The General Secretary of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al-Issa was the recipient of an inaugural award  given by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement and American Sephardi Federation for his efforts and contribution towards fighting antisemitism.

He is the first person to receive this prestigious annual award recognising him as a leading promoter of peace, and for uniting people of all faiths and publicly condemning Holocaust denials.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff commended Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al-Issa “for his courageous and inspirational work and for extending the hand of friendship to the Jewish people. The most effective response to all forms of bigotry, from Islamophobia to antisemitism, is for faiths and communities to stand together side by side and work towards shared objectives.”

As a tribute of recognition, Alhadeff added,“Dr Al-Issa’s initiative in visiting the Auschwitz extermination camp stands as a powerful statement of the importance of dialogue and constructive co-operation between Muslim, Jewish and Christian people. We applaud him for his principled leadership.”

Looking at history and how Jews and Muslims had grown apart over the years, the Sheikh said: “We must rebuild the bridges of dialogue and the bonds of partnership between our communities”.

Being a man of principle and conviction, he is well known for his willingness to confront controversies directly. Sheikh Dr Al-Issa has consistently provided a powerful voice against extremism across the world.

In January, he led the Muslim World League on a historic visit of senior Muslim leaders to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

“Having been involved in high-level Jewish-Muslim engagement for the past two decades, I have no hesitation in saying that the significance of Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al-Issa’s stance against antisemitism must not be underestimated”, said Jeremy Jones, Director of International and Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

In an article in the Australian J-Wire media outlet,  Sheikh Dr Al-Issa is quoted as saying “Whereas Jews and Muslims lived for centuries together, in these last decades we have sadly grown apart. Now we must rebuild the bridges of dialogue and the bonds of partnership between our communities . . .  Since taking over the Muslim World League, it has been my mission to fight the forces of hatred and violence.”