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There are moderate muslims

Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims

Submitted by Hazel Crowley (United States), Apr 25, 2007 at 23:48

Just a few thoughts about your article. I am president of an organization called "The Root And The Branch, Inc. We have been doing Jewish-Christian dialogue in the community and on TV (5 years) for nearly 20 years. We are having "An evening of Jewish, Christian and Islamic dialogue" this coming April 30, 2007.

I would also like to add that I have a son-in-law who is from Jordan. In the past years I have encountered several Moslims who have served on our panel. Our area of discussion for this dialogue is: Is it the best of times or is it the worst of times for religion? We are going to discuss the very topic that you allude to. I have had several discussions with the local Imam at the mosque. I find him to be an American who sincerely loves living here. I found many positive things about him. What happens is those who are from other countries come here to live and socialize in their own groups.

Consequently, you have all these groups out there who are afraid to move away from their comfort zone. They remain isolated and do not make friends with those who are more mainstream. It is hard to venture out like that. Most want to keep their cultural background and are afraid to venture out. When we first started our group our rabbi was kind of like that. He is orthodox. I went up the synagogue and plopped myself down among a congregation of Jews. We became fast friends. Rabbi and I birthed this organization. Many wonderful things have happened because of it. Rabbi is the sweetheart to the Christians, often having them at the synagogue for classes and other functions.

It has opened up wonderful friendships. No one on the panel knew each other before this. We have rabbi, a monsignor and a Protestant minister as regulars on our panel and we invite a guest for the dialogue. They are the best of friends. Rabbi's wife teaches at the Catholic school and his three children attend classes there. He still keeps his identity as a Jew and also enjoys a fuller life. We need to reach out to each other. Quit believing everything you read in the papers or on TV and start making friends ONE AT A TIME. You will soon be able to separate the good from the bad. We fear what we don't know.

Hazel Crowley

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