US delegation lauds Muslim World League’s peace initiatives

17/02/20

MWL chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets US delegation. (Supplied)
  • Al-Issa stressed “MWL’s commitment to fruitful communications with the US in the name of the Islamic Ummah’s scholars and intellectuals in order to achieve common goals”

RIYADH: Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa met with a delegation of the US Congress on Monday.
The delegates appreciated MWL’s global efforts to fight extremism, violence and terrorism and the initiatives the organization has taken to promote dialogue between people of different cultures and to ensure intercultural harmony for the benefit of all mankind.
They also commended MWL’s efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural civilized communication.
Welcoming the delegation, Al-Issa stressed “MWL’s commitment to fruitful communications with the US in the name of the Islamic Ummah’s scholars and intellectuals in order to achieve common goals.”
“Everybody is counting on the relevant religious, intellectual and civil society institutions to contribute to a positive rapprochement between different religions and cultures” to help build an environment of love, cooperation, mutual respect and that rejects rejects all forms of religious and cultural conflicts.
The meeting also discussed issues of common interest in details.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Muslims, Jews make historic joint visit to Auschwitz

25/01/20

The mission, led by the MWL and the American Jewish Committee, is the most senior Islamic leadership delegation to ever visit any Nazi death camp. (Supplied)
  • We not only honor the dead but celebrate the living, says MWL chief.

KRAKOW: Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa and American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris led a ground-breaking visit of Muslim and Jewish delegations to Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp.

Al-Issa, who is based in Makkah, led a delegation of 62 Muslims, including 25 prominent religious leaders, from 28 countries.
According to a press statement, the mission is the most senior Islamic leadership delegation to ever visit any Nazi death camp.
The mission to Auschwitz is a key element of the memorandum of understanding between the AJC and MWL, which was signed by Al-Issa and Harris at the AJC headquarters in New York on April 30, 2019.
The visit occurred just ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camp.
More than 1 million Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz, as well as over 100,000 non-Jewish inmates, among them principally Polish Catholics, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.
“To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” said Al-Issa.
“The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes against humanity. That is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God’s children.”
The AJC delegation of 24 people included its President Harriet Schleifer, her predecessor John Shapiro and his wife Dr. Shonni Silverberg, and Roberta Baruch and Steven Zelkowitz, members of the AJC’s executive council. The parents of Schleifer and Zelkowitz were Holocaust survivors.
“Visiting this sacred place, understanding what transpired at Auschwitz, is vital to preserving the memory of the Jewish, and non-Jewish, victims of the Nazis and striving to ensure that such horrors never happen again,” said Harris, the son of Holocaust survivors.

BACKGROUND

• The mission to Auschwitz is a key element of the memorandum of understanding between the AJC and MWL, which was signed by Al-Issa and Harris at the AJC headquarters in New York on April 30, 2019.

• More than 1 million Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz, as well as over 100,000 non-Jewish inmates, among them principally Polish Catholics, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

“We are deeply moved to be the hosts for such an unprecedented visit. This creates the chance not only to deepen understanding of the unparalleled crime that took place here, but also to build bridges of friendship and cooperation between Muslims and Jews in pursuit of a more humane and safer world for all.”
Each member of the Muslim and Jewish delegations carried a memorial candle and placed it at the monument honoring the more than 1.1 million people murdered at the Nazi camp.
Following the ceremony and memorial prayers for the dead, Al-Issa said: “By paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust, we not only honor the dead but celebrate the living. Throughout the visit, stories of our shared humanity showed through the horror.”
He added: “I was amazed by stories of some individual Muslims who sought to save Jews from the Holocaust at great personal risk in Europe and North Africa. These precious men and women represent the true values of Islam, and today’s visit by the AJC and MWL is made in the spirit of this noble tradition of brotherhood, peace and love.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Muslim World League, Catholic university sign cooperation agreement

21/01/20

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, and UCSC Rector Franco Anelli during the signing of a partnership agreement in Rome. (SPA)

ROME: Upon his recent invitation to the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) presented a lecture on friendship between nations and peoples.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa cited many examples of the positive relationship between the Islamic and Christian worlds, a relationship that has been recently reinforced through increased dialogue between the MWL and the Vatican. He emphasized the importance of cooperation based on mutual values and natural law.

