President Shimon Peres met Friday with a delegation of the All-India Association of Imams and Mosques, and discussed with Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, the organization's secretary-general, peace in the Middle East and ways to strengthen ties between Judaism and Islam.
Ilyasi represents half-a-million imams and a community of some 180 million Muslims in India. "This proves that the Muslims are not our enemies, and that Muslims realize we are not their enemy," Peres told his guest.
"This is not a war between religions, and if we have one God, why shouldn't we be one family?" the president added.
Not enemies (Photo: Flash 90/ Anna Kaplan)
The president also said that Israel must achieve peace with its Palestinian neighbors, and that the leaders of both sides are making sincere efforts to reach a true, comprehensive peace agreement.
Imam Ilyasi told the presidents that the Muslim population in India was very interested in the situation in the Middle East, and said that it was important for him to know how the peace process was progressing.
The imam said that he prayed to Allah that the war would end, and that love and prosperity would come in its place, adding that he hoped to see progress made on the Palestinian issue.
The Muslim leader urged Peres to act to promote reconciliation and bring an end to the bloodshed, in order to see security and peace thrive in the region.