UN sponsoring 'religious dialogue' with Ahmadinejad: No Jews invitedI received the following email today from a reliable (but unverified) source:
An invitation to an international dialogue between religious leaders and political figures:Iranian Ahmadinejad is going to be in New York for the United Nations General Assembly beginning on September 23.
"Has not one God created us?"
The significance of religious contributions to peace
It is an honor to invite you to participate with religious, cultural, and political leaders in a conversation about the role of religions in tackling global challenges and building peaceful societies at an Iftar - a dinner to break the Ramadan fast.
In the presence of
§ His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
With contributions from
§ His Excellency Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations
§ His Excellency the Rev. Kjell Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
§ and distinguished religious leaders
This conversation is the fourth in a series of high-level bridge-building and reconciliation efforts that have helped to build mutual understanding between our peoples, nations and religious traditions. It is our hope that as religious and political leaders, this communal meal and exchange of views will enable us to explore faith perspectives for dealing with global issues such as poverty, war and prejudice while deepening mutual understanding.
The dinner will be at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42nd Street, New York, N.Y., on Thursday, September 25, 2008, beginning with evening prayers from several religious traditions. Please arrive by 6:00 pm to clear security. Following dinner and presentations, the moderator will open the floor for comments and discussion.
Please note, entrance to this event is by limited invitation only. Some members of the media have been invited to cover the event.
RSVP by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, September 15, 2008, confirming you interest in participation and sending us your mailing address. After confirmation of your participation, we will send a card explaining procedures for entry to the event.
The Sponsoring Committee welcomes your participation and appreciates the cooperation of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in co-hosting this event.
American Friends Service Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
Quaker United Nations Office
Religions for Peace
World Council of Churches - United Nations Liaison Office
Please direct further inquiries to email@example.com.
Note: No Jews invited.
UPDATE FRIDAY 11:10 AM BOSTON TIME
Ahmadinejad held a similar meeting last year and apparently no Jewish representative was willing to come because they could not get any support for it (Hat Tip: Red Tulips.). CAMERA did a good job of ripping the participants.
UPDATE FRIDAY 11:22 AM BOSTON TIME
Abraham Foxman, the President of the Anti-Defamation League - the Jewish community's watchdog on anti-Semitism - has slammed the Mennonites for inviting Ahmadinejad.
"Ahmadinejad represents a rejection of everything these religious groups stand for," Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, said in a statement Wednesday.Dhimmis.
"His speech at Columbia University a year ago showed the futility of attempting to dialogue with a dictator who makes crystal clear his antipathy toward the West, who denies the Holocaust, and who defends the Iranian regime's willful neglect of basic human rights."
Foxman said the dinner "tarnished" the reputations of the participating religious groups as peace-seekers.
A spokesman for the Akron, Pennsylvania-based Mennonite Central Committee, which is organizing the dinner, said no one was immediately available for comment.
Other groups involved in hosting the dinner - including the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the Quaker group American Friends Service Committee - either did not immediately return messages left seeking comment or referred questions to the Mennonite organization.