affairs, a position he will continue to hold.
IJCIC represents organized world Jewry in its relations with other world religious bodies, such as the Vatican. Rabbi Rosen met with Pope Benedict XVI as part of the IJCIC delegation in June.
The President of IJCIC is considered the most authoritative official position for interreligious relations in the Jewish world...."
MIM:It appears that Rosen is so taken with his new position as the self proclaimed most 'authoritative figure in Jewish world' ( and the travel and salary it brings with it) that he has also joined the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace. One wonders if his new found friends Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, and Saudi Ambassador Al Faisal Al Saud, are also part of this Muslim Jewish Da'wa lovefest. A gushing account by one of the participants ends recounts that:
"...To formally close the Congress we sang together Haveinu Shalom Aleichem and held hands in a circle.
On Thursday, the final day Rabbi Albert Guigui welcomed some of us at the central synagogue of Brussels. Later at the central mosque we sat on the carpet together where the imam received us graciously..."
Eliyahu McLean, 3/8/2005
From January 3-6 2005, I had the opportunity to be a part of a historic meeting, the First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace that took place in Brussels. Hommes de Parole, an organization based in Paris and led by director Alain Michel, in cooperation with many other organizations organized the Congress.
We were about 180 participants, including 100 Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and 80 experts in the field of Jewish-Muslim cooperation, from all over the world. The Jewish religious leaders were rabbis who came from Europe and North America as well as about 30 rabbis from Israel, including chief rabbis of different cities and heads of prominent yeshivas.
The Muslim religious leaders included imams who came from Europe, the U.S., Africa and Asian countries like Indonesia and Uzbekistan. From the Middle East there were Palestinians from Jerusalem, the Galilee and the West Bank as well as from Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Iran. Christian clergy and others, including a delegation of teenage Muslim girls from France came as observers to every session.
During the three-day Congress we joined in large roundtable plenary sessions, workshops, open discussions and gala dinners together. All the sessions were translated simultaneously into English, French, Hebrew and Arabic.
At the opening session on the evening of January 3rd, there was such a feeling of excitement as we all first gathered together in Egmont Palace in Brussels.
Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi Doron, the former Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Israel, said, "when I see all of the imams and rabbis coming together, this is a message to the Creator that we are here to do your will, that is to bring peace."
Sheikh Talal Sider from Hebron said that for Jews, Muslims and Christians, the Holy Land is beloved and blessed and that our meeting together in this Congress was a blessing from God.
Dr. Ahmad Toufiq spoke on behalf of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, who gave his support and blessings. He spoke about how Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived together peacefully for centuries in Morocco.
The Hindu swami Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, "May God give us the courage to unite as a human family. I leave momentarily for India and Sri Lanka and I bring to them (tsunami survivors) the message that the imams and rabbis are with them."
There was extensive media coverage from European and Middle Eastern news agencies. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari and I were interviewed by MBC, the second largest Arabic news program shown in the Arab world. I gave a full interview in Arabic, calling on Muslims everywhere to unite with the Jews as members of one family, the family of Abraham.
Each night the band 'the Voices of Fez' played live Arabic music. On the first night a Moroccan rabbi got on the stage and started singing Hebrew sacred songs with the band. On the second night, Abdel Karim al Zurba, an Imam of the Dome of the Rock, got up on the stage and moved everyone with his powerful rendition of the call to prayer.
On Tuesday morning we discussed the Judeo-Muslim heritage. Imam Sajid from England said that as Jews and Muslims living as minorities in Europe we need to combat together the twin evils of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
The rabbis responded deeply to the words of Dr. Abdul Rahman Abad from East Jerusalem when he said, "let us walk the path to peace. Instead of calling the Land Israel or Palestine, let us talk about the Holy Land. Let the Land be our mother and we its children."
In the Tuesday afternoon plenary session on acceptance of the other Rabbi Michael Melchior declared, "We will help God who makes peace in the heavens, make peace between us."
