Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with three Jewish leaders as part of an interfaith gathering in New York on Thursday. While the kingdom has a history of discriminating against other faiths, the Saudi Embassy in Washington claims that bin Salman is trying to open the country to all religions.
Mohammad bin Salman Photo Credit: EPA
On Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with a group of Catholic and Jewish leaders in New York. The young heir to the throne is currently in the United States on a three-week visit. Earlier this month, bin Salman was at the White House for a meeting with US President Donald Trump.
Leaders from three different Jewish movements took part in the interfaith meeting: Rabbi Steven Wernick of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism and Allen Fagin of the Orthodox Union.
Since its establishment in 1932, Saudi Arabia has enforced Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, which discriminates against other religions, including other Islamic denominations. The kingdom even has laws prohibiting the display of symbols associated with other religions.
However, the Saudi Embassy in Washington explained that the 32-year-old crown prince wants to push the kingdom toward “moderate Islam, open to the world and all religions,” according to Bloomberg.
“The meeting emphasized the common bond among all people, particularly people of faith, which stresses the importance of tolerance, coexistence, and working together for a better future for all of humanity,” the embassy added.