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Great Article

November 13, 2006

It is a long read, but it is an article that is rich in history and understanding:

The need to reflect on Jewish-Muslim history in our post-9/11 cannot be overstated. Peace in our time – not Neville Chamberlain’s peace that betrayed the Czechs in Munich in 1938, but a peace that recognizes our common humanity – hinges upon whether Jews and Muslims can find the insight and spiritual resources necessary to bridge their divide.As the Berlin Wall fell to signal the end of the Cold War, there was a brief moment of optimism that peace and progress might be achieved in the new millennium. This crumbled in the fire, the dust and terror of New York’s twin towers and the attack on Pentagon.

Among the multitude of voices heard at that time was one that spoke to me with great lucidity and hope. In 1991 Hans Kung, a German Catholic theologian and academic, published a small book called in English Global Responsibility. His prophetic words were a challenge to all: “No survival without a world ethic. No world peace without peace between the religions. No peace between the religions without dialogue between the religions.”1 With this Kung reminded us that our political world cannot be separated from our religious world, and that the most important political questions in our time are also religious questions.

Today it seems as though all possible roads toward mutually respectful relations between Jews and Muslims have reached dead ends. The failure of either of these two peoples to continue to work toward mutual respect, the failure to learn from both the distant and the immediate past is a prescription for unspeakable tragedy. If this tragedy should occur it shall not matter who was most responsible. Jewish-Muslim reconciliation is an imperative in and of itself, as was Jewish-Christian reconciliation before the Shoah. It is an imperative as well for global peace, for an end to Muslim terrorism and the war against Muslim terrorism, and for ending a history over-burdened with recriminations, each side denying the other’s capacity to be fully human, with neither recognizing the other as oneself.

Go read it!  One point I’d like to add is that this article is very objective, his views in regards to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict call for much reflecting of the Arab/Muslim world and after all of that, after some pretty damning preaching to the Muslim world, the comments left have been rather negative.

Hat tip to Smart and Final Isis!

For anyone that is not familiar with Smart and Final Isis, please check out the blog as it is founded with most honorable intentions!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. dawood permalink
    November 13, 2006 9:16 pm

    Fascinating and much needed article! Although some of the comments were crude, I believe they have a point too: we Muslims need to be able to un-idealize the past and deal with history before we can move on.

  2. November 13, 2006 10:33 pm


    interesting comment. Just what points did he make that you think need to be un-idealized?

  3. dawood permalink
    November 13, 2006 10:47 pm

    Well, not that I am learned in any of the areas specifically, but I always find the “historical Spain” argument to be rather… thin. There is no doubt that great things happened there, and were produced there, but the history is not always so rosy. We have intra-Muslim fighting (between the more literalist Berber tribes who came later) and the “native” Muslims there. This is one reason why Ibn Rushd was defamed and all his books burned for instance – he was deemed unorthodox by the more literalist side when they got power.

    Anyways, have to run, but will read over the article again and post later if I can. 🙂

  4. November 13, 2006 11:17 pm

    I thought that the author of this article pointed this out. It was a long read, maybe I should go over it again.

  5. dawood permalink
    November 13, 2006 11:24 pm

    I just skimmed it, so maybe I missed it. I was interested more in the comments below it and the almost vitrolic hate they seemed to espouse towards any of the sentiments the article contained.

  6. saqi namah permalink
    November 14, 2006 2:57 am

    A king once said, “Why can’t we just all get along?” The name of that king was Rodney King. 🙂

  7. November 14, 2006 5:12 am

    Fascinating article. Thank you for sharing it, samaha

  8. November 15, 2006 4:55 pm

    saqi – I just don’t know, but I gotta say that it would be a little boring if we all just got along. It must be human nature.

    Glad you enjoyed the article archie!

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