Rabbi Naftali Brawer from the office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom said, "Learn how to smile at those different from us and to see in the reflective smile of the other, a reflection of the Divine."
At the afternoon workshop sessions we broke small groups and discussed concrete cooperative projects. Some of the workshops were: bringing a religious dimension to the Mid-East peace process, creation of a Jewish-Muslim observatory and Abraham's Vision- a textbook for Jewish and Muslim youth weaving together a shared narrative of our stories.
At the Wednesday morning plenary session about human dignity, Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg spoke of the challenge of morality in times of war. "The Torah demands from us to see the enemy as a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity. There is no such thing as a morality of peace and a morality of war, only morality."
A special moment for everyone present was when the imams and rabbis stood silently together for three minutes in honor the victims of the tsunami in Asia. To open the 3 minutes the chief rabbi of Haifa sang El Maleh Rahamim, the Jewish memorial prayer for the dead. The former mufti of Istanbul closed by reciting verses from the Quran. Rabbi Yosef Azran, chief rabbi of Rishon Letzion spontaneously chanted a psalm. It was an emotional moment; everyone felt a sense of unity coming together in our shared humanity.
Later more of us had a chance to share in an open forum:
Rabbi Reuven Firestone from Los Angeles spoke about the need to have public celebrations together as a way to build bridges.
Sheikh Yusuf Murigu from Kenya said, "The Islamic tradition offers a model for human dignity as seen in the Quran: 'Allah says: I have made you into nations and into tribes to get to know one another.'"
Rabbi Soetendorp from Holland said, "Let us all have the courage to be Rodfei Shalom. May God give us the courage to make peace."
A sheikh from the Islamic Council of Tunis said, "Just by our meeting together we are dispelling ignorance of the other."
In the final plenary session on Wednesday we discussed how to deal with extremism within our own communities. Rabbi Yosef Hadane, Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel spoke about the need for religious leaders to explain the Torah and the Quran in a truly spiritual way that could not lead to extremism. I said we should not demonize the extremists but include them in the circle of dialogue and reach out to them with the tools found within Judaism and Islam.
The final declaration called for: political leaders to work for a peaceful solution in the Holy Land, respect for human rights, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders to devote regular sermons in their communities to the theme od reverence for all human life and the establishment of a permanent joint committee to implement these commitments.
On the first day many of the imams and rabbis, many of whom had never met one of the other, stood apart. By the end they were holding each other's arms.
At the closing session, one of the Muslim teenage girls from France spoke eloquently saying, "We thank you for what you taught us. Thanks for helping us build peace with you."
To formally close the Congress we sang together Haveinu Shalom Aleichem and held hands in a circle.
On Thursday, the final day Rabbi Albert Guigui welcomed some of us at the central synagogue of Brussels. Later at the central mosque we sat on the carpet together where the imam received us graciously.
Please refer to the Hommes de Parole website
Issue 45, July 2005
First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace
Egmont Place, Brussels, January 6, 2005
We, leaders, representatives, Rabbis and Imams of Muslim and Jewish religious communities who have assembled from all over the world for the first world congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace affirm our commitment to strive to end all bloodshed and attacks against innocent human beings that offend the right to life and dignity given by the Almighty to all human beings.
We call upon all people to combat hate, ignorance and their causes and to build together a world of peace, rich in diversity, in which all faiths and their practices are respected and protected.
We call upon the political leaders of all peoples to work for righteous and peaceful durable solutions around the world and in particular in the Holy Land for the benefit of all peoples and faith-communities who live in the land and hold it dear.
We pledge ourselves to pursue a shared goal of respect for human rights for all people and peoples, without which no peace can be possible.
We call upon all religious leaders in Jewish and Muslim congregations around the world to devote regular sermons and addresses to their communities on the importance of inter-religious respect and reverence for all human life under all circumstances.
