religious conflict

Syria’s Christian Conundrum

by mgopin on June 8, 2012 · 6 comments

by Hind Kabawat, CRDC Senior Research Analyst and Expert on Conflict Resolution

This article was originally published by CNN here.

One of the most perplexing aspects of the Syrian revolution is the deep ambivalence felt by so many of the country’s Christians when faced with the prospect of freedom after four decades of authoritarian dictatorship. Some Christians have enthusiastically embraced the prospect of democratic change and a more open civil society, but many have not.

As a Christian, this provokes a great deal of sadness in me and others who are committed to transforming Syria into an open, democratic, inclusive, secular and religiously tolerant society. But the problem is that many, if not most, Christians in Syria do not believe that this will be the outcome of changing the regime.

On the contrary, they believe the present regime — corrupt and repressive as it has been — is the …

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I met a fascinating group of people from around the world at Caux, Switzerland a few weeks ago. The man who wrote this article was part of a large contingent from India and Pakistan who had some very serious and exciting exchanges under the able guidance of Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi, former parliamentarian, veteran peacemaker and distinguished author.

Beyond the walls of hatred
By Jawad Naqvi

An excerpt from the article:

Mr Ahmadinejad would do well to get invited to Caux and to listen to Prof Marc Gopin’s views on the states’ culpability in arming militant groups on both sides of the equation. He would gain amazingly fresh insights from the intervention by Jakob Finci, the president of the Jewish community in Bosnia, about the efforts of a small community of Bosnian Jews, Christians and Muslims to build a life together.

Marc Gopin, a rabbi, is the James H. Laue

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This from Roi Ben Yehuda, written for marcgopin.com

Dear Professor Gopin,

I am reading about the Jerusalem Initiative in your book Holy War, Holy Peace, and I was reminded of a gem I once found researching for a paper on the impact that the black plague (1348-1351) had on the Jews. It comes from the pen of Ibn Batutta, the 14th century Muslim scholar and traveler.

In his book, entitled “Ibn Battuta Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354”, the author provides an account of the Middle East during the plague. For those of us interested in the “Black Death”, Ibn Batutta’s account is a precious primary source. But there is one passage that really blew my mind. After documenting all the horrible destruction of the plague, Ibn Battuta describes how the community (i.e. Muslims, Christians, and Jews) responded to the disaster.

He writes:

“I saw a remarkable instance

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A New Direction for US-Muslim Relations

by mgopin on September 25, 2008 · 7 comments

Yesterday Marc participated in panels on Capitol Hill and at  The National Press Club to coincide with the release of a seminal report entitled “Changing Course: A New Direction for Relations with the Muslim World” issued by The US-Muslim Engagement Project. Marc was one of thirty four Americans who constituted the Leadership Council on U.S. Muslim Engagement. It was a bipartisan group of leading Republicans, Democrats, Muslims, Christians, and Jews, secular and religious, liberal and conservative. They met over a period of two years to create this report which has detailed recommendations for the United States Government, NGO’s, and for the governments of the Muslim world. The convening this extremely diverse group was also meant as a model of how to change course and what kind of negotiations need to take place in the United States in order to create positive change, as well as in the global …

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A huge conflict has emerged inside the American Jewish community on the status of their kosher red meat. The first criminal indictments have emerged of the country’s largest kosher meat business, which involve the hire of undocumented immigrants who are minors. Accusations of abuses of both animals and people are widespread.

Now accusations of worker abuse are emerging at the next largest producer of kosher red meat.

With news emerging from the some of the most prestigious research bodies regarding the role of meat eating in 1/5th of the world’s global warming emissions (more than transportation emissions!), and all of the accompanying ramifications for plant, animal, and human life on earth, it raises even deeper questions about meat eating and religious values. It forces the question on the indirect relationship between eating a simple steak and the abuse of the planet and other people. If eating kosher meat is …

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