Rabbis, Imams Visit U.S. for Dialogue

July 20, 2009

Author: Julia Duin

Source: The Washington Times


A group of 28 imams and rabbis from 10 European countries arrived in New York and Washington this week for whirlwind visits to interfaith centers to break new ground on Muslim-Jewish relations and combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in each other's communities.

They will receive instructions from teams of American rabbis and imams who will show the Europeans how American-style ecumenism works on the ground. It's the first visit of its kind to involve foreign Muslim and Jewish leaders coming to the U.S., where interreligious ties have a much longer history and track record of success.

"Our success in America has given us the faith and confidence to reach out to Europe," said Sayyid Mohammad Syeed, national director of interfaith and community alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of three hosts for the visit.

"We need them to witness firsthand what we are doing. I have been working toward this all my life."