Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule



New York City

October 4-5, 2018


The aim of this conference is to work towards building relationships, alliances, develop solutions, and programs that ensure positive engagement as well as mutual understanding between the Muslim world and the United States; while bridging the existing cultural and religious gap.


Our Message:

To encourage positive and conducive intercultural exchange; engagement between the Muslim world and the U.S. as a mean of achieving our shared goals of combating violent extremism, refuting the narrative of hate, and paving the way to a new phase of U.S.-Muslim relations based on mutual understanding, respect, and trust.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Inaugural Session

6:00 PM


  1. Recitation of the Holy Quran
  2. Keynote address by His Excellency Dr. Charles Asher Small

(Founding Director and President of the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy)

  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Father/Reverend Brian E. McWeeney

(Director, Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at Archdiocese of New York)


  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Dr. John Duke Anthony

(President and CEO National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations)


  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Matar Al Kaabi

(Chairman of The General Authorities of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Abu Dhabi)


  1. Keynote address by His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Shawky Allam

(The Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt)


  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen

(Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation)


  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Abdallah bin Mahfudh ibn Bayyah

(Chairman of Emirates Fatwa Council and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies)


  1. Keynote address by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Alissa

(The Secretary General of the Muslim World League)


Formal Dinner


Friday October 5, 2018

First Session

9:00 to 11:15 AM


Moderator: Dr. Kamal Boraiqa Abdelsalam Hassan

(General Coordinator of Al-Azhar Center for Dialogue)


  1. The Polemic of Cultural Hegemony between Moderation and Extremism.
  • Dr. Abdelhak Azzouzi )Professor of International Relations and Political Science – Morocco)
  • Ms. Zainab Al-Suwaij (Co-founder and Executive Director of the American Islamic Congress)
  • Jasleen Bains, (Political Advisor, U.S. Mission to the UN)
  • Mariyam A. Cementwala (Policy Advisor, Global CVE , Office of International Religious Freedom, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labo)


  1. School  Session - Fostering interfaith and intercultural understanding in youth of all faiths:

 Moderator: Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

(Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis)


  • Dr. Gerald M. Cattarro, Professor of Education and Executive Director Center for Catholic School Leadership at Fordham University
  • Michael J. Coppotelli, Associate Superintendent of Schools, Catholic Archdiocese
  • Rafeek Mohamed, Chairman, Muslim School Association


10 Minutes for each speaker, 15 Minutes for Q and A


Break 11:15 to 11:30

Friday, October 5, 2018.

Second Session

11:30 – 1:00 PM

Moderator: Dr. John Duke Anthony (President and CEO National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations)


  1. Important Communication Issues between the U.S. and the Muslim World (Immigration, Minorities, Religious Identity and Integration, as well as Islamophobia.)
  • Dr. Mamdooh Rakbi (General-Commissioner for the International Organization for Human Rights and Relief)
  • Dr. Bawa Jain (Secretary General for the World Council of Religious Leaders)
  • Irina Tsukerman (Human Rights and  National Security Attorney and Analyst)
  • Mr. Mohammad Al-Sammak (Secretariat General, The Islamic / Christian Spiritual Summit)
  • Dr. Tony Badran ( Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)


  1. Important Elements in the U.S.-Muslim Bilateral Relationship: (the Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Cultural and Historical Polemics: “Understanding Diversity and Pluralism,” and Peace-Making Youth Convoys.)

Bridging the Religious and Cultural Gap

  • Dr. Bob Roberts (Founder

The Israeli-Palestinian Peace:

  • Mr. Marwan Faouri (Secretary-General of the Global Forum for Moderation)

Cultural and Historical Polemics: “Understanding Diversity and Pluralism,”

  • Professor David Des Roches (Senior, International Affairs Fellow)
  • Professor Yousef Al-Said Yousef Amir (Deputy President of Al-Azhar University for Student and Education Affairs)


10 Minutes for each speaker, 10 Minutes for Q and A


Luncheon 1:00 to 2:30

Friday, October 5, 2018

Third Session

2:30 to 3:30 PM

Moderator: Sorhab Ahmari

Senior Writer at Commentary Magazine,

Former Wall Street Journal Editor


  1. Historical and contemporary Role Models of Cultural Exchange between East and West
  • Mr. Thomas Lippman (Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute)
  • Mufti Naim Ternava (Grand Mufti of the Republic of  Kosovo)
  • Mr. Peter Welby (Consultant on Religion and Global Affairs)
  • Jason Guberman (Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation)


  1. Religious Freedom between Islamic law and U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
  • Dr. Susan Douglass (Educational Outreach Consultant at Georgetown University)
  • Prof. John Attanasio (President of International Academic Institute of Legal Process and Procedure)
  • Dr. Douglas M. Padgett, Chief, Strategic Relations Unit, Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State


10 Minutes for each speaker, 10 Minutes for Q and A



Friday, October 5, 2018

Fourth Session

3:45 to 4:30 PM

Moderator Dr. Ibrahim Najm

(Adviser to the Grand Mufti of Egypt)



  1. Dialogue of Civilizations: Understanding the unique characteristics of different civilizations and building on common grounds.
  • Dr. Ali Al-Nuaimi (Chairman of the International Council for Muslim Communities)
  • Bishop Aubrey A .Harley (Healthy Choice Ministries international)
  1. Cultural and knowledge Exchange as a Means of Strengthening Engagement and Mutual Understanding
  • Ms. Meghan O'Sullivan (Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  1. The Media's Role in Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue
  • Dr. Uchenna Ekwo (Center for Media & Peace Initiatives)
  • Jean Schindler (Chief of Staff at the Muslim American Leadership Alliance, MALA)


Break 4:30 to 4:45 PM


Closing Session

3:45 PM


  1. Final Communiqué
  2. Press Conference