Tony Blair’s war in Iraq is failing miserably. Even his own military chief has rightfully called it a losing proposition. That’s why Tony’s been looking for another war to fight–any war.
The one he’s apparently chosen is a war against Muslim women. Not all Muslim women, mind you. Just the ones that don’t cotton on to our western ways and insist on wearing traditional garb that is offensive to westerners. Or western men to be specific since the two most prominent politicians to have come out against the niqab are Blair and Jack Straw, the proverbial white Christian males.
I should make clear that I don’t much care for the niqab. I find it oppressive and can’t imagine a woman wouldn’t also find it so. I may even have some similar feelings toward it as Blair and Straw. From Aqoul I understand that the niqab is not a traditional form of dress with a long history, but rather a recent and somewhat oppressive custom imported from Wahabist Muslim countries. Nevertheless, who am I to tell a Muslim woman to take off her niqab? If I were Muslim, I would feel much more emboldened to criticize this custom as Aqoul has done. But I’m not.
I don’t much like it when non-Jews (usually evangelicals or right-wing Catholics) try to tell me in the comments section here I’m not a good Jew because I actually believe Israelis and Palestinians can live together peacefully (not right now, but some day). What right do they have to tell me anything about my own religion? I could run rings round their knowledge of Judaism. Whatever happened to showing a little humility in the face of the Other?
The difference between Blair and Straw, and me is that I realize that I’m not a Muslim and that I have no right to tell a Muslim how he or she should dress. As long as they don’t endanger themselves or others in what they do, why should I care whether they wear a niqab or a George Clinton ‘fro? It seems to me the height of western, Christian superciliousness to decide for Muslims what they should or shouldn’t wear in public settings. Just because Muslims have decided to live among us does that give us the right to tell them they must dress more like us for us to be willing to communicate with them?
Here are some of Blair’s more insipid comments on the controversy:
“It is a mark of separation, and that is why it makes other people from outside the community feel uncomfortable,” Mr. Blair said at a regular news conference, echoing some of Mr. Straw’s sentiments…
“No one wants to say that people don’t have the right to do it,” Mr. Blair said. “That is to take it too far. But I think we need to confront this issue about how we integrate people properly into our society.”
Oh heavens no, we wouldn’t want to say those Paki gals don’t have the right to their enslavement. We’ll just refuse to meet with such a one (as Straw has done) till she gets “religion” so to speak and “integrates properly into our society.” Have you ever heard of such nonsense coming from a politician who I thought, at one time, had some smarts. I tell you the man’s got to be desperate to feel he needs to score points against Muslim women in the culture wars. Do you think maybe this will become Tony’s personal jihad? We all should have some overarching principle informing our moral universe. For Tony, I guess it gonna be that wretched mask those ladies wear.
And Blair has the unmitigated gall to say he understands why a Muslim woman would be disciplined for putting on her niqab in the presence of men at the school where she worked?
The debate about its use…has crystallized around Aishah Azmi, a teaching assistant suspended by a local council for refusing to remove her full-face veil during class in the presence of male teachers.
Mr. Blair said he could “see the reason” for Mrs. Azmi to be suspended from her job at a Church of England school in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, where there is a substantial Muslim minority…
“We have to deal with the debate,” Mr. Blair said. “People want to know that the Muslim community in particular, but actually all minority communities, have got the balance right between integration and multi-culturalism.”
Natter on Tony all you want. But you can’t pull the wool over my eyes. I know an ignorant bigot trying to pass for an enlightened liberal when I see one. Whatever happened to tolerance? Whatever happened to live and let live? Whatever happened to treating people fairly in the job market? Tell me what is the difference between wearing a niqab and a yarmulke? And just what precisely is so absolutely essential about being able to see a woman’s face when you speak with her?
The Tories, not to be outdone in the Department of Bigotry and Ignorance released this statement quoted in the NY Times:
David Davis, the Conservative opposition spokesman on home affairs, said last weekend that British Muslims risked “voluntary apartheid” by displays of separateness like the full veil.
Give me a f(&*)n’ break. Voluntary apartheid? You dare use that pejorative term in this context? If Muslim women really wanted to be separate they wouldn’t work at all. They’d stay at home tending their families and never set foot among heathens like Blair, Straw and Davis. In fact, considering their boorishness it’s a wonder that any Muslim woman, whether wearing a niqab or not, would be willing to be seen with any of them.
And not to be outdone, Romano Prodi, another pol I thought had some smarts, has hauled his lame lard-ass up on the anti-jihadi bandwagon:
“You can’t cover your face; you must be seen,” Mr. Prodi told Reuters. “This is common sense, I think. It is important for our society.”
Why yes, it’s common sense to those of us white Catholic males who run the show here. So what if it’s not common sense to the A-rabs. They want to live here–they better shape up or ship out. We’re not running a Muslim caliphate here. We’re running a country. A nice, white Roman Catholic country.
Dan Sniderman says
This reminds me of the issue in French schools a few years ago where school officials banned students from wearing head scarves…
From what I understand of THAT case – it was mischaracterized as the issue being presented here – of “seperation”. The concern the French officials wanted to address is the problem of Muslim women who DIDN’T want to wear a scarf being intimidated by other Moslem students (as well as their communities) often with physical violence… THAT can be a difficult and complicated issue.
