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As with Kashrut (the kosher slaughtering of animals), and its Muslim halal equivalent, there have been problems recently with the religious rite of circumcision. With anti-circumcision activists demanding a law against the practice in San Francisco and now a court in Cologne, Germany ruling against it Jewish and Muslim communities have come together to protest. (more…)
Ghassan Manasra is the son of Shaykh ‘Abd as-Salam, head of the Qadiri order in Israel. I’ve met and spoken with him and he is one of the most gentle and peace-loving persons I’ve met. He works hard for peace and reconciliation but it comes with a price as this article in Haaretz reports: “For decades, the mystical Sufis in Nazareth have celebrated Islam through music and poetry without considering themselves in danger. But nowadays, local Salafis, who practice a more conservative and coercive Islam, bully and beat Sufi leaders to deter them from their practices, Muslim community leaders told Haaretz.. “We visit tombs of holy peoples and they say it is forbidden; we chant and they say it is forbidden to use instruments; I say there should be dialogue with Israelis and Jews because the prophet Muhammed received delegations of Jewish tribes,” but Salafis object, said Nazareth Sheikh Ghassan Menasra, 44, a leader of the Qadiri Sufi Order of the Holy Land.” Click here to continue reading
Radio Salaam Shalom is an internet-based broadcasting station based in Bristol UK. It is run by members of the Jewish and the Muslim community together. Their work is voluntary and each programme is devised and broadcast by a Jew and a Muslim working together. I got to know the station when I was living in Bristol doing my MA and I will never forget the feeling of warmth and genuine interest in each others’ faiths that everyone working there showed. I joined in a few times on the Saturday night broadcast, Abraham Nexus and was impressed by the willingness to engage in any topic and the great respect shown for all perspectives. In the meantime the Radio Salaam Shalom has become Salaam Shalom Media to reflect all the work they do in the community. Their mission is expressed in the caption on the above which is on the front page of their website. If you go over to their website you will find many podcasts of previous broadcasts that you can listen to. It’s well worth visiting. Just click here.
This is a new graduate level course that is also open to the general public at Berkeley, California. It is about religious literacy which means being informed about the faith of the other and correcting misunderstandings that are often based on media bias. This is excellent as a form of dialogue and follows in the footsteps of scriptural reasoning groups I know of in the UK. The Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations Relations at the University of Cambridge does similar work with its e-learning programme on the Muslim-Jewish encounter and its support of scriptural reasoning. (more…)
Both humorous and insightful, Leslie Hazleton discusses Judaism and Islam in her irrepressible manner and from an agnostic perspective. I’ve been enjoying her writing for about a year now after hearing her speak on a TED talk about reading the Qur’an. I’ve added the link to her blog in the blogroll. She calls herself an accidental theologist, something which she says came about after spending thirteen years living and working in Jerusalem. Head on over and see what you think.