Al-Issa announced the launch of a global initiative that the MWL will be working on to further positive relations across religious and national divides.

He spoke on the value of friendship, lamenting the various factors that threaten bonds between people, including political and religious extremism.

Friendship

Al-Issa praised his friendship with Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, saying he was happy to see him visit Saudi Arabia and meet with King Salman.

Al-Issa and UCSC Rector Franco Anelli signed a partnership agreement between the MWL and the university that aims to develop and improve Arabic-language programs and Arab and Islamic cultural research activities at the university.

In recent years, the Catholic university has undertaken various initiatives to promote Arabic language and culture.

Research

Through this partnership, the MWL and the UCSC seek to enhance research in these fields, with plans to implement theoretical and applied research programs at the university’s Arabic Language Research Center.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Muslim World League chief urges media outlets to stick to impartiality

16/11/19

MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Saturday. (SPA)

  • MWL chief meets government, religious leaders in Utah

UTAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, has arrived in Utah, US, where he was received by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Al-Issa and Herbert met to discuss cooperation and issues of common interest to achieve shared objectives.
Al-Issa also visited the Mormon church in Utah, where he met the leader of the group and discussed ways to promote harmony among followers of different religions and cultures.
The Mormon leader and his assistants hosted a dinner for Al-Issa, in the presence of Utah government members and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Muslim diaspora.
Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles extended his thanks to Al-Issa. “On behalf of our church and the state of Utah, I would like to thank you for your inspiring words calling to promote rapprochement among followers of different religions and cultures and combat hate speech and violent extremism,” he said.
Al-Issa took part in a Deseret News editorial board meeting in Utah, during which he reiterated the need to support rapprochement between nations and peoples and break the barriers built by distance, lack of dialogue and understanding, and false information spread by unreliable sources.
He also spoke about the need to promote moral values such as justice, tolerance and humanitarian work and support the efforts to achieve peace and harmony, especially in multi-religious, cultural and ethnic countries as well as promoting awareness about tolerance and acceptance of diversity and differences.
Al-Issa reviewed the Makkah Document that has achieved, for the first time in Islamic history, consensus among 27 sects and confessions, represented by more than 1,200 Muftis and Muslim scholars. The board praised the document and its importance.
He said that Islam was a tolerant religion that promotes justice, love and respect of diversity, stressing the importance of the media’s role in creating content and influencing public opinion.
Al-Issa urged media outlets to stick to the truth and impartiality to avoid losing credibility and compromising their mission.
On another note, Al-Issa shed light on the Mormons’ experience in humanitarian work, citing the factories and facilities that have been established to provide food, clothes and furniture for the needy in the US.
Al-Issa was invited to visit the University of Utah, where he met its President Kevin Worthen and gave a lecture in the presence of hundreds of students and professors.
Al-Issa said that MWL’s message focused on building bridges and breaking down barriers caused by a lack of dialogue and false information, noting that all followers of religion, cultures and civilizations shared the same moral values that promote justice and harmony.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

Time: July 25, 2019  

Muslim World League Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa meets Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I. (SPA)
  • The agreement also rejects all forms of extremism and hatred

MOSCOW: The Muslim World League (MWL) and the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia signed on Wednesday an agreement to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, as well as a culture of peace and constructive coexistence.

The agreement, which also rejects all forms of extremism and hatred, was co-signed in Moscow by the MWL’s undersecretary of relations and communication, and the head of the Department for External Church Relations.

It was signed in the presence of MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa and Patriarch Kirill I.

