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UN chief receives Muslim World League secretary-general in NY

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on Sunday received Dr. Mohammed al-Issa, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL), at the UN headquarters in New York City, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

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“The two sides held an expanded meeting that dealt with the initiative presented by Dr. al-Issa to strengthen international efforts to confront hatred and protect places of worship around the world through diverse and effective programs,” SPA reported.

Al-Issa extended his thanks and appreciation to Guterres for the “great support he showed for the initiative,” according to SPA.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres receives Dr. Mohammed al-Issa, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) at the UN headquarters in New York City, (SPA)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres receives Dr. Mohammed al-Issa, the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) at the UN headquarters in New York City, (SPA)

MWL is an international non-governmental Islamic organization based in the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

According to the organization, it “aims to present the true Islam and its tolerant principles, provide humanitarian aid, extend bridges of dialogue and cooperation with all, engage in positive openness to all cultures and civilizations, follow the path of centrism and moderation to realize the message of Islam and ward off movements calling for extremism, violence and exclusion for a world full of peace, justice and coexistence.”

Interfaith efforts

Al-Issa, the organization’s secretary-general, is a leading global voice on moderate Islam. He is committed to “bringing global awareness to the religion’s true message of empathy, understanding and cooperation among all people,” according to his website.

Al-Issa visited Auschwitz in January 2020 for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp. The Auschwitz Museum declared it the most senior Islamic delegation ever to visit.

He has been recognized by the American Jewish Committee, the American Sephardi Federation and the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement for his leadership and initiatives to combat anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and hate speech around the world.

Al-Issa met Pope Francis in 2017 to forge a first of its kind agreement between MWL and the Vatican.

According to his website, in 2019 al-Issa led representatives of the Abrahamic religions in France in signing an agreement for peace and solidarity, and held a conference on reconciliation in Sri Lanka to heal inter-religious divides.

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