The International Islamic Conference for Dialogue organized by the The Muslim World League concluded its three day event on Friday. According to an English language statement issued at the end of the conference:
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques inaugurated the conference with comprehensive speech in which thanked the Ulama and intellectuals of the Ummah participating in this conference and confirmed that they are meeting today to say to the whole world around us that we are voice of justice and ethical human values and that we are a voice of co-existence as well as just and wise dialogue and that we are also a voice of wisdom, exhortation and argument with what is best in compliance with the verse “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with them and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious ” Quran 16:125
This assertion is not supported by a pre-conference MWL statementabout the conference which said:
The forum will affirm that dialogue between Muslims and [the other]nations is one of the issues Muslims need in order to resist the misrepresentation that Islam and its symbols face and the frattles circulated against it through media campaigns being fedded by the enemies of the Nation, especially World Zionism.
That the effort at interfaith dialogue is not intended for the Jewish community is supported by a Western media report on the conference:
There were signs that dialogue with other believers, specifically Jews, would be problematic. Several clerics, including the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said it was almost impossible to talk to them because of the situation in the occupied territories. “How can you negotiate with someone who is against you all the time? They seem to be against us in every way so I don’t know how we’re supposed to have dialogue.” Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi said he would only talk to Jews who denounced Zionism and he urged Muslims to talk to Buddhists, Hindus and atheists. His impromptu speech, lasting 15 minutes, garnered the loudest applause, proving his popularity among fellow clerics even if the west views him with suspicion.
A number of other important individuals from the global Muslim Brotherhood were reportedin attendance at the conference and having met with the MWL Secretary-General. These included:
- Muzammil Siddiqi (Islamic Society of Southern California)
- Nihad Awad (Council on American Islamic Relations
- Jamal Badawi (Islamic Society of North America, Council on American Islamic Relations)
Siddiqi and Awad are particularly close to Saudi Arabia. Siddiqi is a former director of the MWL office in the U.S. and CAIR has received substantial funding from Saudi sources with Awad having paid multiple visits to Saudi Arabia.
Also attending from the European Brotherhood was Fouad al Barazi, leader of the Muslim Association of Denmark and Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric who, as a previous post reported, was scheduled to preside over the third session of the conference. Another important Brotherhood figure in attendance was Egyptian Zaghloul el-Naggar who has been extensively profiled in an early post. El-Naggar is best known for asserting that the Koran contains numerous “signs” foretelling later scientific developments.
For the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the conference, see the closing statement.