Religious Leaders Convene in Mumbai in Solidarity for 26/11 Victims

Alabama, United States
10th November 2009

Simon Wiesenthal Center, leading Jewish NGO and Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living co-sponsor anti-Terror Solidarity Meeting with faith leaders from overseas and across India

Mumbai, India: In a gathering of solidarity with the victims of November 26-29th, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, the U.S.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and India's Art of Living are convening a multi-faith event on Tuesday November 17th with Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and other faith leaders, as well as survivors of terrorism, local leaders and foreign dignitaries. Co-sponsored by two leading NGOs: the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Art of Living Foundation, the program will be held on 17th November at 3:00 pm in the Sunset Room of the Trident Hotel, Nariman Point, Mumbai. Following formal remarks, attendees will be invited proceed to the Chabad House that was one of the targets of the 26/11 terrorist onslaught.

Among the religious dignitaries scheduled to attend include: Swami Gnana Tej of the Art of Living Foundation; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance; Dr. Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed, an eminent Islamic leader and Founder of the Interfaith Harmony Foundation of India; Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia, Zoroastrian scholar; Father Ceasar D’Mello, Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Name of Jesus of Mumbai; Dr. Ashok Arora, Chief of Education Division, Bharat Soka Gakkai; Sri Raman Tikka of the Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram; and Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz, Director of the Chabad Mumbai Relief Fund. Also in attendance will be survivors of last year’s attacks, The Hon. D.R. Kaarthikeyan, former Director of the CBI, and The Hon. Orna Sagiv, Israeli Consul General in Mumbai and an array of local dignitaries.

His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder Art of Living Foundation declared that:

“26/11 in Mumbai was the ultimate test of patience and forgiveness. Terrorists were striking every month before that. By now a strong message has gone out that we do not react, but we will respond to these acts resolutely.”

“Religious leaders have a special obligation to publicly condemn terrorist attacks that are inspired and sanctioned by those who call themselves servants of God. We are gathering at the site of last years attacks in solidarity with the people of India as they remember all the victims of 26/11, including the first-ever attack on Jews in India,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“This is a time for people of faith to openly repudiate the culture of death nurtured in the name of religion while standing beside our Indian friends to promote the sanctity of life, tolerance and freedom.”

“We are buoyed by the resilience of the world’s largest democracy, her noble history of protecting minority peoples (Jews among them) and her commitment to our shared values,” Rabbi Cooper added.The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

The Art of Living Foundation is an international non-profit educational and humanitarian organization that works in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being.The Wiesenthal Center and the Art of Living Foundation have collaborated on a multi-faith anti-terrorism conference in Bali, Indonesia and in the presentation of an exhibition on the Nazi Holocaust, Courage To Remember, in New Delhi and in Bangalore.

For media inquires, contact Mala Bhojwani at 9820809867 or Ami Patel at 9820135195, or Ted Gover at