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White House praises Rumi Forum for advocating interfaith dialogue

White House praises Rumi Forum for advocating interfaith dialogueThe White House, on its official website, commended the Washington-based Rumi Forum, an international organization promoting interfaith dialogue and peace, for its work in fostering “inter-religious and intercultural understanding” in a “consistent” manner since its establishment in 1999.

The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, in a statement on its blog, said, “We were honored to attend the 2011 Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards, the Turkish American organization's annual celebration of leadership towards global harmony.”

White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Joshua DuBois received the Extraordinary Commitment to Public Service Award for his efforts, the statement read. The Rumi Forum also recognized South African human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, George Mason University President Dr. Alan G. Merten, leading American radio talk show host Diane Rehm and Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington Rev. John Bryson Chane for their work in promoting meaningful dialogue through media, education, church or government.

DuBois, in his address at the National Press Club on Oct. 25, said: “We are a country of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and unbelievers. Coming from every corner of the world, we were shaped with every religion and culture. We do not see this as a weakness,” he said.

DuBois continued, “We would like to work together with the Rumi Forum to promote intercultural understanding in our government, in our nation and all over the world.”

Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, known for his vision and international efforts to achieve interfaith dialogue and tolerance, is the honorary president of the Rumi Forum.