Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Rabbi joins UAE-formed multi-faith committee

Rabbi M Bruce Lustig, senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, becomes eighth member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig (right) pictured with Pastor Bob Roberts (left) and Imam Magid (middle) during an event Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig (right) pictured with Pastor Bob Roberts (left) and Imam Magid (middle) during an event Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

A Rabbi has joined a multi-faith committee formed by the UAE to enact the Human Fraternity Document, it was announced on Tuesday.

Rabbi M Bruce Lustig, senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, became the eighth member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity that is charged with carrying out the objectives listed in document signed by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, in Abu Dhabi in February.

Members of the committee are from the UAE, Egypt, Spain and Italy and represent the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths.

Rabbi Lustig thanked the Committee for his nomination, saying he was pleased to see the historic declaration signed.

"It was my hope that such an event would be a watershed moment to bring new opportunities for building bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as to foster Peace and Harmony in our fractured world," Rabbi Lustig said.

"I am honoured to join such esteemed individuals working to champion love over hate, justice over injustice, and faith over fear."

Bishop Miguel Guixot, Chairman of the Higher Committee, welcomed the Rabbi as a new member, saying: "The Committee welcomes all competencies and religious and cultural personalities and all who contribute to the

achievement of the honourable goals for which the Document of Human Fraternity was established."

Rabbi Lustig has served at the Washington Hebrew Congregation for more than 25 years. He is a social activist and organised the first Abrahamic summit bringing together Christians, Jews and Muslims in the US after the 9/11 attacks, reported state news agency Wam.

The summit led to the creation of the first Abrahamic Round Table with Bishop John Chane of the Episcopal Church in Washington, Prof Akbar Ahmed, chairman of Islamic Studies at American University in Massachusetts, and himself. The trio spoke for peace and interfaith dialogue around the US.

The High Committee was formed last month to achieve the objectives of the Human Fraternity Document, through the development of an operational framework.

It will draft, carry out and oversee plans to put the goals of the document in place and meet religious leaders, heads of international organisations and others to support and spread the document’s message.

The higher committee will also urge legislative authorities to adhere to the document’s provisions, which aim to instill the values of mutual respect and co-existence in national legislation.

The committee is also responsible for supervising the Abrahamic Family House – a building dedicated to interfaith harmony. The committee can bring in new members by mutual agreement

Other committee members include: Prof Mohamed Mahrasawi, president of Al Azhar University; Monsignor Yoannis Gaid, personal secretary of Pope Francis; Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, adviser to the Grand Imam; Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi; Dr Sultan Al Rumaithi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders; and Yasser Al Muhairi, an Emirati writer and media personality.

Updated: September 17, 2019 12:18 PM

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