In Toronto, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists Gathered to Commemorate the Holocaust

On Yom Hashoah this year, the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) held a large outdoor memorial ceremony. Tarek Fatah describes the unusual, and uplifitng, event:

[A] turbaned Sikh, the Brampton City councilor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon, graced the occasion saying, “at the end of the day we are all Canadians, we are all humans, and no matter what faith you belong to we have to remember we are all brothers and sisters.” I have rarely come across Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, or Muslims at Holocaust remembrance days over the years.

There was also a delegation of Hindu pandits from Kashmir, who have faced violent persecution since 1990, when their entire population was ethnically cleansed from its ancient ancestral homeland by Pakistan-backed jihadists. . . . There were also Islamic clerics as well as representatives of the Ahmadi Muslims who are a targeted community in Islamic Indonesia and Pakistan and barred from entering Saudi Arabia because they are considered apostates.

The event was the brainchild of Avi Benlolo of FSWC along with an Indian Buddhist [named] Zenji Nio. . . . I asked Nio what motivated him to bring together so many communities in one place. Ordinarily, he is diplomatic, but this time his words were blunt: “Throughout history, anti-Semitism has been promoted on occasion from both Christian as well as Muslim pulpits and by both Christian as well as Muslim leaders. So, as a Buddhist, I felt it was important to have all these leaders in attendance to send a message to people all over the world that they should not allow religion to instill within them hate and bigotry.”

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Read more at Toronto Sun

More about: Buddhism, Canada, Hinduism, Interfaith dialogue, Muslim-Jewish relations, Yom Hashoah

Don’t Expect the Jerusalem Summit to Drive a Wedge between Russia and Iran

June 14 2019

Later this month, an unprecedented meeting will take place in Jerusalem among the top national-security officials of the U.S., Israel, and Russia to discuss the situation in Syria. Moscow is likely to seek financial aid for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country, or at the very least an easing of sanctions on Bashar al-Assad. Washington and Jerusalem are likely to pressure the Russian government to reduce the presence of Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias in Syria, or at the very least to keep them away from the Israeli border. But to Anna Borshchevskaya, any promises made by Vladimir Putin’s representatives are not to be trusted:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Politics & Current Affairs, Russia, Syrian civil war