Abdullah bin Bayyah meets with Zionist rabbi in London

Abdallah bin Bayyah , President, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, United Arab Emirates captured during the session Securing Open Societies in the congress centre at the Annual Meeting 2015 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 23, 2015. WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/Benedikt von Loebell

The prominent Mauritanian scholar Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah has met with the Zionist Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom ahead of a UK government conference on freedom of religion and belief.

In a meeting in Parliament, Bin Bayyah and Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis hailed the normalisation deals between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, saying they kickstarted a new era of interfaith relations.

Bin Bayyah, who heads the UAE-based Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, said that since the deal was signed: “The record of Israel is a move to a more peaceful existence.”

“Coexistence is the only option for this region and for the world. This is what reason, history, and the scriptures of all faiths teach us. I hope that the contribution of leaders to the spread of peace and harmony throughout the world will continue, and I wish the endeavour here today every success.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Creative Commons License)

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who is a strong supporter of Israel, said the Abraham Accords marked a “paradigm shift” in cooperation between Jews and Muslims. The meeting was an “exceptionally special occasion” held “in a spirit of friendship,” the Chief Rabbi added.

The meeting took place ahead of the International Ministerial Conference in London today and tomorrow to “strengthen international efforts to ensure freedom of religion or belief.”

The government says promoting freedom of religion or belief is one of the UK’s long-standing human rights priorities, and it remains deeply concerned about the severity and scale of violations and abuses in many parts of the world.

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The conference will hear from Muslims, Jews and Christians who have been persecuted around the world, as well as from other communities like the Ahmadiyya and the Bahais.

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