Fellow of the Religious Freedom Center and Law Professor, Robert Destro, made this statement on Thursday at the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) taking place in the Spanish city of Seville.
He took part in a panel of scholars to present a program of interreligious dialogue among lawyers worldwide called “Abrahamic Forum”. Asked by Salam Plan whether he thinks Donald Trump is “ready for dialogue with Muslims”, Destro answered:
“Yes, I do. Part of the problem is there is so little knowledge of Islam. I work with Muslim groups in the United States all the time, almost every day. And certainly, the White House understood that when they asked me to do this job, so I see no contradiction whatsoever”. The professor denied further comment.
“Part of the problem is there is so little knowledge of Islam. I work with Muslim groups in the United States all the time, almost every day. And certainly, the White House understood that when they asked me to do this job, so I see no contradiction whatsoever”
Currently, Destro is waiting the approval of Congress to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the post for which President Trump nominated him one month ago.
He is Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies and Law professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He is specialized in freedom of religion as well as civil rights, among other topics.
“Respect requires that we first understand each other as we are not as we wish the other one should be”
The “Abrahamic Forum” in which Destro takes part, is a program, where lawyers of different faiths -mainly Christian, Muslim and Jewish- and worldwide come together to debate and understand each other. They work on specific topics, like “the care of refugees”, and meet usually twice a year to discuss their findings.
“The goal is not to reach an agreement, but trying to understand each other,” he explained in his conference. “Respect requires that we first understand each other as we are not as we wish the other one should be”. The final goal is to “prevent and punish genocide”.
“When something goes wrong, you need to be able to pick up the phone and say: ‘Ali, what is happening over there?’”
Destro also pointed out that the reason for this forum is that “when something goes wrong, you need to be able to pick up the phone and say: ‘Ali, what is happening over there?’”. So, Trump can apparently rely on that if Robert Destro’s nomination is confirmed. The decision of Congress is expected to be taken in August.
WOCMES takes place every four years in a different city. This year it has been organized in Seville by the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation and about 3,000 researchers and experts from around 91 countries have registered to take part in this academic summit which will last until Friday, the 20th of July.
In this very Congress there was a panel held by other US experts on Wednesday where they analysed “what is really new about the Trump era for Arab and Muslim Americans”, as the panel title reads. Salam Plan was also there. You may read more about that by clicking HERE.
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