Vienna, 21 September 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: “Inter-religious dialogue is essential for combating discrimination and xenophobia”

Vienna, 21 September 2011 – Representatives of three different religions will discuss ways of fighting religious discrimination in a panel discussion on “Jewish, Muslim and Christian Perspectives on Combating Discrimination and Promoting Inclusion” at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna tonight.

The panel members will include Ilja Sichrovsky, secretary general and co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish Conference, the Islam expert Farid Hafez and Wolfram Reiss from the Vienna University Institute for Systematic Theology and Religious Studies. The event was organised to mark a visit of the US Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Austria. This organisation that was founded in 1913 opposes every form of discrimination and defamation.

The question as to what extent inter-religious dialogue can act against xenophobic tendencies in society and promote mutual understanding between the religions will be the main theme of discussion. “Our aim is to achieve a tolerant and a discrimination-free society. The basis for this is frank and open dialogue together with a respectful attitude towards each other”, Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said.

This event is open to the public. More information can be found on the homepage of the Vienna Diplomatic Academy. People wishing to attend are asked to register at

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