On the third day of Eid Al-Fitr, in which Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, the hearts, feeling and emotions of Muslims and Christians were united in peace closer to God in one place, without making distinction between the Christian Priest and the Muslim Sheikh, between black and white, man or woman, who all sat together in the residence of the Austrian Republican Palace, at the offices of Chancellor Werner Faymann, celebrating the Eid.
On evening August 21 2012, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann received the representatives of the Muslim minority in Austria as well as the heads and representatives of various religious communities of Christian and Jewish orientation. The occasion was the Eid Al-Fitr, which this year was celebrated by Muslims on Sunday August 19.
Unity, brotherhood, peace, humanity, equality and respect between the three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism was the theme during the Chancellors invitation. Dr. Faymann presided over the event and sat at a round table which brought together the heads of the three monotheistic religions in Austria as well as important personalities from politics.
Among the attendants was Secretary of State Dr. Josef Ostermayer, the head of the Catholic Church in Austria Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Landessuperintendent Mag. Thomas Hennefeld for the Evangelic Church (H.B.), the Archbishop of the Armenian Church Prof. Dr. Mesrob Krikorian, the Bishop of the Evangelic Church (A.B.) Prof. Michael Bünker, Dipl. Ing. Omar Al-Rawi, Rabbi Prof. Chaim Eisenberg, the president of the jewish community in Vienna Oskar Deutsch, the President der Islamic Faith Union in Austria (IGGiÖ) Dr. Phil. Fuat Sanaç, the emeritus President of the Islamic Faith Union Dr. Anas Al-Shaqfeh, the former president of President of the Islamic Community in Austria (IGGiÖ) from 1987 to 2011, the Bishop of Feldkirch Benno Elbs, and many others.
Muslims, Christians and jews sat around the table without discrimination, they all were united in friendship during this celebration of the Eid al-Fitr under the auspices of Chancellor Faymann. The beautiful picture seen during this dinner event can be seen as a good example of how coexistence between human beings in all countries of the world should be.
Chancellor Faymann delivered a speech before his guests in which he welcomed the representatives of the various religious communities. In his short speech, Faymann spoke about community or solidarity in the EU and in Austria and he underlined that the social security of the individual in a community is concomitant with the level of solidarity in the community. He also emphasized the fact that several religious communities are able to live together and in mutual respect in Austria.
Faymann warned in his speech against hurling accusations against to the followers of a religion and describing them as enemies of the nation or the Austrian community. In this context, Faymann strongly condemned all attempts and activities of incitement and slander that affect certain groups of the Austrian society and their representatives.
Engineer Omar Al-Rawi delivered a brief speech which was met with enthusiastic applause by the attendance. Without solidarity society is nothing according to Al-Rawi, and the dinner of Eid Al-Fitr is one possible way to express ones solidarity with different people.
He also used the occasion to thank the various religious communities for their shown solidarity during the recent nation-wide discussion about circumcision. Al-Rawi has built strong relations with all Muslim minorities in Austria, among them the small Shia’a community, whose representatives he invited to the dinner.
It must be said that Al-Rawi was responsible for the organization of the Eid Al-Fitr dinner of the Chancellor, and he worked hard to assure its success. Over 200 persons attended the evening ceremony, which was well organized and offered the attendance a friendly meeting venue.
The speech delivered by Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann during the event of Eid Al-Fitr on 21 August 2012 at the Austrian Federal Chancellery.