An American rabbi and an imam who co-authored a work on religious tolerance will
present copies of their book to President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah today in an effort to bring Israelis and
Rabbi Marc Schneier, the president of the New
York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Imam Shamsi Ali of the
Jamaica Muslim Center, which is billed as the the city’s largest Islamic center,
wrote the book Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That
Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims in an effort to combat what the pair sees as
the chasm of distrust separating the two communities.
The American Muslim
community, Schneier told The Jerusalem Post, is currently facing serious
discrimination and is widely viewed with suspicion. Meanwhile, Ali said, his
constituents have worked hard to overcome their own reservations about Jews due
to the biblical claim of chosenness.
It is important for the Muslim
community to learn about the history of the Jews, especially about the period of
the Holocaust, Ali said, adding that the Jewish community would benefit from
better knowledge of their Islamic contemporaries.
For a Jewish community
with strong connections to Israel, he said, it is important to understand that
the majority of Muslims around the world are not Arabs.
presentation of Sons of Abraham to both Israeli and Palestinian officials, the
pair stated that they hoped that greater understanding of their neighbors’ faith
would facilitate the creation of a lasting peace.
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