Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place
The article I feature below while from January fits well with my recent them. The entire site Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place is refreshingly bold - holding dialogue with "the other" in such high esteem. I am so encouraged yet the full article referred to expresses that the writer's Jewish community at large is not at all of one mind on this effort of good will at their own loss.
See the interesting, moving and sometimes funny illustrations and the surprising books this blogger reads - which really help smash some stereotypes some Muslims may have of Jewish disregard. There are not oft heard viewpoints here which give me plenty of glad goosebumps and much hope for peace!
Also find recently here: BREAKING THE SILENCE: Gaza War Soldiers’ Testimonies (part 1 & 2) with VIDEOS just the last few days - You may want to click HOME to work back from current items) Tikun Olam: Make the World a Better Place - here
N.Y. Imam Committed to Muslim-Jewish Dialogue
One of the constant themes repeated ad nauseum by right-wing Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes, Alan Dershowitz and their supporters is that Muslims are uniformly extremists filled with hate. There are no “Muslim moderates.” No imams denounce terror. They all support Al Qaeda, etc. etc.
Walter Ruby in Jewish Week brings yet further evidence of the utter falsity of such claims. He writes about the new interim Imam of New York City’s largest and most influential mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center, the Indonesian-born Mohammed Shamsi Ali. The interview with him is wide-ranging, candid and impressive:
[He] declared in a dialogue with Rabbi Schneier at the New York Synagogue earlier this month that it “cannot be accepted to deny the existence of Israel” or to deny the Holocaust. Appearing last week at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Imam Ali delivered a special sermon during Mincha services in which he urged Jews and Muslims to revisit “problematic” passages in the Koran and Torah. Those passages buttress bellicose stances against other religions by understanding them as having been written in earlier times, and not necessarily relevant to today’s world.
Imam Ali also urged his listeners to “look beyond what is presented in the media” about Jewish-Muslim relations in order to create “real connections” based on trust and affection. “Once you get to know Muslims,” he said, “you will ask them, ‘Are you really the people I see portrayed [negatively] on Fox News?’”
Key Muslim leaders in New York praise the Indonesian-born Ali as a charismatic and compassionate leader whose embrace of interfaith dialogue represents “mainstream” opinion within the Muslim community.
It is sad, but somehow reassuring that those in both the Muslim and Jewish communities who reach out to the other side are rebuffed by their respective extremist right fringes...
...Imam Ali believes that American Jews and Muslims should build a relationship “that is more influenced by religious commonalities than by political differences. We cannot deny the emotional impact of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, yet we need to ensure that our relationship is not determined only by that.” He added, “We also should remember that there have been bright times in our relationship as well, such as the cooperation between Muslims and Jews in Andalusia during the Middle Ages.”
I’m pleased that Jewish academic institutions like the Jewish Theological Seminary and HUC-JIR have hosted talks with him and are reaching out to him...
...the Jewish communal group is missing out on an important opportunity to engage local Muslims in dialogue and debate about issues that divide and link us. Events in the Middle East are too bloody and too catastrophic to miss such possibilities when they arise. To the Ruskays of the Jewish world I say (paraphrasing Hillel): if you will not be for peace, who will be for it? If you are only for yourself, what are you? If not now, when?
American Muslim praying at an American Mosque
SEE the full article and the equally interesting comments here
See the many and various blogs recommended by the Jewish blogger - including here
And watch the better Jewish Lobby in the US at work - here
And see some excelling recent Palestinian journalism from this former Professor - Daoud Kuttab's blog: here
And Abraham's Vision here
And I'm looking forward to the World Music offered here - maybe we'll meet at this site someday? Be sure to read and add to the comments.