We announce the establishment of a permanent joint committee to help implement these commitments and propose programmatic initiatives on a regular basis, in keeping with the proposals presented during the congress and in its spirit for the wellbeing of all peoples.
The First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, organized by the foundation Hommes de Parole, took place from the 3 to 6 January 2005 in Brussels, under the High Patronage of the Kings Albert II and Mohammed VI.
MIM: Not everyone was taken by the warm fuzzy idea of Imams and Rabbis meeting together for 'peace' since the Congress had to be relocated "for security reasons".
"...The congress was originally conceived to take place in Morocco, but due to security concerns was relocated to Brussels, Belgium at the invitation of Belgium's King Albert II, who hosted proceedings at the royal Egmont's Palace. Speakers dealt with issues such as the Judeo-Muslim heritage, the dignity of the human person, and the problems of interpreting difficult sacred texts – texts that can give rise to violence when abused but bring forth understanding and wisdom when studied carefully in their appropriate contexts..."
Abdul Rahman ABAD Officiel spokesman of the council of Palestinian's Ulemas Sheikh Ahmed ABADDI Director of islamic affairs in Morocco Master of Theology Kimzanbay ABDURAHMANOV Imam hatib Docteur Younès ABERKANE vice-President of Terres d'Europe Rabbin David ABRAHAM Talmud Torah Teacher professeur Khalid ABU-RAS Professor in Arabe litrature Mr Mohammad ABUMOKH Director General of Al-Qasemi Academy Monseigneur Emmanuel ADAMAKIS Metropolitain of France Dr Lateef ADEGBITE Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Senad AGIC Imam of Bosniak communities in North America Sheikh Pr Dr Ahmed AKGÜNDÜZ Dean of islamic university of Rotterdam Ari ALEXANDER Sheikh Abdul Kareim ALZORBA Imam of the dome of the Rock Rabbi Roberto ARBIB Director of "Yiun" academy Mr Chief Rabbi Yacov ARIEL Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan Mr Nafez ASSAILY Director of the "Library on Wheels " association Professor Mehmet AYDIN Lecturer at the Faculty of Theology, University of Ondokuz Mayis. Professeur Mahmoud AZAB Professor titular in Islamology at the National Institute of Orientales Civilizations Mr Mohamed Moui. AZIZA Monsieur André AZOULAY Counselor to His Majesty King Mohammed VI Mr Chief Rabbi Joseph AZRAN Chief Rabbi Av Beth-Din of Rishon Letzion Chief Rabbi Eliyahu BAKSCHI DORON Harishon Letzion Chief Rabbi of Israel Monsieur Paul BALLANFAT Chief of Turkish-Persian Studies at the Lyon III university professeur Foad BDIR Manager of Islamic college Monsieur le président Rachid BENMOKHTAR President of the Al Akhawayn University Anass BENMOUSSA Cheikh BENTOUNÈS Monsieur Rachid BENZINE Grand Rabbin Laurent BERROS Rabbi of Sarcelles Rabbi David BIGMAN Rosh Yeshiva Head of Talmudic Academy Monsieur Mohamed BOULIF President of the Executive office of the Belgium Muslims Rabbi Dr. Naftali BRAWER Rabbi in charge of the interreligious relations for the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom Rabbi Daniel BRENNER Director of the Center for Multifaith Education Auburn Theological Seminary Monsieur Patrice BRODEUR Titular of a Canada Research Chair: Islam, Pluralism and globalization Sheikh Abdul Aziz BUKHARI Sheikh Of the Naqshabandian Sufi Method and Head of Uzbeke Community in Jerusalem Archpriest Vsevolod CHAPLIN