Muslims and Jews Unite for Interfaith Iftar

Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the US

Proclamation from the Governor of Maryland for Muslims

For immediate publication
Dated: March 30th, 2023

AMMWEC, American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Combat AntiSemitism CAM and Masjid Muhammad co-hosted an iftar for the interfaith community for the Washington and surrounding areas. Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, graciously welcomed the guest to his house of worship. He read prayers and talked about fasting in Judaism. Anila Ali, AMMWEC president, also welcomed the guest and remembered the story of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. As he was persecuted by the pagans in Mecca, he went to Madina, Yathrib to live with the Jewish tribes who invited him there. Catherine Szkop from CAM and Muhammad Saffi Ullah from AMMWEC emceed the program.

The event featured prominent Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sikh faith leaders. Father Nicolas Kazarian who was representing His Eminence, the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, and spoke of fasting in Christianity. Kersi Scroff delivered message of felicitation for the Muslim community. The White House Muslim Liaison, Moshtayeen Ahmad, spoke about President Biden’s commitment to religious freedom, interfaith harmony and fighting antisemitism and Islamophobia and all forms of hate. Christina Poy, representing the Maryland Governor’s office, presented a Proclamation for the Muslims on the holy month of Ramadan. Ambassador of Azebaijan to the United States, His Excellency Khazar Ibrahim, “My country has an environment for the religions. Synagogues, churches, and other houses of worship.”

“It’s so moving to see so many faiths in one room,” remarked the Deputy Chief Mission, Eliav Benjamin. The Turkish DCM Sinan Ertay said, I’ve been to mosques, churches, temples, synagogues, and I’ve see that we are all the same.”

Bahrain’s DCM, Rose Sagar, who told the audience that she’s a Bahraini Jew, reminded the audience “Ramadan is a time of reflection and prayer.”

Dr. Safi Kaskas, an Islamic scholar and imam said, “I want to share a prayer that Muslims and Jews share in common. Our God is one and he wants us to love Jewish people.”

Imam Talib Shareef, interfaith leader, head of Masjid Muhammad and a retired US Military chaplain, led the audience into the breaking of the fast and the prayers. The most interesting aspect of the evening was that Pakistani iftar dishes were prepared in a Kosher kitchen by a family run caterers, Karachi Tarka from Virginia. This collaboration over food is what breaks down barriers and builds understanding between people.

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