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Rabbis, imams launch Paris summit

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PARIS (JTA) — Senegal’s president said at an interreligious summit that rabbis and imams have the "duty" to "calm frustrations where politics stop."

Abdoulaye Wade is presiding over the third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace’s summit on interreligious dialogue and peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which opened here Monday at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Chief rabbis from Israel and imams from the Palestinian Authority are among the more than 85 religious dignitaries from over 21 countries attending the three-day event.

The goal of the congress is to officially encourage religious exchange between Muslims and Jews, but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a central focus.

Wade, in an address Monday evening to participants wearing traditional and modern religious garb from disparate regions, said that the Jewish people living in the former Ottoman Empire have historically "given a remarkable contribution" to society.

The African leader reiterated other speaker’s remarks when he said, "We refuse to allow that people use the Koran to do things other than what it says," which is to uphold the values of  "respect, tolerance and peace."

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