Changing Our World
Edited by Zachary D. Kaufman
Ari Alexander and Gul Rukh Rahman INTRODUCTION Many conflicts continue to rage between competing nationalisms, religious sects, and ethnic groups. Of all the regional conflicts since World War II, few, if any, have garnered as much media attention as the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the conflict between Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East has received enormous attention, the more widespread problem in global Muslim-Jewish relations is largely hidden from public view. The globalization of the ArabIsraeli conflict has created a worldwide phenomenon of mutual suspicion, separation, and even hatred between many Jews and Muslims from Jakarta to Johannesburg, from Sao Paulo to San Francisco. The majority of attention paid to this issue ignores the voices and projects that promote an alternative to the dominant narrative of conflict. However, both Hommes de Parole (based in France)1 and the Muslim World League (based in Saudi Arabia)2 have organized conferences in which Jewish and Muslim leaders from various parts of the world have participated in dialogue. We see this as part of a growing trend towards recognizing the importance of this issue on the global stage. There are three primary arenas of the worldwide crisis in Muslim-Jewish relations. One version is a minority-minority dynamic, in which Jewish and Muslim communities live in Western (majority Christian) societies such as Canada, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most Jews in the world live in close proximity to Muslims. But the reverse is not true. Rather, most Muslims live in...
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