Skip to comments.No Tolerance For Anti-Zionist In Madrid [Saudi circus throws out Neturei Karta clowns]
Posted on 07/17/2008 1:16:55 PM PDT by Alouette
U.S. imam calls for Neturei Karta ban at Saudi-run interfaith conference.
by Walter Ruby Special to The Jewish Week
Madrid A top American Muslim leader and American Jewish groups formed an unlikely alliance this week against a fiercely anti-Zionist chasidic group at an interfaith conference in Madrid, spearheaded by Saudi Arabias King Abdullah. Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America, said he was upset by the planned participation in the conference, which opened this week, of Rabbi Yisrael Dovid Weiss, a representative of Neturei Karta from upstate Monsey. Rabbi Weiss was to be the only Jewish leader to address the gathering sponsored by the Saudi-affiliated Muslim World League.
Syeed said he immediately called Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to the U.S., to complain about the Neturei Karta invitation. I told the ambassador that we strongly protested the invitation, which was not only an affront to our friends in the Jewish community, but to us as well. Syeeds organization, considered one of the most influential Muslim groups in North America, has instituted joint programming in the past several years with Jewish groups like the Union for Reform Judaism and Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
Jewish leaders invited to the conference had also threatened to boycott it if Weiss who gained notoriety by speaking at a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran two years ago were invited to speak in Madrid. Organizers of this weeks conference finally announced that Rabbi Weiss would not be among the speakers, and had decided not to attend the conference. He was replaced as principal Jewish speaker by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, spiritual leader of Park East Synagogue in Manhattan and founder of the interfaith Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
Al-Jubeir did not return calls seeking comment.
Rabbi Marc Schneier, Rabbi Arthur Schneiers son, whose Foundation for Ethnic Understanding recently filmed a television commercial in cooperation with ISNA that featured rabbis and imams denouncing Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, praised Syeeds courageous stand.
It is inspirational when a Muslim leader steps forward in support of Jews, Rabbi Marc Schneier said.
The Madrid conference, designed by King Abdullah to build ties with other religions and counter the image of Islam as prone to extremism, is the first-such interfaith event initiated by the Saudi government. Three days long, it was to draw 200 religious leaders from around the world, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. During a speech last month in Mecca to a world conference of Muslim religious leaders, King Abdullah expressed alarm that Islams image is being tarnished by extremists. He urged delegates to face the challenge of isolation, ignorance and narrow horizons so that the world can absorb the good message of Islam.
The Saudi government apparently decided to hold the conference outside of the country because of opposition to interfaith dialogue by Saudi Arabias conservative religious leadership.
In addition to the two Schneiers, the Jewish delegation was to include such leaders as Rabbi David Rosen, Jerusalem-based chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultation (IJCIC); World Jewish Congress Secretary General Michael Schneider; Rabbi Michael Paley, director of the Jewish Resource Center of UJA-Federation of New York; and Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld, president of the National Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL). Rosen, who also serves as International Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, said he regretted that other Israeli religious figures were not invited, but Israels Foreign Ministry and Chief Rabbinate supported his decision to participate.
Simon Henderson, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies specializing in Saudi and Gulf Affairs, called the Madrid conference simply a PR effort for King Abdullah which will give a misleading picture of the state of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.
Pointing to Saudi discrimination against women and suppression of freedom of speech, Henderson said that participants in the conference world religious leaders are recognizing a Saudi view of the world and Saudi leadership of Islam. I dont think Wahabism [the austere form of Sunni Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia] is something we should endorse, Henderson said.
Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum, said he considers the Madrid conference a very hopeful step forward for which King Abdullah is to be applauded. It strikes me as a potential breakthrough in Jewish relations with Saudi Arabia that may eventually include Israel. He added, It is true that Saudi Arabia is far from a perfect society in terms of its treatment of women and human rights abuses, but we have to deal with people in the Arab world as they are.n
Walter Ruby is attending the Madrid Interfaith Conference in his capacity as Muslim-Jewish Relations program officer of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
Nutter Karta are not the only clowns at this circus.
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
I cracked up when I heard about this.
Of course, there’s no way the Saudis could have such a conference in their Kingdom! Even the King couldn’t have gotten the visa waivers.
They gotta go to Spain!
The Neturei Karta crew and Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist “Church” ought to be locked up in the same cage. They’ll never admit it, of course, but they’re all adherents of the same religion.
Great minds think alike :-)
And what Muslims are to Islam.
Nutter Karta are not the only clowns at this circus.
Any "interfaith conference" is a joke.
The muzzies used to welcome NK. That they're now excluding them in order to create a favorable impression in the mainstream Jewish community is only slightly less bizarre than the fact that some Jews are buying it.