Islamic “interfaith conference” applauds extremist al-Qardawi’s partial boycott of Jews
The radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has a wide television audience, told the International Islamic Conference for Dialogue in Mecca that he would only talk to Jews who denounced Zionism. His speech at the Islamic Conference on Interfaith Dialogue opened by King Abdullah in Mecca which ended last week was greeted with the loudest applause of any other speaker.
Iran’s Hashem Rafsanjani accused the US of “greedily trying to control the region’s oil” and said Muslims should resist it.
Saudi Arabia had presented the conference attended by 600 influential Muslim scholars and academics as a religious effort to ease tensions within Islam and between Islam and Christianity and Judaism. It was billed as an effort to lead to global dialogue with Christians and Jews and did indeed bring Sunni and Shiite Muslims together. But most of the participants found talking to other faiths, especially Jews, problematic. The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia said it was impossible to talk to Jews because of the situation in the “occupied territories.”
It is therefore not clear if Israeli Jewish leaders will even be invited to the “interfaith dialogue.”
And Riyadh has refused to consider building a Catholic church in Saudi Arabia. Open worship by non-Muslim faiths, especially the growing Catholic Philippine community is restricted, even though Rome has a large mosque.