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Ambassadors for Peace

Experiences of Muslim Ambassadors for Peace at the July 24 Assembly in New York

Amsterdam, Netherlands - Two UPF-Netherlands Muslim Ambassadors for Peace, Sufi Imam Dr. Hashim Jansen and Sheik August A. Abdul Santoe, European Coordinator of the Ahmadiyya Lahore Movement, were among those attending UPF's World Assembly on July 24 in New York.

In giving a report of the Assembly to UPF-Netherlands, Hans Campman mentioned that, as Muslims, they had warmed to the report of UPF's activities given by Mr. Tageldin "Taj" Hamad, who took over as UPF Secretary General when Dr. Thomas Walsh was appointed UPF President. Mr. Hamad is originally from Sudan and proudly proclaims his Muslim background.

They had been further delighted when Rev. Sun Myung Moon's daughter, Rev. In Jin Moon, prefaced her talk with a quote from the 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi Mowlana, known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi.

They had enjoyed meeting friends from earlier conferences, in particular, Dr. Rachid Zaitri, Founder of the Islamic council of Finland (SINE), and Imam Jansen had had a particularly memorable meeting with a woman rabbi.

Coming back on the plane, Imam Jansen had changed seats with an Orthodox Jew, so the Jew could sit next to his wife. This also placed the Jew next to Hans Campman, who was then able to talk to him about UPF and the Assembly in New York.

Imam Jansen also attended the first such Assembly in Korea, where he was particularly moved by the painting depicting Islam in the interreligious prayer room in the new Unification Temple in Seoul. Furthermore, he is planning to attend the third Assembly in Israel, which is to be part of an International Interfaith Consultation on “Interfaith, the United Nations and Peace in the 21st Century,” August 20-24, as is Abdullah Haselhoef, who became the public face of authentic Islam in the Netherlands after the 9/11 attacks in the US by offering himself as an unofficial spokesman on behalf of his faith and fellow practitioners.

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