A new era: Chief rabbi meets Emirati sheik in historic moment

Appearing together in parliament, the Chief Rabbi and leading Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah have hailed the Abraham peace accords as kickstarting a new era of interfaith relations.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the 2020 agreement marked a “paradigm shift” in cooperation between Jews and Muslims.

Sheikh bin Bayyah, who founded the UAE-based Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, said that since the deal was signed: “The record of Israel is a move to a more peaceful existence.”

The meeting was an “exceptionally special occasion” held “in a spirit of friendship”, the Chief Rabbi added.

He said: “Let’s discuss the deepest elements of what might divide us and I have no doubt we will emerge strengthened knowing that there is so much that unites us. 

“One already sees that the sands of change have shifted and as a result there is a positive movement in regards to a new reality, that provides so many extraordinary opportunities for us as adherents of these two faiths and through us for the entire world. It is a thrilling moment, let’s make the most of it.”

Sheikh bin Bayyah said his aim in meeting with the Chief Rabbi was “peace with all nations and peoples.”

Emphasising the common links between Islam and Judaism, he said: “The Quran and the Jewish tradition affirms the quest to save one soul is the quest to save all souls…


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