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The World Muslim League (MWL) hosted a conference in New York city – on Sept 16th – 17th - focusing on the cultural communication between the United States and the Islamic World. The IFIIE Foundation was invited to participate and to present a paper.  United Nations officials and 450 scholars and practitioners from 56 countries were in attendance.

The conference began on Saturday 16th with a session titled “Civilizational Communication between the United States and the Islamic World”.

    The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul-Karim Al-Issa, stated that the civilized communication between the Islamic world and the United States has a long history of exchange and cooperation “This distinguished civilized relationship over the years has revealed the grave error of the “Clash of Civilizations” theory that was based on stirring up hatred and racism and erecting imaginary barriers,” Al-Issa said.

    “But what is important is our understanding of the need for co-existence and cooperation in the light of this understanding to serve not just mutual interests, but to also serve all humanity, to promote social peace and intellectual security and to defeat evil, while enshrining the concepts of righteousness and charity, all without religious, sectarian, ethnic, distinction,” Al-Issa added.

    For his part, Secretary-General for the World Council of Religious Leaders Dr. Bawa Jain said that the “process requires moving from a stage of accepting the other to one respecting the other”.

“People of the Islamic and American nations are united in the fight to defeat forces of evil,” said Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace.

Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, known for issuing a fatwa against ISIS in 2015, now professor of Islamic studies at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, said that the values of Islam are consistent with the US Constitution.  

    Paola Bernardini, professor of Christian Muslim Encounter at  Holy Cross College ( Notre Dame, USA),   gave a talk on “American Islam: from Assimilation to Integration.” Paola's talk focused on the interplay between public policies and interfaith coexistence in the US, in the last 60 years.

 Also attending the conference were  Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Dr. Yousif bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, also spoke at the conference and said: “We need a comprehensive approach to dialogue between America and Islamic peoples and focus on common values.”

Armando Bernardini President of the Foundation IFIIE spoke about “Common Set of Principles of Conduct in Intercultural Dialogue” which are necessary to diminish the risk of spreading stereotypes and create misunderstandings.

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