Archprist, representant Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Madame Pascale CHARHON Sheikh Hassan CHIZENGA Secretary of Ulamaa Council of Tanzania Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Yoseph COHEN Chief Rabbi of Haifa. President of Rabbinic Court and President of the Ariel Institute Monsieur Moïse COHEN President of the Jewish Consistory of Paris Monsieur Jean Arnold DE CLERMONT President of the french protestant federation Monsieur Albert DE PURY Professor of biblical sciences at the University of Geneva Père Christian DELORME Catholic priest Monsieur Brahim DERAWI Vice-Président of the Moroccan Associations Federation in Europe Monsieur Doudou DIÈNE Special Reporter on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance Son Excellence Monsieur Bernard DORIN Embassador of France Rabbi Cllr Aba M DUNNER Executive Director of the Conference of European Rabbis Mr Chief Rabbi Pinhas EDERY Chief Rabbi of Givataim Rabbi Joseph H. EHRENKRANZ Executive Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University Professeur Mohamed EL AYADI Teacher of islamic problematics Rabbi Messod ELHADAD Judge at the rabbinical court of Jerusalem Dr. Avraham ELQAYAM Head of the Slomo Moussaieff Center for Kabbalah Research in Bar Ilan University Sydney ENGELBERG Rabbi Isaac FARHI Rabbi and Kashrut Supervisor Monsieur Paul FENTON Professor at the Sorbonne University and at the Jerusalem University Professor Reuven FIRESTONE Professor- Medieval Judaism and Islam- Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion Madame Arlette FONTAN Professor in Philosophy and ISTR co-founder Rabbin François GARAÏ Rabbi at Geneva Monsieur Mamadou GASSAMA President of the AMISF of Sarcelles Chief Rabbi Josef GLIKSBERG Chief Rabbi of Givataym Monsieur Gadi GOLAN Israel Ambassador Rabbi Doctor Alon GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN Director of the Elijah Institute Sayyed el Cheikh Abd al-Wadoud GOURAUD Imam of Milan Al-Wahid Mosque Rabbi Irving Yitz GREENBERG President, Jewish life Network/ Steinhardt Foundation Rabbin Marc Raphaël GUEDJ President of the interreligious Foundation Racines et sources " " Monsieur Le Grand Rabbin Albert GUIGUI Chief Rabbi of Bruxelles Samahet el Mufti Saleh HABIMANA Mufti of Rwanda Rabbi Menachem HACOHEN Chief Rabbi of Romania Mr Chief Rabbi Rabbi Yosefe HADANE Chief Rabbi of Ethiopian Jews in Israel Mr Avner HARAMATI Facilitator Madame Gita HAZANI Co-director of the Mosaica Center for Inter Religious Cooperation Professor Abdelwahab HECHICHE Professor at Tempa University Madame Tania HEIDSIECK Theologist, searcher in biblic and koranic hermeneutic Sheikh Hamad HILMI Imam of Kfar Ilout Professor Ephraim ISAAC Director of Semitic Studies Institute Jamal ISSA OLP press Office Mr Safder JAFFER Actuary and Chairman of the Islamic Education Board, World Federation Islamic Center Sayyed el Sheikh Syed Agha JAFRI Shia Muslim Community Leader Rabbi Shmuel JAKOBOVITS Director of the jakobovits Torah Institute Contemporary issues Rabbi Howard JOSEPH Rabbi of Spanish Portuguese Synagogue in Montreal Monsieur Hammadi KADDOURI vice-president of the Muslims Federation of Sarcelles Mrs Patricia KAHANE Rabbi Doctor Elie KAHN Head of the Ein Hanetziv Yeshiva Sayyed Nadeem Abbas KAZMI Head of International Development Professor Dr Mahmud Erol KILIC Professor of Sufism at Marmara University Imam KONE IDRISS KOUDOUSS President of the Imams National Conseluor Monsieur Ahmed KOSTAS Regional