Muslim World League chief responds to attacks after participation in Jewish forum
The Muslim World League’s interactions with Jewish people are religious in nature, not political or related to Israel, the head of the Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa said Wednesday in an interview with Al Arabiya.
Some people have taken to social media to criticize the MWL for attending the American Jewish Committee virtual global forum’s on Sunday, due to the inclusion of Israeli officials.
“The Muslim World League did not participate in any forums with Israeli officials. We deal with religion followers completely away from politics,” said Al-Issa, adding that the organization does not deal with any people “who caused harm to Muslims.”
“No one is looking to merge religions”
The remarks come after an Al Jazeera television host accused Al-Issa of calling for a new merged religion between the faiths.
“Each religion has its own beliefs and will not agree to any doctrine other than its own. Otherwise, religions would become one,” al-Issa said, discrediting the accusations.
Last week Al-Issa received the first ever Combat Anti-Semitism Award from the American Sephardi Federation and during the virtual ceremony he pledged to fight “the scourge” of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
“In the Muslim League we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish and Christian brothers and sisters to build understanding, respect, love, and interreligious harmony,” said al-Issa in the ceremony on June 9.
Days later, Al Jazeera television host Ahmed Mansour tweeted the clip of remarks, accusing Al-Issa of calling for a new merged religion between the faiths.
“The Secretary-General of the Jewish-Muslim World League calls for a new religion?!” Mansour tweeted on Monday.
Al Jazeera's incitement against any act of toleration towards non-Muslims in the Middle East is a serious problem and needs to be a key component in any U.S. conversation with Qatar https://t.co/umJCH7sAJR— Samuel Tadros (@Samueltadros) June 15, 2020
American Jewish Rabbi Marc Schneier, who has paired up with Al-Issa and the MWL for a global Muslim-Jewish program, called the critique of MWL “foolish and outright dumb.”
“No one is looking to merge religions. Interfaith harmony doesn’t mean we have to merge religions. That’s ridiculous,” said Schneier in an interview with Al Arabiya English.
“Dr. Al-Issa has been working with several Jewish based organizations for 18 months in terms of advancing and strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations,” he added.
MWL joined forces with Schneier's Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) for the "Season of Twinning Program," which recently brought together rabbis and imams in over 50 events in 35 countries to focus on interreligious dialogue.
The Muslim World League is an international non-governmental Islamic organization based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1962 by Crown Prince Faisal Bin Abdul-Aziz, MWL represents the 50 states of the Islamic world.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the leading contributor member of the Muslim countries funding MWL.