Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi and current Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau was scheduled to travel to Qatar in the coming weeks to take part in the monthly Doha Debates panel, together with other religious leaders. The event was canceled, however, because no Muslim representative could be found to participate.As I have noted many times before, to the Muslim establishment, "dialogue" means a monologue where they can impose their viewpoint but will not listen to any other. In fact, at least one fatwa explicitly rejects "dialogue" when there is no way for the Muslims to control the message.
The Doha Debates, which have been broadcast on BBC World News since 2005 and have a potential viewership of more than 350 million people, had already secured a Christian representative to speak alongside Rabbi Lau, but no Muslim cleric would agree to join them.
"They are always talking about dialogue and [peace] partners, but apparently they don't really mean it," Lau told Israel Hayom on Wednesday. "We reach our hand out and they leave us hanging."
The Doha Debates are chaired by award-winning former BBC correspondent and interviewer Tim Sebastian, who founded the program in 2004 and secured its editorial independence.
No government, official body or broadcaster has control over what is said at the sessions or who is invited.
Apparently, most Muslim leaders have a real problem with "free speech" when that speech includes anything that they disagree with.