‘An Attack on Judaism Is an Attack on Every Religion’: Muslim World League Denounces Texas Synagogue Hostage-Taking

Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Issa.

January 19, 2022

The Muslim World League (MWL) — the Saudi-based NGO that promotes moderate Islam and tolerant principles — has voiced strong condemnation of last Saturday’s hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, during Shabbat services.

A statement issued on behalf of MWL Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Issa on Tuesday said, “Houses of worship should never become targets for violence. Nor should individuals ever have to fear for their safety for peacefully worshipping their Creator.”

“An attack on Judaism is an attack on every religion,” the statement declared. “Every faith has an unwavering and natural right to peaceful coexistence.”

“The MWL remains steadfast in its support to our Jewish brothers and sisters, and sees the importance of cooperation between our faiths as critical to advancing a more tolerant and harmonious world,” it added.

“This act of violence only represents the perpetrator,” the MWL noted, referring to 44-year-old British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, who was killed in an exchange of fire with SWAT team members after the hostages fled the synagogue following an 11-hour standoff. “The religion of Islam is one of peace, and true Muslims completely denounce such abhorrent behavior.”

In June 2020, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) honored Al-Issa with its inaugural Combat Anti-Semitism Award in recognition of his efforts to unite people of all faiths and fight religious bigotry, including by publicly denouncing Holocaust denial.

“Whereas Jews and Muslims lived centuries together, in these last decades we have sadly grown apart,” Al-Issa said at the time. “Now we must rebuild the bridges of dialogue and the bonds of partnership between our communities.”

Earlier in 2020, Al-Issa led a delegation of prominent Muslim leaders from around the globe on an unprecedented visit to the site of the former Auschwitz death camp in Poland pay their respects to the victims of the Nazis.