Can Muslim and Jewish narratives co-exist?
by Deborah Weissman
JERUSALEM - In his book, Longitudes & Attitudes (2002), journalist Thomas Friedman, citing Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen, suggests that the true clash in today’s world is not “between civilisations” (as argued by Samuel Huntington) but within each civilisation or religion—a clash between the forces of extremism and those of moderation, tolerance, or what might be called “religious humanism." Read more>>
Jewish respect and admiration for Muslim religiosity
by Zvi Zohar
JERUSALEM - Within Jewish tradition there are sources that express not just a tolerance towards aspects of Muslim religiosity, but a real admiration and positive intellectual and religious respect. It is important for both Jews and Muslims to become acquainted with these sources, and to consider their implications. Here I consider one such source, found in the writings of Rabbi Yitzhak Farhi of Jerusalem (1782-1853). It tells of a relationship between two outstanding men in late 18th century Damascus: a great Sufi sheikh and the Chief Rabbi of Damascus. Read more>>
Muslims and Jews are closer than they think
By Mustafa Abu Sway
Despite being in a protracted political conflict over the Holy Land that began around the time of the advent of Zionism over a century ago, Jews and Muslims have common historical roots, as well as theological commonalities.
Our common roots go beyond the Abrahamic tribal constructs. Abraham himself is considered in the Koran as the archetypal monotheist and a true submitter to the will of God, being “neither Jew, nor Christian” (Koran 3:67). However, simple commonalities do not offer in and of themselves a way forward in interfaith dialogue. Abraham should not be turned into a comfort zone or a euphemism for avoiding issues of injustice among his third-millennial grandchildren. Read more>>
The Tragedy of Monotheism
by Rabia Terry Harris
PHILADELPHIA - Everybody needs a tribe. One person alone faces a frighteningly big, sometimes brutal world. Even a family can be too small to deal with some challenges that come down the pike – while if family relationships are the only ones around, obsessive family closeness can suffocate us. No, tribes are the way to go, which is why most of the human race carefully conserves them. Read more>>
Using Qur’anic narratives in pursuit of peace
by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
NEW YORK - I consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the single biggest obstacle to eliminating Muslim-Jewish antipathy. Although this dispute is fundamentally about the distribution of assets and the power to control decisions, it is frequently portrayed as a religious conflict. And too often, opposing sides have used erroneous or out-of-context interpretations of their scriptures to demonise the other and to provide justification for not striving towards a just peace. Read more>>