Mabda Report 09/09/12

Holy See to address international interfaith conference in Istanbul

Muslim and Christian perspectives on the Arab Spring and peace in the Middle East are the theme of an international interfaith conference in Istanbul, Turkey September 7-8. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will deliver the opening address of the conference, held under the auspices of the Turkish Religious Foundation Center for Islamic Studies and the Marmara University Institute for Middle Eastern Studies.

The Conference aims to “bring together eminent regional figures such as scholars, intellectuals, community and religious leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa with a view to enhancing interfaith dialogue for the preservation of peaceful co-existence among all communities from various religious, sectarian and ethnic backgrounds, against the backdrop of the recent political developments in the region.”

Muslims, Jews gather in Paris for interfaith parley

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, told Jewish and Muslim leaders on Tuesday that “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” referring to recent rulings in Europe against circumcision and ritual slaughter.

Speaking at the opening session of the Second Gathering of European Jewish and Muslim Leaders in Paris, Kantor added that such attacks were against “all people of faith,” and contradicted not only the principle of free expression but also the very basis of modern European society.

History of food, not politics, unites Jews and Arabs

Every week for the past five months, a group of Arab and Jewish women from neighboring towns near Haifa, Israel have come together to cook. Each week, they meet in a different woman’s home, discovering their commonalities and differences by sharing recipes, culinary traditions and childhood memories.

These weekly meetings take place through an initiative called Cooking for Peace, one of many projects initiated by the Givat Haviva Education Center. Cooking for Peace is part of its new holistic model for peace education called Shared Communities, which was developed in response to profound changes within Jewish and Arab societies in Israel in the past decade and has provided a new way to bridge deep divides.