NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder and Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa elevated their interfaith partnership in a private briefing with U.N. chief António Guterres, and urged him to advocate for religious freedom and an end to violence against houses of worship.
Immediately after the Tuesday briefing at the United Nations, Amb. Lauder and Dr. Al-Issa also renewed their commitment to working together to promote religious tolerance around the globe, leveraging their influence as leaders of independent, global organizations that are apolitical but wield significant moral standing.
Sharing their vision and concerns with Guterres, the pair urged the U.N. secretary-general to promote interfaith dialogue and coexistence as a way to forge consensus on many of the world’s greatest challenges. They emphasized that religions have a unique power to unite individuals given their common source in mercy and peace.
“Campaigns against racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and other manifestations of hate will be infinitely more effective if they are united, both by the Abrahamic faiths and other religions worldwide,” Amb. Lauder said. “We must all stand together against racism. We believe in working toward a better world, for generations to come.”
“The world is under threat from pernicious individuals and groups that seek to use hatred, violence and discrimination to target Muslims, Jews and many other global communities,” said Dr. Al-Issa. “Fortunately, however, we are seeing interfaith partnerships blossom more than ever before as we unite to fight the scourge of racism and extremism, and build bridges of tolerance, understanding, peace and harmony.”
On Oct. 4, the World Jewish Congress and the Muslim World League issued a historic joint statement before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, pledging an interfaith commitment to promoting and protecting human rights for all. It marked the first time a coordinated statement was presented by Jewish and Muslim representative groups before a U.N. body.
At that time, the two faith groups reiterated the need to safeguard religious freedom globally and the right of individuals to practice their religion as a basic human right.
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