I’ve just begun a new blog that relates to my research on Jewish-Muslim relations in Israel. The research project looks specifically at Sufism in Israel whereas the blog is more generally about Jewish-Muslim relations. It hasn’t been up for long so it’s still in its first stages with more to come but you’ll still find plenty of interest there as well as some good videos. Take a look and please give me some feedback if you’re interested. Click here
“Building a Shared future: Islam, Knowledge and Innovation” is the title of a joint publication of the British Council’s ‘Our Shared
Future’ project and the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge. To go straight to the pdf file of this publication click here
I find this immensely exciting and encouraging. The publication arises out of a conference on ‘Acknowledging a Shared Past to Build a Shared Future: Rethinking Muslim/non-Muslim Relations’ held at the University of Cambridge. The idea is, as the title of this post says, ‘To fill the gap between academic expertise and public knowledge of Muslims and Islams. It is essential work and there is a lot to do.
This is a remarkable story of a brave initiative. A small group of Palestinians and settlers meet regularly for discussions in an attempt to stop being afraid of each other. The settlers taking part in these meetings have reason to be worried about fellow settlers who disapprove of what they are doing. It is not easy and it takes courage but this group are considering solutions that make sense on the ground but which Israeli and US politicians are not even looking at.
I was just speaking to a friend on SU about the film Bab’Aziz and said how I feel the mystic tradition of all religions comes very close to the core reality of being. For me it is the Sufi path but I also find inspiration from the Kabbalah and Mahayyana Buddhism. Finally we are all one, diverse expressions of the One Being. I’m doing research at the moment on the connections between Sufi and Jewish mystics and the rising popularity of Sufism in Israel. I’ll be going there for a field study next year as I want to see to what extent Sufi practices transform the individuals perception of self and other to a more unified, reflective perspective and whether this can contribute to justice and peace. It is really very simple, we are all interconnected and therefore the well being of ourselves in every respect is directly connected to the well being of all those around us and the whole planet. We have to stop giving our egos the primary place in our lives and begin living from the heart, that space of the inner being where the One resides and speaks to us if we listen. The image here is of justice and peace kissing each other. in Psalm 85:11 (Tanakh translation) it says, “Faithfulness and truth meet; justice and well-being kiss”. Jean Paul Lederach uses this verse in his work on reconciliation. I like the image of justice and well-being (peace) kissing. Justice is necessary when people are suffering from the injustices done them but when well-being is an intimate associate of justice then she is accompanied by compassion and seeks a path that leads away from revenge and fear and pursues the well-being of all.
The next Jerusalem Hug is happening on 21st June, 2009 when people of all faiths form a human circle of love around Jerusalem. For those who are not in Jerusalem for the event there will be virtual hugs in other cities around the world. You can go to Lovers of Jerusalem for more details.
Vodpod videos no longer available.