The agreement reflects the two sides’ belief in the importance of interreligious dialogue and the role of religious institutions in resolving international conflicts, as well as the desire of Muslims and Christians to promote peaceful and constructive coexistence.

Al-Issa and Kirill I held a historic summit on Wednesday at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

It is considered the largest independent Eastern Orthodox Church, with more than 250 million followers.

The summit, attended by senior religious leaders, included fruitful discussions on issues of mutual interest.

Kirill I said he was “very happy” with Al-Issa’s visit to Russia, noting the significant and enlightened role of the MWL.

“You’re helping many needy people in Asia and Africa, and this is the subject of our deep concern and appreciation,” the patriarch added.

HIGHLIGHT

The agreement covers cooperation between cultures and civilizations; promoting peace and human rights; improving societies’ ethics, academic communication and information exchange; religious minority issues in crisis situations; and media-related matters.

“Owing to your personal contribution to the MWL’s activities, the league has become well-known in the Christian world, which appreciates these remarkable activities,” he said.

“The Orthodox Church has a great network of relations with Islamic societies and communities, and there’s communication with Muslims in our country. The history of Russia has never seen wars or conflicts with Muslims,” Kirill I added.

“Since Orthodox Christians and Muslims belong to the Eastern civilization, we share many commonalities. My job … has made this fact very clear to me.”

Kirill I underscored the Russian people’s unity regardless of religion, sect or ethnicity. “Russia can serve as an example for countries and representatives of faiths and sects,” he said.

Al-Issa said: “I’m happy to visit the Russian Orthodox Church and to meet with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill I, who is known for his outstanding efforts in promoting religious harmony and coexistence as well as love and tolerance.”

Al-Issa added. “We in the MWL, and on behalf of all Muslim people, appreciate the humanitarian and moral efforts of the Orthodox Church, and value its fair feelings toward Islam.”

He said: “We appreciate your describing terrorism as having no religion and stating that Islam … has nothing to do with terrorism.”

He added: “I’ve met with a number of Muslims, especially Muslim scholars in Russia, and they hold great esteem for the Orthodox Church for its efforts to preserve religious harmony, which are appreciated historic efforts.”

Al-Issa said: “The commonalities we share are many, especially the convergence of Eastern culture with its human and moral values.”

He said: “There won’t be a cultural shock between us because we belong to one Eastern culture and have several humanitarian goals.”

Al-Issa said: “With your wisdom, we can promote religious and ethnic cooperation. We, in the Muslim world, believe in your great role and are sure of its importance and impact.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Muslim World League launches relief, development projects in Senegal

22/07/19

  • MWL has distributed more than 1,500 food baskets in Malika and truckloads of food aid to Kolda —  the site of a recent fire

DAKAR: The Muslim World League (MWL) has launched a raft of urgently needed relief projects — including medical facilities — in Senegal.

Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the MWL secretary-general, explained that the organization has distributed more than 1,500 food baskets in Malika, on the outskirts of Dakar, and truckloads of food aid to Kolda —  the site of a recent fire.

Al-Issa said that the MWL’s cataract-treatment program at a Dakar hospital has so far treated hundreds of poor patients, while in Tiyas, the secretary-general laid the cornerstone for the Al-Afiah model dispensary, which will reportedly be the first of its kind in the region and will serve thousands of people in the city and surrounding villages.

Al-Issa also gave the green light to resume construction of the Dar Al-Hikma Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Tiyas.

In a speech toward the end of his tour of Senegal, Al-Issa stressed that Islam dictates that its followers offer aid and services to those in need regardless of their nationality, race or culture.

Recently, Senegalese President Macky Sall honored Al-Issa for his work in promoting moderation and religious and intercultural cooperation around the world.

Sall expressed his gratitude for Al-Issa’s visit, which included staging the MWL’s international conference, and stressed how much his government values the MWL’s programs in Africa.

“What the MWL is doing around the world, particularly in Africa, is an Islamic and humanitarian duty dictated by the values of our noble faith,” Al-Issa said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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