FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi was interviewed for The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) United in Countering Violent Extremism #UnitedCVE campaign, which is about challenging intolerance and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. Samia talked about loosing young people to violent extremism and terrorist groups and how it affects real lives.
FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi took part in a groundbreaking research, The Trust Project. It is a 3-year comparative study on community-based responses to Europe's crisis spearheaded by 5 researchers whose goal is to provide a trust community that inspires to create cooperation across religion, ethnicity and culture. Ms. Hathroubi shared her analysis on the importance of dialogue, involvement and the work done by FFEU in Europe.
Click here to read the article: http://trustcommunity.eu/foundation-for-ethnic-understanding
FFEU's long-time partner Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) held an Iftar on June 20, 2017 to present their WISE UP project, which is aimed at fighting Islamophobia and extremism in multiple ways and platforms. FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier talked about previous joint initiatives with WISE Founder Daisy Khan and her participation in FFEU's #MuslimsAreSpeakingOut campaign.
Below are articles that featured the historic event:
2. The Jerusalem Post --- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar celebrates Ramadan, breaks fast with Israeli consul
4. The Times of Israel --- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins Israeli Ramadan event
FFEU Executive Director Chris Sacarabany joined NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee Executive Director Michelle Koch, Imam Ahmed Dewidar, founder of the Islamic Society of Mid-Manhattan and Sultana Ocasio, Executive Director of Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development at the NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee's 3rd Annual Iftar co-sponsored by FFEU on June 15, 2017 at Temple Emanu-el.
FFEU Chairman Russell Simmons and FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier were the guests of honor at the Iftar held by the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, Los Angeles on June 14, 2017. Russell, Rabbi Schneier and Mahomed Akbar Khan, Director of Interfaith Outreach, addressed the Muslim community composed of a delegation of over 30 prominent Jewish rabbis and faith leaders. Rabbi Schneier helped feed over 600 Muslims who fasted all day to break their fast.
In 2017, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding will be facilitating a new conversation between American evangelical leaders and Muslim leaders from the United States and from Muslim countries. The aim is to strengthen Muslim-Evangelical relations because stereotypes have often shaped the perception of Muslims in the American Evangelical community.
During Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov visit to New York, FFEU seized the opportunity to host a breakfast meeting with American evangelicals to raise awareness about Azerbaijan’s outstanding role in promoting religious freedom and harmony on its territory and at the international level through the Baku process. In attendance were Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the U.S., H.E. Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the U.N., H.E. Yashar Alieyv, and Ambassador Ilgar Mukhtarov, former Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Mexico, and an outstanding delegation of 15 American Evangelical leaders led by Eagles' Wings Founder Bishop Robert Stearns.
Rabbi Marc Schneier welcomed the participants and described to them why Azerbaijan was such a remarkable model of tolerance. Rabbi Schneier stated that Azerbaijan is a beacon in the Muslim world. A Muslim-majority country, sharing borders with Iran and Russia, that not only protects the religious freedom of its Jewish and Christian communities but also promotes intercultural dialogue at the international level through the Baku process.
In his comments, Bishop Robert Stearns noted that Evangelicals had no idea about Azerbaijan's model and that they wished to work closer with the two other Abrahamic faiths, Jews and Muslims.
Finally, the delegation of Evangelical leaders vowed to continue this dialogue through FFEU and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington D.C. and explore the opportunity to implement cultural exchange programs between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. Rabbi Marc Schneier concluded that this meeting was the first of a series of other gatherings to deepening the relationship and learn more about Azerbaijan.
Following the horrendous attack in Manchester Arena on May 22nd, 2017, FFEU's long-time partner, Faith Network 4 Manchester (FN4M), led a multi-faith rally and vigil at Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall to mourn the victims, but also to fight together against evil and to stand united for peace, freedom, tolerant and love. Attendees include Bob Day, Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Jonny Wineberg and Warren Elf. Attendees include Qaisra Shahraz and Rev. Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Co-chairs of FN4M, Jonny Wineberg, Warren Elf, Bob Day and Afzal Khan, Member of the European Parliament.
FFEU and the whole team extend our heartfelt prayers and love for all the great people of Manchester in this time of adversity and our deepest sympathies and condolences for all the victims. Our support will never falter to the great work you have achieved and will continue to do in creating a peaceful and tolerant world.
While Marine Le Pen remains present for the second round of the presidential elections in France, FFEU's European Director, Samia Hathroubi gave an interview to Al-Jazeera about the rise of Populism in France and other parts of the world.
"We have seen hundreds of debates about Islam and identity, but apart from Marine Le Pen, no one is addressing the losers of globalization." Samia Hathroubi
Read the article HERE.
On April 20, at the Sheen Center, religious leaders gathered to honor Pope John Paul II, and hear Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali's stories of their Interfaith journey.
During his pontificate, John Paul II commenced an incredible journey on the path for Christian Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. He was the first pope to unite in prayer the spiritual leaders of the major faiths of the world, the first to enter a synagogue, the first to set foot in a Mosque. At the reception honoring Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali, a photographic exhibition celebrated historical meetings of Pope John Paul II with the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities, as the are continued by his successors Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.
Click HERE for more info about the Pope John Paul II Exhibit.
