By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Elahi spent four days in Seoul, South Korea, speaking about peace in Islam and obstacles of peace during the Universal Peace Federation 2019 World Summit.
The theme for the 2019 summit, held from Feb. 7 to 11, was “Peace and Human Development: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values,” which welcomed over 600 delegates from around the world, according to the UPF website.
“The Islamic House of Wisdom is know for interfaith outreach and dialogue with other faiths so I was honored to be invited to the World Summit of Peace in Seoul, Korea,” Elahi said. “I was invited to speak during lectures at the summit where I shared my thoughts on peace and Islam alongside various faith leaders from around the world.”
Elahi spent Feb. 8 attending Friday prayer at the Seoul Central Mosque where he had a conversation with Seoul Central Mosque Imam A. Rahman Lee Ju-Hwa
“The imam of the Mosque and the faithful had a friendly conversation with us after the prayer,” Elahi wrote on Facebook. “One thing that impressed me the most was the high number of Muslims attended the prayer in Seoul, though the mosque is big and it was full, hundreds of people joined the prayer and made lines outside the mosque in a cold weather of 10 degrees.”
At the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Elahi joined current and former heads of state and government, parliamentarians, religious leaders, women leaders and civil society leaders for a lecture in front of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development Global Assembly.
According to his Facebook post, Elahi’s speech centered on the concept of peace in Islam, the main obstacles of peace in the world such as disconnection with the Lord and acts of injustice, arrogance, dishonesty and irresponsibility in dealing with people and the planet. He also added that God is the central source of peace and “only through reflecting, remembering and replying to His call we can make peace with ourselves, our fellow humans and the nature.”
Guests at the UPF 2019 World Summit included Former Vice President Dick Cheney and Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who Elahi criticized for the path they suggested for world peace included being more powerful and having a mightier military.
Instead, Elahi called “justice” and “truth” two fundamental words of God and real foundations of peace, on his Facebook post. He also criticized President Donald Trump’s Feb. 5 State of the Union address after Trump remained silent on the issues in Gaza, the war in Yemen and human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.
Elahi read an Islamic prayer in front of 30,000 people Feb. 10 at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in South Korea. The members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification gathered to commemorate the 76th birthday of founder Hak Ja Han Moon and 99th birthday of her late husband and founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s, according to a FFWPU press release.
“Thank you for the work of Universal Peace Federation, it’s great founders and moral models, father and mother Moon and their dedicated disciples who continue this loving legacy with courage, compassion and commitment,” Elahi said during his prayer. “Thank you, Lord, for this 2019 Seoul Summit of solidarity and support for all populations of this planet who may suffer from insecurity, poverty, war, terrorism, persecution and oppression.”
Elhai reflected on his trip to the summit in a Facebook post Feb. 13.
“Just back from Seoul, the capital of South Korea,” he said. “It was an amazing opportunity to meet with hundreds of religious, political and national leaders from all over the world and explain the position of Islam on the world’s political and religious turmoil and tensions.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])