NEW YORK, Sept 22 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today delivered the Friday prayer sermon at the Islamic Cultural Centre of New York (ICCNY).

Anwar, who is here for the 78th United Nations General Assembly, is the first foreign leader to be given the honour of delivering a sermon at the centre, which is the first mosque opened in New York City.

In his sermon delivered in front of over 800 congregation, Anwar shared Malaysia’s experience in managing a multiracial and multi-religious society.

“We always try to promote understanding, tolerance and the need to understand others culture and religion. That’s important for us to live in peace and harmony,” he said.

At the same time, the prime minister said Muslims must strengthen unity among themselves, as well as acquire information and knowledge.

Anwar also took the opportunity to explain the ‘Malaysia MADANI’ concept that he introduced in Malaysia and the threat of Islamophobia worldwide.

“When Quran burning happened, Malaysia printed one million copies to be distributed worldwide. In fact we sent 15,000 copies to Sweden so that they can look and understand, and not fight because of ignorance,” he added.

The centre’s Imam, Saad Jalloh said it was a historic moment for the centre to receive Anwar and his entourage as he is the first leader to visit the mosque.

Anwar was also given the opportunity to lead the ‘syahadah’ of a man known as Andrew Vinals,  who embraced Islam after the Friday prayer.

The prime minister was about to leave the prayer hall when it was announced that that there was a man who wanted to convert to Islam and they called upon him to complete the man’s conversion to Islam.


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