On April 13, FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier was invited to the Milan City Hall (Palazzo Marino in Piazza della Scala).
Rabbi Schneier and Imam Yahya Pallavicini, Vice President of COREIS, led a delegation composed by youth Muslim and Jewish representatives of COREIS and UGEI, and met with the Deputy Mayor, Mrs. Anna Scavuzzo. They discussed how Muslims and Jews are working together to promote peace in our society.
On April 9, FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi, was awarded the Marshall Prize for her ongoing work to foster inclusion. Samia is a Fellow of the The German Marshall Fund of the United States which is dedicated to strenghtening transatlantic relations.
Her dedication to train and empower youth and rising leaders from different backgrounds and faiths has been saluted by the one hundred participants of GMF's annual retreat in Saint Vincent, Italy, including diplomats, politicians and journalists.
Samia Hathroubi, a teacher in the suburbs of Paris and the European Director for the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, spoke of inclusion and the need for dialogue between Muslims and Jews in Paris, at Women In The World New York Summit, this past April 6.
FFEU's Chairman, Russell Simmons spoke to Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of Muslim Girl, in support of #MuslimWomensDay, this past March 27, and #MuslimsAreSpeakingOut campaigns. "People who are fortunate to have this kind of freedom, independence, and opportunity are starting to realize that that fighting for others enhances their lives as well. It’s ongoing – the work, that is. But it’s amazing to see how people are together in this fight."
For the full article, click HERE.
On March 26, our European Program Director, Samia Hathroubi, led our annual program, Sadaqa Tsadaka Project, where young Jews and Muslims were welcomed by Rabbi Yann Boissière, at the Liberal Synagogue of Paris, for a day full of activities. The young Muslims, coming from the mosque of Sevran, took part in a didactic Seder of Pessah, and a workshop of calligraphy in Hebrew/Arabic. Next month, their Jewish counterpart will be invited to the Mosque of Sevran.
Bondy Blog (French media) was at the event - read their account of the event HERE.
FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director Walter Ruby took part in a panel discussion at the launch
of the 2017 American Muslim Poll by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)
in Washington. The event was co-sponsored by the ISPU and the Religious Freedom Center
(RFC) and held at the RFC Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Dalia Mogahed, director of research at ISPU, presented the findings of the survey and then
participated in a lively discussion about the implications of the findings with guest panelists
moderated by award-winning British journalist, author and political commentator Mehdi
Hasan. Panelists included Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in
Northern Virginia; Dr. Zainab Chaudry, spokeswoman and Maryland liaison for the Council
on American-Islamic Relations; Dr. Susan Sherr, study director for Social Science Research
Solutions and FFEU’s Ruby.
The poll, carried out in the first three weeks of January 2017, focused mainly on voting
patterns and attitudes of American Muslims in the wake of the election of President Donald
Trump, but also included answers to the same questions from representative groups of Jews,
Protestants and Catholics and the general American public. The poll found striking
commonalities between Muslims and Jews that contrasted sharply with the attitudes of other
sectors of the American public. For example, the poll found that majorities of Muslims (54
percent) and Jews (60 percent) had favored a victory for Hillary Clinton compared to
minorities of the other communities; and that Muslims and Jews (38 percent and 27 percent
respectively) were far more likely to express fear for their personal safety after the election of
President Trump than Catholics and Protestants.
In addition, Muslims and Jews were far more likely than other groups to say that their children
had been bullied in school during the past 12 months because of their faith (42 percent of
Muslims and 23 percent of Jews, as opposed to only 8 percent of Catholics and 11 percent of
Protestants), and 62 percent of Muslims and 38 percent of Jews reported that they had
experienced faith-based discrimination in 2016—again much higher percentages than the other
According to Ruby, “The ISPU poll showed that both Muslims and Jews are deeply concerned
about the impact of the nativist and exclusionary policies being implemented by the Trump
Administration on their respective communities and as well as the well-being of themselves and
their families. The Poll made clear that there is a growing acceptance in both the Jewish and
Muslim communities of what FFEU has been saying for years; that Muslims and Jews should
stand together against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry; and join forces to
work for the betterment of both communities and the larger American community in which we
live side by side.”
FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier and Spiritual Leader of the Jamaica Muslim Center, Imam Shamsi Ali, offering the opening words at The Big Quiet event, where 1,100 people gathered in a mass meditation at the top three floors of the One World Observatory in NYC, on Sunday, March 19.
Read all about the event in the Village Voice HERE.
Join FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier and Spiritual Leader of the Jamaica Muslim Center, Imam Shamsi Ali, as they speak about understanding their divides and overcoming their differences, and lead a prayer at The Big Quiet, a mass meditation of over 1100 people, taking place at the One World Observatory, on the top floor of the World Trade Cente on Sunday, March 19, from 9-11pm.
This past weekend, March 11 and 12, FFEU's European Director Samia Hathroub spent two days of training and lectures at the Jewish Museum of Brussels, sharing her experiences in the Middle East with 20 young students and professionals from Belgium. Those young leaders, who have travelled to Auschwitz and will have a study visit to Israel and Palestine this Summer, will be great ambassadors of peace and inclusion for their country. This projet is a two year program launched by the city of Brussels to promote better understanding and empathy.