Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious leaders gather for Ramadan lunch

For the second year in a row, ambassadors from around the world and members of Congress took part on Wednesday in the national interfaith event Iftar, breaking the daily fast of Ramadan, calling on communities to build bridges of friendship, to s’ unite and overcome anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, other forms of hatred and intolerance.
The event was organized by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) and the American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council (AMWEC), also featured numerous religious leaders such as imams, rabbis, priests and other Muslim, Jewish, Hindu religious leaders, Zoroastrian and Christian communities.
Together they celebrated their various religious traditions, pledged to improve interfaith cooperation and work together in the fight against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of intolerance.

“This event brings together people of all faiths and nationalities. Such events bring us closer to God and to each other, ”said Valentina Leskaj, former Albanian government minister and member of the CAM advisory board.

“Unfortunately, today we see more hatred in the world. We need to look at the roots of the problem – ignorance and lack of education, “she said, adding that” we need to invest more in education, towards tolerance and respect. It is for the future of our children and for everyone, whether they are Muslims, Jews or Christians. “

“Last year a dark cloud hovered over us. We were cut off from our communities, “added Anila Ali, co-founder and president of AMWEC.” From this adversity came an opportunity for all of us … the pandemic forced us to reflect on our lives, to be much more compassionate. Coming together as one is necessary. ”

She went on to say that Ramadan is a reminder that the differences between [us] are actually quite small and that “the things we can do together are great”.

Stressing the importance of gender equality, Stavros Lambrianidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, said that “empowered women build autonomous societies, filling black holes where extremists sow fear, hatred and division. “

The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, noted that “the Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers, it started with hate speech and prejudice,” adding that “interreligious engagement helps to know one another and to build friendship. These activities are so important in a world of growing intolerance ”

US Congressman Ted Deutch also stressed the importance for everyone to “fight against all forms of bigotry and create awareness and acceptance that gives Americans of all faiths the freedom and security to celebrate openly. their heritage and culture ”.

“This iftar is a fantastic reminder of the similarities we hold dear. This iftar comes at an important time – As we recover from this past year and look forward to life back to normal, “said US Congressman Lee Zeldin.” But there is still a long way to go . Ethnic hatred and xenophobia are on the rise. “

“We must show how hatred can be overcome through interfaith cooperation and the reduction of cultural divisions,” he said, adding that the recent Abrahamic accords between Israel and a number of Muslim countries are one of them. “An inspiring example”.


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