Vienna Conference on Islam and the West
November 14, 2005
Vienna, Austria
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, internationally known for his work in human rights, religious freedom and promoting inter-religious dialogue has been invited by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik to a conference of high ranking religious and political leaders on Islam in a Pluralistic World taking place from 14 to 16 November 2005 in Vienna.

Rabbi Schneier remarked that, “Relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim world is high on the agenda of the 21st century and has become a focal point of international and inter-religious conferences. Globalization has lead to increased economic, social, political and cultural interaction. It has also contributed to growing polarization, exploited by those who reject the “other” and use terrorism to intimidate and to de-stabilize societies. Religious leaders must not fuel the conflict. They have to be peace finders to help extinguish it.”

Rabbi Schneier will speak on the subject of “Cultures in Conflict and Dialogue,” along with participants who include Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Mohammad Khatami, former President of Iran, Ahmed Taoufiq, Morocco’s Minister for Religion, and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Rabbi Schneier is traveling to Vienna on his way home from Istanbul, Turkey where he co-sponsored the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s (of which he is President) Peace and Tolerance II conference that brought together religious leaders from southeastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus this week.

Vienna-born Rabbi Arthur Schneier, survivor of the Holocaust in Budapest, received recognition for his leadership on behalf of human rights inter-religious and inter-cultural understanding. He was awarded the President’s Citizens Medal by the President of the United States and received prestigious Austrian awards---The Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star for Service to the Republic of Austria and the Dr. Karl Renner Prize of the City of Vienna
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