World Jewish Congress Delegation Meets with Leader of Russia's Muslim Community; Grand Mufti Stresses Importance of Dialogue
World Jewish Congress Delegation Meets with Leader of Russia's Muslim Community
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MOSCOW, May 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The leader of Russia's Muslim community and Grand Mufti of the Russian Federation, Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, today underlined the need for dialogue between the three "Abrahamic" religions. In a meeting held today with a delegation of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) in his offices at Moscow's Cathedral Mosque, Sheikh Gainutdin welcomed initiatives aimed at fostering mutual respect, peace and understanding between the religions, both in Russia and throughout the world.
Speaking on behalf of the Jewish delegation, Rabbi Israel Singer, Chairman of the WJC Policy Council, thanked Sheikh Gainutdin for his kind invitation and said that both the Muslim and the Jewish communities were minorities in Russia and suffered from Islam-phobia and anti-Semitism. They therefore had to engage in a joint effort to combat racism. Both sides also emphasized the importance of the upcoming Jewish-Muslim forum in June (in Moscow) and of a meeting of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders organized by the Russian-Orthodox Patriarchate, which is to be held shortly before the G8 summit of world leaders in July.
The WJC delegation included Rabbi Israel Singer chairman of WJC Policy Council, Secretary General Stephen E. Herbits and Matthew Bronfman, member of the WJC Budget and Finance Commission. President Alexander Machkevitch and Secretary General Mikhail Chlenov participated in the meeting on behalf of the EAJC. Sheikh Dr. Farid Asadullin, the Russian Muslim community's Director of Public Affairs, also attended.
The WJC delegation has traveled to Moscow to take part in an education program for younger Jews from the former Soviet Union countries, to be held this weekend. Approximately 20 million Muslims and up to a million Jews live in Russia. Both communities have suffered repeatedly from racially motivated attacks. At the meeting today, the two sides agreed that inter-religious dialogue was a way to provide a powerful example to followers of the various faiths to refrain from attacking each other.
About the World Jewish Congress:
The World Jewish Congress is the international federation of Jewish communities representing Jewish communities around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to world governments and international organizations.