Suicide killings - both in American and Israel - have focused world attention on international terrorism and the need both to understand its causes and combat it through all possible means. But the involvement of people claiming that their Islamic faith justified murderous suicide action has intensified demonisation of Islam in the west and in turn highlighted the need to understand and relate to Muslims in all their diversity. For a rabbi, confronted on a daily basis with the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the importance of a dialogue between Jews and Muslims is of obvious importance. Because Jews and Muslims share the experience of being minority religious communities in Europe, they have parallel experiences and needs. Moreover, both have to address the impact of the Middle East conflict on their own communities. Rabbi Jonathan Magonet has long been engaged in such interfaith dialogue. For over thirty years he has organised the annual Jewish-Christian-Muslim student conference in Basle, and has lectured on these themes and participated himself in interfaith conferences all over the world. In this book he explores the issues that arise in such an encounter, the traps that so easily hinder relationships, and the historical and theological problems to be confronted once a basis of trust has been established. As well as examining specific areas that need to be addressed in the Jewish encounter with Christians and Muslims, he challenges the Jewish community to broaden its commitment to interfaith dialogue in a complex and rapidly changing world.
Talking to the Other
Jewish Interfaith Dialogue with Christians and Muslims