Posts Tagged ‘Washington Jewish Week’

Synagogues and mosques hold “twinnings” to promote mutual respect; equate Islamophobia with anti-Semitism

November 10, 2010

 

Amid the heated rhetoric and accusations surrounding the planned Muslim Community Center two blocks from Ground Zero, here’s some heartening news, courtesy of Washington Jewish Week. More than 100 mosques and 100 synagogues in 22 countries participated in interfaith “twinning” activities last weekend. In the D.C. area highlights included a community service project for teens and a joint Muslim-Jewish statement: “Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism are both products of fear which we find unacceptable and intolerable. We encourage the larger community to speak out against hate. Our communities have common roots; we are all children of Abraham.”

 

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Jews, Muslims, history, and the mosque “at” ground Zero

August 9, 2010

I came home from my tenth grade history class and announced, “Today we learned about the fall of Christian Constantinople to the Muslim Ottomans, and what a tragedy it was.” My father corrected me; “Not for the Jews, it wasn’t.” He went on to explain that the Ottoman Sultan, Beyazit I, in 1492 invited all the Jews of Spain, just expelled by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, to come live in peace in the Ottoman Empire, then the world’s most powerful. Thousands did, and lived peacefully and prosperously there for centuries, to this day.

Jews and Muslims have gotten on well for most of the time since the days of Mohammed, who honored Jews as “people of the book.” It’s easy today, looking at the enmity between Israel and some of her neighbors, to forget that Jewish culture thrived as never before or since in the “golden age of Jewish culture” in Muslim-ruled Spain, or that the Muslim Beyazit rescued the Jews of Spain and Portugal. Even the Jewish-Muslim conflict in the Middle East is over land, not religion.

So it’s nice to see so many Jews standing up for the rights of American Muslims to build Cordoba House, a community center with prayer area, 2-1/2 blocks from New York’s Ground Zero. NBC News reported, “Jewish Leaders Gather to Support Ground Zero Mosque.”

And Washington’s Jewish Week criticized the position of the Anti-Defamation League (more…)