Religious Groups Pervert Message Of Peace By Breaking Bread With Iranian Leader
New York, NY, September 10, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it "defies belief" that five religious organizations will break bread with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his upcoming visit to the United States, calling the planned event "a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values."
The Mennonite Central Committee, the Quakers, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee are sponsoring a dinner and conversation with President Ahmadinejad on September 25 in New York City. The dinner to break the Ramadan fast, called an Iftar, is being billed as "an international dialogue between religious leaders and political figures" in a conversation "about the role of religions in tackling global challenges and building peaceful societies."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
It simply defies belief that five organizations with a mission of promoting peace through dialogue would choose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from among the hundreds of world leaders and ambassadors who will be in New York this month, as an appropriate and legitimate interlocutor on world peace.
Ahmadinejad represents a rejection of everything these religious groups stand for. He is the leader of a regime that promotes terrorism, defies the will of the international community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, threatens the United States and the West, and calls for the destruction of Israel. His speech at Columbia University a year ago showed the futility of attempting to dialogue with a dictator who makes crystal clear his antipathy toward the West, who denies the Holocaust, and who defends the Iranian regime's willful neglect of basic human rights.
In extending an invitation to Ahmadinejad, the religious organizations sponsoring this dinner have tarnished their reputations as peace seekers and bridge builders. Their breaking bread with President Ahmadinejad is a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.