News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Jewish-Muslim Dialog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Jewish-Muslim Dialog

Two authors--a Jew and a Moslem--Identify ways that these two groups can air differences and issues to reach a level of dialog that pre-empts violence. In the Lebanese newspaper, Daily Star, they write:

Finally, in order to overcome the chasm of misunderstanding and bad history that exists between the two communities, an official long-term, public dialogue of the Abrahamic faiths must be supported. Such on-going dialogue needs a role model; we were inspired by the legacy of Daniel Pearl, an American Jewish journalist who earned respect in Muslim society and who came to symbolize the very ideals of religious tolerance and East-West dialogue. With the help of this symbol, we were able to carve a path of legitimacy in our communities and to witness our dialogues playing a positive role in the warming of relations between Israel and the Muslim world.

The lesson we draw from our experience is that individuals - Muslims and Jews, youth and adults, public officials and religious leaders - should not be discouraged by incendiary calls for the destruction of Israel. Each of us, all of us, should advance our own human interactions and diplomacy efforts to carve the path of dialogue. And it is a dialogue not only of civilizations, but for the future of humankind.

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