In April 2019, American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Muslim World League (MWL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) witnessed and supported by the Centre for Responsible Leadership. The first point of agreement in the MOU was a joint visit to AuschwitzBirkenau to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nazi-German camp’s liberation.
On January 23, 2020, dozens of Muslim dignitaries from Saudi Arabia and a score of other countries, led by the MWL’s Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa, joined AJC leaders, including AJC CEO David Harris, AJC President Harriet Schleifer, AJC Director of International Interreligious Affairs Rabbi David Rosen, Secretary-General of the Centre for Responsible Leadership Bawa Jain, and other senior leaders, in a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The media was there in droves to cover what was the most senior Muslim delegation ever to visit a Nazi concentration camp. Coverage ranged from The New York Times to The Washington Post, from BBC to CNN, from Al-Arabia to Arab News. This comprehensive report lists the international media coverage of the visit in detail.
The delegation stood to bear witness of the horrors that took place at Auschwitz. One of the most moving sights took place in Birkenau (aka Auschwitz II), when the MWL delegation held a prayer and memorial service near the gas chambers and crematoria.
The delegation also traveled to Warsaw to visit the Polin Museum of the History of Jews of Poland, the Tatarska Street Mosque, and the Nozyk synagogue, at which H.E. Dr. Al-Issa addressed a large group in the sanctuary, and then gathered in the Royal Castle for an interfaith and festive Shabbat dinner.
Guests at the Shabbat dinner included the Catholic Primate of Poland and leaders of other Christian communities, the Polish Foreign Minister, the Speaker of the Senate, the Polish President’s Secretary of State, the ambassadors of Australia, Canada, and Germany, and the Chief Rabbi of Poland and other local Jewish representatives.
Coverage of the event - New York Jewish Week
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