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 believe that the greatest example of how best to behave in the face of
such conflict situations as that happening in Palestine-Israel today are
the Palestinian and Israeli people themselves. Many might say, What! But
they are always fighting each other! This is the impression gained from
most main stream media. However, there are several groups in Israel,
Palestine, and around the world who are not only talking to each other
but who are actively attempting to help each other.
The following video is one example. An Israeli woman and a Palestinian
man, the immense pain they feel is palpable, but through that pain comes
a tremendous love and courage. It is only 6 minutes long and you can see
it here: http://tinyurl. com/a3vvod
This video link was sent to me by a dear friend, a young Israeli with
whom I have had many long conversations and with whom I have
participated in dhikr together with other Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs. On
the Sufi path I have learnt that love can be painful and that courage is
needed to follow the path. Often that courage fails me, it is a constant
struggle, but the two people speaking in this short video are a
wonderful example of the power of love and courage, Alhamdulillah!
When I pray, May there be peace, Inshallah! Then I also acknowledge that
there is peace already, dwelling in Israel and Palestine, among some of
the worst battlefields of the world. May it strengthen and grow and may such initiatives be reported more often in the media.