New York-Style Jewish-Muslim Cooperation Comes to Old Vienna
Earlier this month, when Rabbi Marc Schneier and his Jewish-Muslim outreach partner, Imam Shamsi Ali, visited Vienna on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, here’s what happened:
New York Rabbi Marc Schneier won a small but significant victory on a recent visit to Vienna - a promise from the head of Austria’s Islamic community to promote Holocaust education among the country’s half a million Muslims.
Invited to an interfaith lunch along with his years-long partner in Jewish-Muslim outreach, Imam Shamsi Ali, Schneier found himself having a “very, very frank exchange” of views with Muslim leader Fuat Sanac, whom the Austrian Jewish community was hosting for the first time.
Dismayed at the apparently low level of awareness among Muslim children about the Holocaust, Schneier asked Sanac whether he would be willing to address this by allowing Jews to carry out an education programme in the Muslim community, and, to his surprise, Sanac agreed.
“The result of this luncheon was beyond our expectations,” Schneier said. A spokesman for the Islamic community confirmed the plan, saying the details had yet to be worked out. […]