Delegate for Islamic Affairs in Rabat, Morocco Doctor Esmail KOUSHANPOUR Emeritus Professor, Northwestern University- Executive Director of the Islamic Cultural Center, Northbrook. Mr. Daniel KROPF Facilitator Rabbin Rivon Richard KRYGIER Rabbi of the Massorti Community of Paris, Adath Shalom. Mr Chief Rabbi David Baruch LAU Chief Rabbi of Modiin Rabbi Binnyamin LEHMAN Rabbi of the Har Etzion Yeshiva Chief Rabbi Joseph LEVI Rabbi of Florence Professor Barry LEVY Dean, Faculty of Religious Studies- McGill University Rabbi Ronen LUBITCH Rabbi of Nir-Etzion Hojat al-Islam Muhammad MAHALLATI Yarshater Research FellowFormer Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran in U.N. Sayyed el Cheikh Yacob MAHI Professor or islamics religious at Athénée Royal Léonardo da Vinci Brussel's Sheikh Ghassan MANASRA Co- Director Mosaica center for Inter-religious Cooperation Sayyed el Sheikh Saliou MBACKE Inter Faith Action for Peace in Africa Mr. Eliyahu MCLEAN Pursuer of Peace, Interfaith advisor of the Sulha Peace Project Mr Chief Rabbi Michael MELCHIOR Chief Rabbi of Norway Mr Chief Rabbi Bent MELCHIOR Chief Rabbi of Denmark Sayyed el Cheikh Dahou MESKINE General Secretary of the Council of French Imams Sayyed el Cheikh Mohamed Slaheddinne MESTAOUI Tunisian Deputy, Member of the High Islamic Council Mr Edward MILLER Chairman of the project Vision of Abraham Monsieur Emile MOATI General delegate of Abraham brotherhood Dr. Kamran MOFID Researcher/Consultant on Globalisation and Inter_ faith Dialogue Sheikh Ali Bin Hj MOHAMED Member council of Islamic Religious Council of Singapore Dr. Muhammad MUQODDAS Chairman of Muhammadiyah University Sheikh Yussuf MURIGU Vice Chairman of Supreme Muslim Council of Kenya Sheikh Abdishukur NARMATOV Imam of Mosque in 7th micro-region in Bishkek; President of "Altyn-Muun" foundation Doctor Mitkal NATOUR Lawyer specialsed in Islamic Affairs Mr. President Adamou NDAM NJOYA Plenipotentiary Minister / M.P. Amb Mayor of Foumbah Sheikh Ahmed Khalifa NIASSE Vice President of National Assembly of Sénégal Reverend Dr. Vladimir NIKIFOROV University Chaplain and Lecturer in Ethics Doctor Evgueni NOVIKOV Researcher, Senior Fellow for the Islamist Project, Center for Security Policy Sayyed el Sheikh Rakhmatilla OBIDOV Main Imam-khatib of Shaykhontahur district H.R.H. Honorable Justice Abdulkadir ORIRE Executive Secretary General of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam Dr Abdulaziz OTHMAN ALTWAIJRI General (ISESCO) Monsieur Marc Alain OUAKNIN President of the association "Des Penseurs dans la Cite " Associate Professor at the Bar Ilan University(departement of comparative litterature) Cheikh Tareq OUBROU Imam of Bordeaux H.E. Mr Alvaro OZORES Special Spanish Ambassador to World Jewry Sheikh Yahya Sergio Yahe PALLAVICINI Vice-president of the Islamic Religious Community of Italy (COREIS Italiens) Sheikh Abdalwahid -Felice PALLAVICINI Sheikh and President of the Islamic Religious Community (CO.RE.IS)of Italy Rabbi Salomo PAPPENHEIM Director of educational Institution Madame Fariba PETERS-HACHTROUDRI President of the Moha Association Boris PINCUS President of the American Association of Central Asian and Caucasian Countries Mr. Alberto QUATTRUCCI Secr. Gen. for Interreligious Dialogue and Public Events- Sant'Egidio. Mr Bashy QURAISHY Chairman of the European Network Against Racism Mr Chief Rabbi Shmuel RABINOWITZ Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites in