Under the auspices of Belgian MP Michael Freilich, leaders of the 3 major religions came together today in a moment of unity to promote peace and tolerance. (Photos: Michael Freilich/ BELGA)
Jewish MP Michael Freilich: “Given the tensions in our streets, the attack in Brussels, the attack on Jewish targets in Europe and the terrible suffering of war in the Middle East, I decided to take this step and invite Chief Rabbi Pinchas Padwa, Imam Nordine Taouil and priest Rik Hoet to the heart of our democracy, the Parliament in Brussels.”
The press was present in large numbers to attend the reading of a joint statement.
Rabbi Padwa: “We extend a warm call to all people of goodwill in our communities and beyond: Let us join hands, join positive forces and show unity for building a warm society – across our different ideas and beliefs. As this meeting today makes clear, this is absolutely possible.”
Imam Taouil: “There is so much more that unites us than what divides us. Let us not import conflicts from elsewhere and let our lives be guided by extreme ideas and views.
In this country, we are all fellow citizens, neighbours, friends and/or trading partners. Our fragile social fabric, especially in these anxious times, deserves to be nurtured and strengthened. The recent Abraham Accords are an encouraging step in the right direction.
Priest Hoet: “Bringing together different cultures and faiths, sharing joyful moments and building a common future are positive steps that we warmly welcome and encourage.”
Freilich concluded, “Let us strive for peace, warm citizenship and closeness, pause to remember every innocent victim, and resolutely reject and condemn terrorism.”
Rabbi Padwa asked for a moment of prayer, each in their own distinct way, to promote peace.