US: European imams, rabbis on interfaith tour
Imams and rabbis from across Europe are touring interfaith centers in the US to learn from the track record of success of their American counterparts in fostering inter-religious dialogue and Muslim-Jewish relations.
"Our success in America has given us the faith and confidence to reach out to Europe," Sayyid Mohammad Syeed, national director of interfaith and community alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of three hosts for the tour, told the Washington Times on Monday, July 20.
"We need them to witness firsthand what we are doing. I have been working toward this all my life."
Twenty eight imams and rabbis from 10 European countries will be touring interfaith centers and meetings American counterparts and experts in interfaith relations.
The aim is to get ideas and instructions on breaking new ground on Muslim-Jewish relations in their societies.
They will begin their visits on Monday in New York, where they will meet Imam Mohammad Shamsi Ali, head of the Islamic Cultural Center who will talk about the experience of New York's largest mosque.
During their two days in New York, the European imams and rabbis will also meet prominent political, civic and religious leaders, and be hosted by the United Nations.
They will then travel to Washington, where they will be received by Muslim congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson and two leaders of the unofficial Congressional Jewish Caucus, Jerrold Nadler and Robert Wexler.
The delegation will also visit an exhibit at the US Holocaust Museum.
In addition to ISNA, the tour is also sponsored by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), a national organization dedicated to strengthening ties between ethnic and religious communities in North America.
Source: Islam Online (English)