In December, Dr. Iravani took part in a meeting with several Iranian, American and European scholars and religious leaders in Switzerland where they discussed the Abrahamic perspectives with regard to the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The discussion was a cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue exploring different perspectives that Abrahamic traditions have towards the condemnation or usage of WMDs. Due to the increasing number of armed conflicts around the globe as well as recent advanced technologies of WMDs in modern world, it is highly significant for Abrahamic traditions to create a peaceful resolution to this issue based on dialogue and mutual cooperation.
After KAICIID’s inauguration ceremony in Vienna, Dr. Iravani travelled to Tunis and then to Egypt. In Cairo he visited “Meshyekhat Al Azhar” where he met with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Al Tayeb. During this meeting, which took about two hours Dr. Iravani and Dr. Al Tayeb discussed different issues with regard to the current issues in the Muslim world and in the Middle East in particular. Dr. Iravani discussed the importance of positive role Dr. Al Tayeb can play to reestablish bringing in Shia and Sunni religious leaders together at Al Azhar University again. While Dr. Al Tayeb expressed his concerns with regard to insults against the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, he offered his support to welcome Shia religious leaders at Al Azhar University. Dr. Al Tayeb also offered to visit Iran to meet Shia and Sunni religious leaders there. Both Dr. Iravani and Dr. Al Tayeb agreed that there’s an urgent need to hold meeting among religious leaders around the world particularly among Shia and Suni religious leaders. The following Sunday after meeting Dr. Al Tayeb, Dr. Iravani met Prof. Bakr Zaki Awad Dean of Faculty of Usul Al-Din and several other professors and faculty members of Al Azhar University. During these meetings ideas were shared and different ways to develop academic cooperation between CSIME and Al Azhar University were discussed. Meeting the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Al Tayeb.
Dr. Iravani travelled to Vienna, Austria following the invitation of “The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue” (KAICIID). The 26th November 2012 marked the date of the official opening of the KAICIID. Representatives of major religions and international organizations, as well as representatives of Austrian religions, politics and civil society were invited to the Inauguration Ceremony. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the Foreign Ministers of the three founding States, His Royal Highness Saud Bin Faisal Bin Abdulaziz Al- Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Dr. Michael Spindelegger of the Republic of Austria and H.E. José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil of the Kingdom of Spain, the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Curia, His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, the President of the Islamic League, Dr. Abdullah Al Turki, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela and the Chief Rabbi of Moscow and President of Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, carried out the ceremonial opening of the Centre, witnessed by KAICIID’s Board of Directors, by its Secretary-General, and Deputy Secretary-General. It is KAICIID’s mission to facilitate interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding; and to enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace. KAICIID’s vision corresponds closely with CSIME’s vision that considers religion as enabler of respect and reconciliation. Dr. Iravani has met H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, Secretary-General, Dr. Claudia Bandion-Ortner Deputy Secretary-General of KAICIID in addition to members among board of directors of KAICIID, Dr. Mohammad Sammak, Dr. Seyyed Ataollah Mohajerani, Chief Rabbi David Rosen and Ambassador Martin Eichtinger, Director General for Cultural Policy at the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Also, in another meeting Dr. Iravani met the Mufti of Tripoli and North Lebanon Sheikh Malek Al Shaar, in Vienna. During these meetings Dr. Iravani has discussed different ways CSIME could work with these organizations in order to develop further cooperation towards mutual goals. H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar has extended his invitation to Dr. Iravani to visit Saudi Arabia for further meetings and discussions. For more information with regard to the KAICIID, the inauguration ceremony and the symposium visit their website here. Dr. Iravani also met with Prof. Stefan Hammer, Professor of Public Law and Legal Philosophy at the University of Vienna. He also met with a group of young Plastinian who were visiting Vienna.
Dr. Muhiddin Kabiri is the chairman of Tajikistan’s Islamic Renaissance Party, the only legal Islamic political party in the former Soviet Union. Dr. Iravani met Dr. Muhiddin Kabiri at the Catholic University of America, Oct 2012. During their lunch meeting Dr. Iravani and Dr. Kabiri discussed the ways they can promote peace and democracy in the region so that Muslim scholars would have a better space to cooperate and build a strong network together. Dr. Iravani offered CSIME’s support to Dr. Kabiri in different capacities for instance workshops, publications and etc.
On September there was a reception in the honor of the great Seon Master Jinje, the 79th Patriarch in the direct lineage to the Great Buddha, who is the spiritual leader of the Korean Buddhist at the Family House in Washington DC, in which CSIME was present. Ayatollah Iravani had opportunity to talk after Master Jinje’s speech in that reception.
Dr. Iravani was invited to participate in the twelfth annual conference of The Council of Shi’a Muslim Scholars of North America which was entitled: “Muslims and Their Civil Role in the West towards Exemplary Participation and the Exercise of Civil Rights and Duties” The conference was held in Dearborn Michigan and included many religious leaders, Imams and scholars from North America. It took two days and after intensive discussions about different issues regarding the rights and responsibilities of Shia communities they came with a closing statement which in part was encouraging Shia community to be more active in their social and political life. Meeting with Ayatollah Berry, Dearborn Michigan.
Dinner Reception for his Excellency Rabban Al Qas, haldean Bishop of Amadiyah and Zakho Kurdistan Region of Iraq at Dr. Iravani’s house, Washington DC, Feb 2012 – From left, Dr. Iravani, bishop Rabban Al Qas, Mr. David Laylin, member of Board of Directors at CSIME.
The Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento honored Mohammad Mohanna at their Power of One event on May 10, 2012 in Sacramento, California. The event brought together many interfaith leaders to discuss the collective understanding of doing good unto others. Mohanna was honored for his work among the poor and disadvantaged, alongside Sister Libby Fernandez of Loaves and Fishes, as well as Bishop William Weigand and Revered Lloyd Hansen. The interfaith community praised the works of these four individuals, and the event emphasized the importance for interfaith groups to come together to promote understanding and dialogue.