How Muslims and Jews Can Combat Anti-Semitism Together

June 16, 2020

Last week on June 9, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) and the American Sephardi Federation (ASF) hosted a first-of-its-kind interfaith event called “How Muslims and Jews Can Combat Anti-Semitism Together: A Dialogue with Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa.” The full video recording of the event can be found below:

During this historic live studio ceremony, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa became the first-ever recipient of CAM and ASF’s annual Combat Anti-Semitism Award, bestowed upon Muslim leaders engaged in the fight against Anti-Semitism.

Speaking from Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa was recognized for uniting people of all faiths and publicly denouncing Holocaust denial, acts of anti-Semitism, and religious extremism. Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa’s extraordinary efforts were recognized in a video tribute that can be viewed here.

A diverse panel of leaders spanning the globe, helped amplify Sheikh Al-Issa’s crucial message by praising his efforts and offering insights on how to defeat anti-Semitism and religious intolerance. The panel included:

  • Sam Brownback, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
  • Elan S. Carr, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
  • Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
  • Mark Wilf, Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federations of North America
  • Malcolm Hoenlein William Daroff of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Besiana Kadare, Albania’s Ambassador to the UN
  • Laziza Dalil & Elmehdi Boudra, Vice President & President of Association Mimouna
  • Rabbi Elie Abadie, MD, ASF Board Member
  • Jason Guberman, Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation

In his special address, Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa outlined his vision for a future in which Muslims and Jews collaborate to defeat anti-Semitism and bigotry, saying:

Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa condemned anti-Semitic attacks and other hate crimes, saying “Your community has tragically been the target of several terrorist attacks. In Pittsburgh; San Diego; Monsey; Halle, Germany. I condemned each one of these horrible assaults upon humanity, as if they were attacks on Muslims.”

During the ceremony, Jews who have been impacted by anti-Semitism, as well as members of other faiths, expressed gratitude to Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa for his work and congratulated him for receiving the prestigious Combat Anti-Semitism Award, in a moving video that can be watched here:

Ambassador Brownback said, “If we can get the three Abrahamic faiths to work together not just in tolerance, but in love, respect and care for each other…This would ripple throughout out the world in such a positive way.”

Special Envoy Carr asked, ‘What kind of Middle East are we going to choose? A Middle East of terror and exclusion, or a Middle East of inclusion? Sheikh Al-Issa has chosen a future of tolerance and affection, where Jews and Christians can be embraced by their Muslim brethren.”

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief noted that:

Besiana Kadare, Albania’s Ambassador to the UN said: “The longstanding tradition of religious tolerance is our national treasure in Albania. Albanian Muslims & Christians alike considered rescuing Jews a matter of Albanian pride. As such, every member of our Jewish community survived the Holocaust.”

CAM recognizes that anti-Semitism can only be defeated by working together. Through building warm and genuine relationships with Jewish communities around the world, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa has demonstrated that there is real hope in this fight. We hope that the Sheikh’s strong example encourages more Muslim voices to be heard against the hatred of Jews. Together we can build a more peaceful world for the next generation.