A Dialogue for Muslim-Jewish
By Naushad Sarwar
to R: Akbar Ahmed, Judea Pearl and Rusty Kennedy
Shalom, salaam, peace!
In all three Abrahamic faiths - Jewish, Christian and Islamic
- the pursuit of peace is fundamental to doing God’s
will. Nevertheless, when it comes to find peace between the
Arab states, Israel and the Palestinians, lack of interfaith
cooperation and peace-oriented dialogues has been observed
in the communities.
What is the root cause of all problems? Why cooperation between
the two faiths doesn’t seem to work? What are the possibilities
of finding peace and bring them together? What challenges
are being encountered in doing so by both the two sides? Has
any effort been made, if so, did we accomplish any progress?
Finding peace in the Middle East is really possible? These
are the questions that agitate every Jew’s and Muslim’s
mind and yet it is difficult to find an answer.
Ahmed with Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui
If you are eager enough
and happen to be a peace-loving person The Daniel Pearl Dialogue
for Muslim–Jewish Understanding is the ideal place for
you to go in search of these pressing questions.
Featuring Akbar Ahmed and Judea Pearl, Mr. Hamid Malik and
Jawed Malik were the hands making it happen. The first ever
gathering on the road to peace process was successfully arranged
at the Crystal Cove Auditorium Student Center, UC Irvine on
Monday, May 16, 2005 free and open to general public.
Respected Mr. Rusty Kennedy, Executive Director of the Orange
County Human Relations Commission, witnessed the dialogue
as a moderator at the full to capacity hall.
To understand the magnitude of the situation and to dispel
the ongoing mutual distrust and suspicion, Dr. Akbar Ahmed
and Dr. Judea Pearl purposefully engaged in the dialogue,
intelligently answering questions and concerns from individuals
regardless of their faith.
L to R Noor Mohammad Jadmani,
Akbar Ahmed, Judea Pearl and Hamid Malik
Dr. Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn
Khaldum Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International
Studies at American University in Washington DC, is “the
world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam”
according to the BBC. On the other hand, Dr. Judea Pearl,
father of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who
was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, is the President
of the Daniel Pearl Foundation and Professor of Computer Science
and Director of Systems Laboratory at the University of California,
Responding to questions regarding the landscape of Jerusalem,
Judea Pearl said, “People of Jerusalem need a place
to live and feel home, which is a modest and innocent call”.
“We need more dialogues on the topic, delegations from
Muslim countries to discuss situations, more interactions
through website,” he explained.
section of the audience
and interactions are the three pillars of all the solutions,”
he claimed. Dr Pearl also asked Dr. Ahmed to have the Pakistani
Government publish some newspaper columns to educate the masses
on the subject.
Dr. Akbar Ahmed started
his dialogue mentioned the profound poetry of Maulana Rumi
that served as an important bridge between Jews and Muslims
and is also found in mosques, synagogues and churches at the
same time. Many would agree with the German poet Hans Meinke,
who said that Rumi’s poetry is “the only hope
for the dark times in which we live.”
Answering a question, Dr. Akbar Ahmed said, “Dialogues,
interactions, and visiting each other are the only solutions”
for removing misunderstandings, and bringing peace to the
two nations. “More and more meetings of this kind are
needed, especially in universities where minds are molded
to shape the world”, he added.