Los Angeles Jewish - Muslim 
Dialogue on Human Rights: Links of Interest

Register for the dialogue here.  You will need a password to register.  Contact one of our lead participants if you do not have a password.

The extraordinary results of the initial spring 2005 dialogue are now available onlineAdditional links related to the spring 2005 Finding Our Common Humanity dialogue.  The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics in Malibu, and the Islamic Center of Southern California are co-sponsoring the continuation of the dialogue now in progress as of August, 2005.  

There are plans for a meeting in September to consider how best to further the Agenda for Southern California that was outlined in the fifth round of the dialogue.   Contact one of our lead participants if you would like to attend that meeting.

In preparation for the Jewish - Muslim Dialogue on Human Rights, entitled Finding Our Common Humanity, participants are encouraged to explore these links.  Please send suggestions for additional links, including your brief annotation, to rogereaton@earthlink.net

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a must read for all participants as a basis for the discussion.  The UDHR, adopted and proclaimed in 1948 by the U.N. General Assembly, is the founding document of a united world community.  Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force behind the UDHR. 

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics in Malibu is the prime sponsor of the dialogue.  The Wallenberg, as it is familiarly known to its members, warmly invites your participation.

SharingLA has an Interfaith Dialogue section where articles are posted concerning Jewish-Muslim dialog.  You are welcome to post articles there. 

Dr Mehnaz M. Afridi is one of the dialogue promoters.  Her article, Religious Diversity, Walking and the City in Ruins, is recommended for participants.  What we can take from this article is a sense of adventure that can be applied to the dialogue.  We are the dialogue!

Rebecca Tobias, a dialogue lead participant is connected with the Elijah School for the Study of Wisdom in World Relgions -- their impressive website is well worth a visit.  Pages not to be missed include the work of their Interfaith Academy and the list of Board Members.

One of the articles posted at sharing LA is particularly fine and needs a special mention here: "Muslims Should Reach Out" by Omar Ahmad, chairman of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  Dialogue participants, please be sure to read this article.  Also available on the CAIR site under the title BRIDGING THE RELIGIOUS DIVIDE.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has an excellent website that keeps up with human rights issues in America, particularly as they relate to the American Islamic community.  Don't miss CAIR's  "Not in the name of Islam" petition, which begins, "We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent."  Also worth a look is their MUSLIM CONDEMNATIONS OF THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS page.

The Interfaith Encounter Association is "dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East through interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural study ... religion can and should be a source of the solution for conflicts that exist in the region and beyond."  Don't miss the impressive list of projects being carried out by the IEA.

The current Finding Our Common Humanity dialogue had its roots in a 2002 Arab / Jewish dialogue with a similar design.  There is a considerable amount of material on the 2002 dialogue at http://www.nonviolenceworks.com/middleeast/.

One interesting possibility has been raised in connection with God's October Surprise: "a Call to celebrate the unusual confluence, this October, of the sacred seasons of several religious communities. We can do this by peacefully making spiritual connections especially through a Nationwide Fast for Reflection, Repentance, Reconciliation, and Renewal on October 13 and by sharing social action to heal the world.  This Call was initiated by The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah. For more information and action suggestions, see www.tentofabraham.org.  The Call has been endorsed by the National Council of Churches; the Islamic Society of North America; Pax Christi; The Shalom Center; the Jewish Committee for Isaiah's Vision (see note 3 below); ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and its rabbinic body, Ohalah; the Disciples Justice Action Network; the Northwest Interfaith Movement (Philadelphia) [partial list]".  Here is Rabbi Arthur Waskow's writeup on the FOR site: God's October Surprise: Ramadan, Yom Kippur and a National Fast on October 13

In February, 2005, a group of 15 Christians, 15 Jews and 15 Muslims set off for Jerusalem together on a joint pilgrimage.  See the story here.  There journey is being blogged at http://www.abraham.la.

Here are a few relevant excerpts from holy texts:

Somewhat along the same lines is the Muslim Prayer for Universal Religious Freedom and Freedom of Worship in Tibet   -   By Iftekhar A. Hai, Director of Interfaith Relations, United Muslims of America, San Francisco, CA.  The article concludes with this Islamic Peace Prayer compiled by Mahatma Gandhi:
We think of Thee, worship Thee, bow toThee
as the Creator of this Universe
We seek refuge in Thee, the Truth, our only support
Thou art the Ruler, the barge
in this ocean of endless births and deaths.
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful,
Praise be to the Lord of the Universe
who has created us and made us into tribes and nations. 
Give us wisdom that we may know each other and not despise all things. 
We shall abide by thy Peace.  And we shall remember
the servants of God are those who walk on this earth in humility
and when we address them,
we shall say Peace Unto Us All.
Locally, the progressive Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) has been meeting for years now.  They have a great calendar (that our conference needs to be listed on). 

There is good advice for interfaith dialoguers at "Dialogue in Our Time", an article published New Year's Day 2005. 

For a truly astonishing compendium of links about dialogue see Selected Websites on Dialogue.  This page has a good section on interfaith dialogue.

Middle East Dialogue Resources page from MidEastWeb is a must see for anyone interested in dialogue on Middle East issues. 

Prof. Shah-ul-Hameed has words of wisdom concerning the role of the internet in the Islamic world, and yes, interfaith dialogue is one mentioned usage, though "a step towards the unity of the Ummah" is perhaps the central point.  He quotes Samer Hathout, cofounder of the Muslim Women's League in Los Angeles, saying "I think for the first time for a lot of Muslim women they can be equal partners in a discussion on anything..."  It is worth a look at Welcome to "Cyberia" - I and Welcome to "Cyberia - II".

Walk the Road to Peace is a U.S. organization working for peace through interfaith efforts in the Middle East.  Our dialogue might consider affiliating and joining or building a "Local Interreligious Leadership Team".

Hello Peace is an innovative way to get Israelis and Palestinians talking one-to-one -- on the phone - over 230,000 calls so far.  If you're in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza, you can pick up the phone and talk to someone on the other side about reconciliation, tolerance, and peace.  A project of the Parent's Circle - Families Forum.

Another Road Home - an affecting Israeli movie opening in Los Angeles on May 6.  The deeply moving story of Israeli filmmaker, Danae Elon's quest to find Musa Obeidallah, the Palestinian man who helped raise her from the time she was a baby until she joined the Israeli army.  Danae's emotional and physical journey takes her from her current home in New York to an Arab-American neighborhood in New Jersey, and finally to the West Bank and Jerusalem.  This evocative documentary reaches out with deep affection to all who believe in the power of family, trust and friendship.

PeaceXPeace, a global network connecting women's circles, has devoted their current newsletter edition to the Middle East.  Lots of good stuff here.

Bitterlemons.org presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints on prominent issues, focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process. It is produced, edited and partially written by Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian, and Yossi Alpher, an Israeli. Its goal is to contribute to mutual understanding through the open exchange of ideas.  See also BitterLemons International.

Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam - (ne-'vé  shal-'om / 'wah-at  i-sal-'am: Hebrew and Arabic for Oasis of Peace [Isaiah 32:18]):  A village in Israel established jointly by Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship and engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples.  The Wallenberg Institute of Ethics supports the Oasis of Peace Village.

For any questions, please contact our dialogue coordinator, Roger Eaton, at rogereaton@earthlink.net and mention the dialogue in your subject line or phone 310 390 5220.  Your queries are welcome.

last changed August 18, 2005