The UK’s out-there Radio Salaam Shalom (strapline: “Muslims and Jews Talking Together”) has just revamped its web site. Their main content is audio podcasts, which provide interesting perspectives on Jewish-Muslim relations. They’re avant guard, and not particularly shy.
Definitely worth a listen.
March 3rd, 2009
The Guardian’s Islamophonic and Sounds Jewish podcast teams have joined forces in an inspiring podcast. If you don’t listen to any other podcast audio this year, listen to this, as it’s a model for how we can work together to explore the crunchy issues:
The first half of the podcast focusses on how the conflict in Gaza has affected Jewish-Muslim relations in the UK, and moves on to a feature on to the Mu-Jew Crew – a Muslim-Jewish theatre team, and finally to a Muslim-Jewish comedy duo.
The damage done by the Gaza conflict to Jewish-Muslim relations runs deep, but this podcast shows that we can keep the conversation going, and look for new ways of working together to build a better future.
February 3rd, 2009
There are two encouraging stories in the media today in which Christians and Muslims are engaging in ever deeper dialogue. In North America, Yale University will be hosting a conference on “A Common Word”, and England’s Archbishop of Canterbury has invited Christian and Muslim leaders to a conference in October to tackle religious violence and freedom of worship.
Both gatherings are important. A Common Word was a groundbreaking invitation by Muslim religious leaders worldwide to engage in wider dialogue with Christians and Jews, and fully deserves a further engagement. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s appeal has a more practical slant in working to stem religious tensions.
As with the Saudi-led interfaith talks in Spain that began today, the real challenges will be (a) translating talk into action, and (b) taking the message from the leadership to the grassroots. The former will enable the latter, as the proof of the sincerity of the participants will be in the outcomes that they are able to achieve once they get home.
July 16th, 2008
The Telegraph reports that a recent survey shows that “just over a third of people thought religions like Christianity and Judaism would still be practiced in Britain in 100 years’ time,” but in contrast, “… the number of actively religious Muslims is predicted to increase from about one million today to 1.96 million in 2035.”
I’m not sure how much credibility to give public surveys, in that the pollsters are questioning members of the public who generally lack specific knowledge. As one anonymous pundit put it, “Opinion polls measure the public’s satisfaction with its ignorance.”
Given that only 33% of Britons consider themselves religious, these results come as no surprise. Rumours of religion’s demise are premature …
July 1st, 2008
Tony Blair is about to launch his new Faith Foundation. In an interview with the Guardian, he says that the foundation will bring together six faiths – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, and that the new foundation would encourage practical work by religious groups to help tackle poverty and disease.
Although he is a committed Christian, Blair distanced himself from religion for fear of being dismissed as a nutter, although he famously stated as he decided to join the US in the Iraq war that “If you believe in God, [judgment] is made by God as well.”
No doubt the new foundation is part of his attempt to right past wrongs.
May 30th, 2008