Grand Muslim Ramadan Outreach
Expanding Interfaith Circles, Creating Community
14 July 2015
"We have to learn to live together. . .
side by side, but not back to back."
~Daniel Barenboim (Conductor, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, 2015)
Some people told me not to do it now, that it was not the right time.
"But I said that when things get tense, it is exactly the right time."
~ Shoshana Ben-David (Age 17, Jerusalem, 2015)
Earth is the
greatest historic explosion of suffering refugees -- 59.5 million souls --
being predictably driven from their cherished homes.
This is the dependable catastrophe wherever military arms are sold, sent, and used -- solving nothing, disintegrating cultures, arresting and reversing our ability to learn how to live together.
Journalist Robert C. Koehler -- http://commonwonders.com -- reminds us:: ""Every murderer believes the violence he is wielding is 'good violence.'"
Yet "we cant go to war without spawning imitators."
The means is the ends in the making.
Fortunately the same principle applies to humankind's new warriors -- artisans of communication excellence who listen-to-learn, familiarize, humanize, lower walls, build bridges to reunion.
At the same moment, the excellent listener and speaker are dignified -- re-uniting, creating community.
This is the integrating, neighborhood-building power greater than any sanction, boycott, or bomb.
Called love -- nothing less -- this Dialogue allows fear to atrophy and shared creativity to explode.
Here are living examples of 21st century warriors -- doing things "for and with" others, not "to and against" them:
To begin, notice the wave of Muslim interfaith Ramadan outreach to invite others into their circles -- their ceremonies, their humanity.
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in the United Kingdom
THE BIG IFTAR encourages people of all backgrounds to break the fast after sunset with Muslims.
This year's iftars are increasingly being hosted by mosques, churches and synagogues across the United Kingdom.
The British citizen-innovators are experiencing that sharing food and prayer encourages community cohesion between different faiths during this Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Shabnam Mahmood of BBC News went to one of them at the Alyth (pron AY-LITH) Synagogue in Golders Green, North West London.
The Big Iftar: Muslims observe Ramadan in Jewish synagogue.
BBC News - 26 June 2015 -- 2- min video
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in the Jerusalem
Across Jerusalem, Muslim families hosted Jewish and Christian friends in their homes -- part of ongoing community of Kids 4 Peace (K4P) -- http://www.k4pjerusalem.org
Nazira & Sami, parents of Youserf, wrote from Beit Hanina: " Their awareness of our holiday had brought joy to our hearts."
"We really felt very comfortable around each other. . .in our comfort zone. . .shared personal stories as if we knew each other for a long time.
"We felt that they will be for sure part of our lives. . .We want our kids to live this experience."
"We are all HUMANS We are all ONE to live together in peace, we need to know each other better, respect and love one another.
"Those are the values we teach our kids. . .Together peace is possible."
READ more and SEE photos:
Muslim and Jewish Jerusalemites Break Bread Together
The Media Line - 25 June 2015
Breaking Bread Together: Ramadan Home Hospitality
26 June 20156
6th Grade Iftar at the America House in Jerusalem
03 July 2015
More shared community
Iftars were initiated by the Interfaith Encounter Association -- https://interfaithencounter.wordpress.com/
A Jewish journalist wrote: "I spent the evening sitting with the Muslims I never spoke to, and for that matter never thought I would have the chance to speak to, and listened to their stories.
" I didnt want to leave."
Muslims and Jews breaking the fast together
The Times of Israel - 08 July 2015
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in Los Angeles USA
Iftar on July 10, 2015, was the single-largest gathering of Muslims and Jews in Los Angeles, California USA, sponsored by NewGround citizens who engage year-round strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations -- http://mjnewground.org
Muslim-Jewish iftars are popping up across North America, bringing together dozens and sometimes hundreds of people for a celebratory Ramadan meal and to forge interfaith friendships.
Breaking the Ramadan fast in the company of Jews
The Washington Post - 10 July 2014
preceding months, these NewGround women and men were
making history in public prayers across Los Angeles, the second largest city in
At beaches, rooftops, parks, and City Hall, the gatherings grew from hour to hour.
This wasn't just about bettering themselves, but about building community to so others could see how to do it.
Under the glow of the moon, they concluded their prayer expedition:
"Grant us courage to walk this righteous path, praying side-by-side and yearning together for peace."
Two Faiths One Prayer -- Muslims and Jews Pray Together in Los Angeles
NewGround - 28 May 2015 - 7-min video
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RUNNERS WITHOUT BORDERS -- https://www.facebook.com/runnerswb -- is a new group of 80 Muslim, Jewish, and Christian teens dedicated to fitness and uniting the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian residents of divided Jerusalem.
Bravely they abstained from participating in the recent, government-sponsored Jerusalem Night Run, after the city denied requests to change the date so Muslim runners could observe Ramadan by fasting during daylight hours and gathering for a large Iftar meal after sundown.
Instead, 100 Runners Without Borders held its own 5-kilometer race at the Train Track Park, a length of disused Ottoman-era rail line that crosses the seam between Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem's east and Jewish neighborhoods in the west.
The power of a single citizen is modeled in initiator 18-year-old Shoshana Ben-David, an avid runner born and raised in Jerusalem.
"As a result of the lack of physical activity of many high school girls, and of the violence and racism in Jerusalem since the events of and following summer 2014, I decided to create a joint running group for both Jewish and Arab youth.
"The group runs once a week with a professional trainer, with dialogue once every two weeks with a dialogue facilitator.
"This group will run together towards the change, a better Jerusalem for the future generations."
Ben-David was called a "traitor" on Facebook.
Some people told me not to do it now, that it was not the right time.
"But I said that when things get tense, it is exactly the right time to do something like this and show everyone that there are youths who. . .can live together."
Rozana Jaber, is a 17-year-old Muslim runner from East Jerusalem.
At first I did not think it was a good idea for me to join the group. . .because there was a lot of conflict in the city."
But then I thought, why not? I have nothing to lose by being part of this. . . You build relationships."
The Jewish-Arab running club thats uniting some of Jerusalems teens
The Washington Post - 16 June 2015
3-min video - February 2015
Runners without Borders" brings Israelis and Palestinians together through sport.
Running Without Borders