Leaders of Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe have announced the formation of the Muslim-Jewish Leadership Council (MJLC), which is being hailed as the first joint council of its kind to defend the right to religious freedom throughout Europe, Israeli news site Ynet News reported Friday. The inaugural conference took place in Vienna this week.
There has been a rising opposition to the Jewish practice of circumcision and ritual animal slaughter across the EU and an increasing number of attempts to impose restrictions on the practices helped lead to the formation of the council.
Additional council members include the Conference of European Rabbis, the Islamic Council of the Republic of Germany, the World Islamic Relief Organization and the King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID).
According to Ynet, The council founders said that the council is designed to be a platform for leaders of Judaism and Islam to come together before approaching EU institutions and governments to advocate understanding and respect. Additionally they want to promote the exchange information pertinent to the needs and concerns of local and national religious communities.
In their first official statement the council addressed the migrant crisis saying, “The European refugees are denied shelter, medical assistance, transit and transport. This crisis contradicts the values of human dignity upon which a united Europe is based. Due to inaction, refugees have become the victims of hardened criminals, who are responsible for a number of shocking deaths.”