At American University in Washington, DC, Ambassador Ahmed hosted and interviewed Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and one of the great religious scholars and leaders, to discuss Jewish-Muslim relations and how to improve them. In an interview conducted in the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies office, Rabbi Sacks covered a range of subjects that included Andalusia, La Convivencia or Coexistence, and steps to be taken to build bridges between different religious communities. His words of wisdom need to be heard by all those interested in countering the religious hatred and misunderstanding that are unfortunately so widespread in our times.
After the interview, the two proceeded to the main event of the evening at American University which was to conduct a religious dialogue in front of a capacity crowd of 400 guests. The event was introduced by Professor Pamela Nadell, moderated by Professor Michael Brenner, and concluding remarks were given by Rev. Joseph Eldridge, American University Chaplain, and Senior Rabbi Bruce Lustig of the the Washington Hebrew Congregation. A key element of the evening was a discussion around Lord Sacks’ new book, “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” which has been widely discussed and reviewed since its recent publication. The dialogue was marked by the raising of serious issues that concern the communities in a spirit of cordiality and warmth. Both men emphasized the importance of creating friendships which would act as an effective check to the misunderstandings and mistrust of the other and in that way act as a deterrent to the violence. To watch their discussion, click here.