The Muslim World League will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Jews to build interreligious harmony, said its Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa, who received an award for his efforts to combat anti-Semitism while attending a virtual conference from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.
“We in the Muslim World League are proud to should to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters to build understanding, respect, love and interreligious harmony,” said Sheikh al-Issa, who was speaking at a virtual conference organized by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement and the American Sephardi Federation.
Sheikh al-Issa also condemned anti-Semitic hate crimes across the globe, including the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the 2019 synagogue shooting in Halle, Germany.
“Your community has tragically been the target of several terrorist attacks. In Pittsburgh; in San Diego; in Munsey, New York; in Halle, Germany. I condemned each and every one of these horrible assaults upon humanity. As if they were attacks on Muslims,” he said.
The #MuslimWorldLeague stands in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters to combat anti-Semitism and foster understanding, respect & love. @AmericanSephard @CombatASemitism pic.twitter.com/lLx1R2vueA— Muslim World League (@MWLOrg_en) June 10, 2020
Sheikh al-Issa was also presented with the first-ever Combat Anti-Semitism Award for his contributions towards countering extremism & combating anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of religious hatred, according to the Muslim World League on Twitter.
HE Dr. #MohammadAlissa is honored to accept the first-ever Combat Anti-Semitism Award for his contributions towards countering extremism & combating anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of religious hatred. @CombatASemitism @AmericanSephard— Muslim World League (@MWLOrg_en) June 9, 2020
His comments attracted further praise from the director of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, who drew a contrast between Sheikh al-Issa’s comments and the anti-Israel comments made by Iranian leader Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“At a time when Iran’s spiritual leader calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, the Sheikh’s statements condemning the hatred of Jews are of particular importance, especially given the scrutiny he often faces,” said Roytman-Dratwa.
The Muslim World League is a pan-Islamic nongovernmental organization based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It was founded by Saudi Arabia's King Faisal bin Abdulaziz and represents the fifty states of the Islamic world. The Kingdom is the leading funding contributor.
Muslim World League interfaith activities
Since 2016, the Muslim World League has been praised for working to combat extremist ideology.
In January, Sheikh al-Issa led an interfaith delegation to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial site in Poland to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp by Soviet forces. The camp was a major site of the Holocaust, in which Nazi German authorities killed around 6 million Jews.
“Islamic principals are not double-standard. It condemns and denounces every crime and every evil. We are advocates for peace. We believe in peace. This high-level delegation of Muslim scholars from different countries and from different sects has come to say that our religion is one of peace, one of mercy and one which fights evil,” Sheikh al-Issa said at the time.
In August, Sheikh al-Issa spoke at the annual Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples conference in Italy, where he met European religious and political leaders.
The 2019 meeting promoted intercultural dialogue and tolerance and was the first to be attended by an Islamic organization.
History in the making: The most senior Islamic figure ever to visit @AuschwitzMuseum, Secretary General of @MWLOrg_en Dr. Al-Issa, begins his visit, accompanied by Muslim leaders from around the world and AJC leadership, to mark 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi camp. pic.twitter.com/43fxxJANSE— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) January 23, 2020
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