Carving the Path for Muslim-Jewish Dialogue

Our modest attempt at bridging the misunderstanding between Jews and Muslims starts with each truly listening to the other.

Continued from page 1

Second

, Muslims would like to convey to their Jewish counterparts that the religious basis for rejecting anti-Semitism is deeply entrenched in Islamic civilization. This is attested to by several things: the many and strong bonds between the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; the respect Muslims have for the great shared biblical figures such as Abraham, Isaac, and Moses; and for many rituals and values. Framing grievances in the context of this common religious and cultural basis is necessary for us to achieve understanding.

Third

, Jews would like to hear that Muslim education and Muslim media are prepared to portray modern Jews as heirs to, and equal carriers of, the Abrahamic tradition.

Fourth

, Muslims would like to explain Islam's attitudes toward and practice of democracy, human rights and civil liberties, to gain trust in their ability to implement those rights and liberties in the context of Islamic traditions. Here the example of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan revered by Pakistanis as the Quaid-i-Azam, or great leader, is illuminating. Jinnah was the embodiment of parliamentary democracy and believed in human rights and respect for the law. He achieved the creation of Pakistan in 1947, then the largest Muslimnation on earth, without ever having broken the law or going to jail.

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