June 13, 2023, New York

Sayyid M. B. Kashmiri and Dr. Seyed Masoud Noori, attended an interfaith dialogue in New York on behalf of I.M.A.M.

Representatives from various religions and nationalities were present at the meeting. Sayyid Kashmiri emphasized the necessity of interreligious and intercultural dialogues to overcome global challenges. He stated that crises such as war, terrorism, environmental issues, and poverty cannot be resolved without collaboration and harmony among different religions and cultures. Referring to the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf on March 6th, 2020, as an enlightening and inspiring example of interfaith dialogue, he stressed the importance of engaging not only high-level religious leaders but also local leaders and activists from different religions and cultures in such discussions.

He highlighted that in today’s world, values such as excellence, friendship, and cooperation are more crucial than ever. Sayyid Kashmiri welcomed any form of interreligious and intercultural cooperation, stating that these collaborations are not only a temporary necessity but also an inherent responsibility. Quoting Imam Ali (p), who wrote in his letter to the governor of Egypt, Malik al-Ashtar, “People are either like you in faith or your equals in humanity,” he emphasized the importance of treating everyone with respect, kindness, and friendship. To achieve this, he suggested taking the initiative to introduce ourselves to others, following the teachings of Imam Ali (p), who said, “People oppose matters they do not know.” In other words, getting to know each other is the way to eliminate fear, hate, and animosity.

After listening to different opinions and thoughts from the attendees and considering various aspects of challenges and solutions, everyone agreed on the importance of continuing such meetings and following up to ensure progress.

Moreover, the session featured valuable contributions from participants representing various countries, including Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, India, Palestine, and Colombia. Notable participants included Ms. Mary T. Yelenick (of Pax Christi International), Rev. Elias D. Mallon, Ph.D., (who is involved in Roman Catholic/Christian-Muslim dialogue and issues of interreligious cooperation), Sr. Winifred Doherty (from the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd), Sr. Annemarie O’Connor (from Passionists International), Sr. Beatriz Martinez-Garcia (from the School Sisters of Notre Dame), Sr. Rita Pinto (from the Society of the Sacred Heart), Fr. Benedict Ayodi (from Franciscans International), and Fr. Rohan Dominic (from the Claretian Missionaries).

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