Editorial: Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Needs to Rediscover Compassion

November 16, 2003

Source: Star-Telegram


On November 16, 2003 the Star-Telegram published an editorial by Akbar S. Ahmed on the need to improve the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations. Ahmed writes, "A historical conjunction of factors has created a global situation where several world civilizations feel simultaneously besieged and where hatred and anger readily turn into violence. Perhaps what makes all this even more dangerous is the lack of knowledge about the other. Muslims need to understand how deeply hurtful and inflammatory phrases like 'final solution,' 'final victory,' 'extermination' and references to the Jews as 'modern Nazis' can be to Jews. Many Jews are highly critical and vocal about actions contributing to the deaths of innocent Muslims. They are therefore doubly hurt at what they see as Muslim insensitivity. Muslims would do well to understand the phenomenon of anti-Semitism... Finally, and most important of all, the central Abrahamic message of compassion -- exemplified so perfectly by Jesus -- needs to be rediscovered. Although dialogue is too often couched in terms of scoring points and tit-for-tat exchanges, we see too few attempts at reaching out in compassion."