Rabbi Bemporad & Islam
“We must not commit the cardinal error — indeed cardinal sin — of taking one aspect of a religion (often torn from context) and condemning an entire faith community for its errant fanatics. In our zeal to attack the extremes, we should not attack the spiritual truth of the religions themselves.” – Rabbi Jack Bemporad
Although much of the CIU’s work has been focused on Jewish-Christian relations, Rabbi Bemporad’s vast experience working for interreligious understanding with the Catholic Church is now being used as a model for meeting on common ground with Muslim leaders.
On May 18 – 24, 2013, a delegation of the world’s most influential Muslim leaders joined organizers Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Executive Director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (CIU), Catholic University of America Law Professor Marshall Breger, and Suhail Khan, Senior Fellow, Institute for Global Engagement and former GW Bush liaison to the Muslim community for an historic journey — from Dachau to Auschwitz – to see for themselves one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. Among the participants were Imams, Sheikhs, Islamic educators and leaders from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bosnia, Palestine, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and India. This pilgrimage resulted in the Muslim leaders issuing an unprecedented statement against Holocaust Denial, condemning anti-Semitism, and pledging to fight the misuse of the Holocaust as a leading propaganda tool to foment anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment.
In October 2011, Rabbi Bemporad moderated and co-organized — with Catholic University of America and the Muslim Chaplains’ Association — the symposium ‘Muslim and Jewish Perspectives on the Interpretation of Foundational Religious Texts’ at Temple Emanu-el in New York City that explored the links between Halacha and Shariah.
Rabbi Bemporad continues to lead the battle against anti-Muslim rhetoric and organized Islamophobia by forcefully condemning opposition to the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ and retail boycotts triggered by the premiere of the television series ‘All-American Muslim.’ In addition, he is a vocal supporter of the Fatwa Against Terrorism.
In 2008, Rabbi Bemporad was honored with the first-ever Peace & Tolerance Award by the Interfaith Dialog Center/Peace Islands Institute.
Rabbi Bemporad and Sheik Quadhi
Children of Abraham: Sharing Shariah