Israel His Holiness Sri Sri RAVI SHANKAR Director of the International Association for Human Values Mr Kamel RAYAN Head of the Aqsa association Javier Herman Lopez ROJAS Sheikh Abdu-samad ROMERO ROMAN Director of the Faculty of Andalusian Studies Chief Rabbi David Shlomo ROSEN International Director of Interreligious Affaires at the Jewish Commitee. International President, World Conference, Religions for Peace Rabbi Naftali ROTHENBERG Rabbi of Har Adar Rabbi Chaim Zwi ROZWASKI Rabbi RD of the Jewish Community of Berlin Imam Dr. Abduljalil SAJID Imam of Brigthon Monsieur Le Grand Rabbin Abba SAMOUN Chief Rabbi of Troyes and Champagne-Ardennes Directeur Kharis SAUBYANOV Adninstration of Rassia Mufties Council Sheikh Talal SEDIR Palestinian authority representative for interreligious affairs Monsieur Abraham SÉGAL Rabbin Michel SERFATY Rabbi of Ris Orangis Delegate of the French Consistoire for Inter-religious Affairs Mr Daniel SHEK Chairman of BIOCOM Rabbi Abraham SHERMAN Member of Hight Rabinical Court of Jerusalem Mr Sydney SHIPTON Co-ordinator of the three faiths forum Mr Chief Rabbi Shlomo SHLUSH Chief Rabbi of Haifa and president of rabbinical Court of Haifa Grand Rabbin René Samuel SIRAT Director of the Unesco Chair for Inter-religious dialogues Professeur Faouzi SKALI LAMI anthropologiste,Doctor in Religious Sciences Grand Rabbin Ari Abraham SMADJA Rabbi of Ramat Shlomo Rabbi Awraham Shalom SOETENDORP President- European Region- world union of progressive Judaism Rabbi Daniel SPERBER President of the Institute for Higher Torah Education at Bar Ilan University Docteur Adolphe STEG Representant for the Rotschild Foundation Rabbi Alvin M. SUGARMAN Rabbi Rabbin Claude SULTAN Rabbi of Troyes, Director of the rabbinic Institute of Troyes, France Monsieur David SUSSKIND Honor Chairman of the laïc jewish communitary center of Belgia Docteur Ahmed TAOUFIQ Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs Sir Aaron TAPPER Co-Executive Director Abraham's Vision Monsieur Luc TAYART DE BORMS Director of the Baudoin Foundation Hervé (Haroun) TEBOUL Mr Omer Faruk TURAN Monsieur Ahmed Abd al-Sabur TURRINI General Director of CO.RE.IS Monsieur Bernard UGEUX Director of the I.S.T.R. of Toulouse Doctor Muhammad Suheyl UMAR Director of the Iqbal Academy Pakistan Rabbi Alan UNTERMAN Synagogue Minister and University Lecturer in Religious Studies Jean VANIER Dr. William F. VENDLEY Secretary General of world conference of religious for Peace Professor Gian Piero Ahmad Abd-al Waliyy VINCENZO Director of cultural services for the CO.RE.IS Catherine VON FLUE Professor Akhtarul WASEY Hony. Director, Dr Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia Madame la Directrce Karen WEISBLATT Directrice du "TransAtlantic Institute in Brussels Rabbi Eliezer WEISZ Rabbi of Emer Hefer Canon Andrew WHITE Head of the Coventry Cathedral Center for Peace and reconcilliation Mr Oded WIENER Director General of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Ambassador Ali YAHYA Director project for Peace Mr Chief Rabbi Hadad YESHOUA Chief Rabbi of the Sepharadic communauty of Milano Monsieur Mohamed YOUSSEF General secretary of the High Counsel of Ulama in Morocco Rabbi Efraïm ZELMANOVITCH Chief Rabbi of Mazkeret Batia Sheikh Mouhamed ZIBDEH Islamic Judge in Jerusalem Rabbi David ZILBERSHLAG President of social organization for needy people Sheikh Kadi Dawoud ZINI Judge of Akko
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