Interior Ministry Grants CHAI Permission to Address Muslim Religious Leaders (Imams)
Israel’s Interior Ministry granted CHAI/Hakol Chai permission to present a series of lectures to all Muslim religious leaders (Imams) in the country on the importance of protecting animals and the environment. Following the lectures, a specific day will be designated on which all the Imams will simultaneously transmit the information we presented to members of the country’s 200 mosques. All religious leaders will speak on that designated day, with one voice, backed by the highest authorities. Written materials we provide will make it easy for them to pass the knowledge on to their congregations.
Through the Imams – the most powerful figures in Muslim Arab communities – we have an opportunity to reach parents and other adults and hopefully have a major impact on the treatment of animals in Muslim areas throughout Israel.
Authorization for the lectures followed Hakol Chai’s presentation to the Ministry’s 12 Regional Inspectors charged with overseeing religious leaders. The inspectors’ response was emphatically positive. One wrote:
“Hakol Chai opened a window to a world that we were not aware of before: how are our actions affecting the world? What is happening in the world today regarding animals? how can we change our choices in order to improve the world? I think this lecture should be given to every adult, student and child.”
Another offered to arrange opportunities for us to speak to High School assemblies of 400 students each and a third requested that we give a presentation to his 200 employees.
The first presentation, held 31st March with approximately 40 Imams in attendance, included our responsibility, according to the Qur’an, to guard the planet, the destruction we had wreaked, how the fate of humans and animals are connected in the web of life, the human-animal violence link and a discussion of what the Qu’ran says about how dogs are to be treated. The enthusiastic audience expressed their eagerness to learn more and requested additional lectures. CHAI was advised to anticipate larger audiences as word spreads of the value and relevance of the information presented.
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