Statement Of Latin American And Caribbean Muslim And Jewish Leaders Taking Part In A Joint Mission to Washington, DC March 28, 2012

Statement Of Latin American And Caribbean Muslim And Jewish Leaders Taking Part In A Joint Mission to Washington, DC March 28, 2012

With the help of God, we the Delegation of Latin American and Caribbean Muslim and Jewish Leaders who visited Washington, DC at the invitation of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Islamic Society of North America have agreed on the following principles:

Dialogue and cooperative projects between Muslims and Jews in Latin America, North America and elsewhere in the world are necessary to achieve communication and reconciliation between our communities. We are convinced that sustained and ongoing contacts are vitally important for both the Muslim and Jewish communities in the societies in which we live and for the health and well-being of those societies as a whole.

Dialogue and cooperative projects should be based on mutual understanding and respect for each other’s religions and for the open expression of those beliefs.

We should explore together the commonalities in our faiths and traditions. We affirm here that we respect the sanctity of each other’s houses of worship and will stand together in case of an assault on either a mosque or a synagogue. We also stand in solidarity with each other in affirming that both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are wrong and unacceptable and that we will fight together against them. Bigotry against any Jew or any Muslim is an attack on all Muslims and all Jews. In addition, we are united in support of human rights for all peoples and freedom of religious practices.

We denounce all forms of violence in the name of any religion or ideology and will do everything we can to prevent the spread of extremism in the name of any faith—including our own.

We wish to strengthen our relations by holding regular meetings in grass roots communities as well as high profile international meetings such as the present Mission of Latin American and Caribbean Muslim and Jewish Leaders to Washington, DC.

We shall endeavor to take part in the upcoming 5th Annual Weekend of Twinning on November 16-18, 2012. During that weekend, mosques and synagogues and Muslim and Jewish student, young leadership and women’s groups around the world will join together to hold Muslim-Jewish encounters. FFEU, ISNA and other partners in this endeavor will work with Latin American Muslim and Jewish leaders to help facilitate successful twinning events.

During the Weekend of Twinning and in subsequent meetings between our mosques and synagogues we will seek to identify areas in which our communities can work together and create cooperative projects. Potential areas of cooperation include fighting Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, working together to combat poverty and hunger, ensuring fair treatment of immigrants and refugees, and saving the environment. Local synagogues and mosques may develop their own individual cooperative projects based on conditions in their countries and cities.

We feel sorrow and pain over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the great suffering it has brought to both peoples involved in that conflict. We pray for a non-violent resolution of that conflict that will allow both Palestinians and Israelis to live with dignity in peace and security.

We have resolved to work together to strengthen Muslim-Jewish ties in our own countries and around the world. We will not allow violence in the Middle East or elsewhere in world, such as the recent terrorist attack that claimed the lives of both Jews and Muslims in France, to derail our efforts to strengthen Jewish-Muslim ties in Latin America. We understand that good Muslim-Jewish relations are necessary for the health and well-being of our own communities and our societies.

We aspire to role-model solid Muslim-Jewish relations in our countries and communities. We will show our two peoples and the world that Muslims and Jews can work together fruitfully for the betterment of all, while building ties of friendship and trust. We are convinced this is the most important contribution we can make to bring the day closer for peace in the world.