The bottom-line – partiuclarly in modern small “l” liberal democracies is freedom. If people are truly “free” they should be able to dress and practice their religion as they see fit (as long as they don’t infringe on the freedom of others).
If there is reason to believe many of these women are wearing the Niqab out of fear of opression, then I DO think it’s legitimate for the government to be involved – but it certainly doesn’t appear to be the case in England.
But as you clearly imply in your opening, this is more about internal domestic politics – and “Islam-bashing” sure plays well to certain constituency across the western world these days.
bravo Richard, you said it very well. I agree totally.
As an American feminist of Christian Lebanese heritage, I find this whole thing infuriating. In fact, the more I hear of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudice, the more I want to wear a headscarf myself, just to piss people off. My big issue is shopping – I don’t have anything that matches my clothes; also my new post-chemo hair is so thick, curly and big that a scarf looks really weird on top of it.
BUT — my Arab CHRISTIAN grandmother was always after me to cover my hair. She was from an era in the ARab world when all women covered their hair – Jews, Christians and Muslims. Christians threw off the head cover earlier than Muslims did, starting in the early 20th century (don’t know how it went with Arab Jews). But my grandmother’s generation in the villages did cover their heads, from modesty and to protect against the sun. Of course it was only in the 1960s that all Catholic women worldwide were released from the obligation to cover their hair in church.
This Tony Blair schtick is just more Muslim bashing and I am sick of it.
I may even go shopping and get myself some headscarves. It will make lots of people very uncomfortable. My white middle class neighbor was just beside herself when she saw a Yemeni neighbor lady in a long dress and a scarf that covered her hair. Not a niqab (face cover), a scarf over the hair. She couldn’t stand it.
And if you ban head scarves, are you going to ban Chasidic women’s wigs? or are those okay because they’re Jewish headcoverings, not Muslim? What if Muslim women all decided to claim that they are wearing Jewish headcoverings? Or nun’s habits? Wimples? Where will it end? What about the cool ponches with hoods that were popular this past year – must you swear that you are irreligious in order to wear one? Fashion statements only, no political/religious intent allowed?
I think this is again about trying to control women’s bodies and expression. F*** the patriarchy…
Yoel Ben-Avraham says
“Tell me what is the difference between wearing a niqab and a yarmulke?”
“And if you ban head scarves, are you going to ban Chasidic women’s wigs? or are those okay because they’re Jewish headcoverings, not Muslim?”
Is there no difference between a “head covering” and a total face mask?
Would we be willing to let employees work day-in-day-out wearing full head George Bush or Richard Nixon masks? Normally I only see those in maskerade parties or bank robberies.
Richard Silverstein says
Yes, there is a difference–to us. But possibly not to a Muslim woman who believes wearing a niqab is religiously imperative for her. I just believe in letting her be the judge of what she wears and not me.
Jeanne Capozzoli says
Like Leila, bravo to you Richard. I appreciated the information form Leila about headcoverings. I remember well the big stained glass window in church (Methodist) depicting Mary with the beautifully draped scarf covering her hair. Perhaps we should insist in the future that Mary be represented without a head cover. Not having beautiful hair, I quite often thought the scarf a great idea and liked the way it framed the face. Women spend so much time and money on hair, perhaps their idea is the better one.
James R. Becraft says
Get a life, Tony, how would you feel if we told you that you were out of line because you weren’t wearing a codpiece like your forebears expected of a gentlemen walking through the City?
Or how about a gourd on your your you know what?
The eyes are the lights, windows to the soul. The face is a powerful and beautiful expression of Creation, and, yes, a woman’s sexuality clearly includes her face…visually and most likely with pheromones emanating glowingly as well.
Thus, a Niquab may provide a woman with a practical level of protection for that which she want to keep wholly for the Holy, the Haram, the Harem, her lover and her famiily, her God, her face. She must be dauntless against the daunting challenges of dealing with masculine drives.
Personally, I can’t speak for other men, but for me, women often have faces that dazzle and distract. If a woman does not want me to be distracted by her beauty, why should I try to forbid her to cover her face? She is often quite dazzling even in her modesty.
Why should it be a man’s business to force a woman to uncover her face. Would not to to do be forcing a compliance about that profound sexual aspect of her, her face?
If, indeed, force is applied by physical or legal means, couldn’t this forced compliance be judged a form of rape.
Are these white maie politicians advocating a right of women to control this important aspect of their “sexuality.” After all, the soft, beautiful faces many women are more dazzling evey than their other special distinguishing characteristics.
For me, these British politicians epitimoze for me the vast gulf of cultural understanding that seems to obtain in this current misadventure of the Great Powers meddling in the “East”.
Men, get a life, encourage women to protect themselves in the best way they can: with modesty, projection of power…If a Niquab can help give that distance she often wants because she is so dazzling, so be it.
I’ll check out the codpieces on my next trip to London–and watch for the dazzling women with or without headgear.
If I may share another perspective as to why someone like Jack Straw might feel called upon to address the subject of the veiling of females in British society: there is another reason why this is a problem. It has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. It has nothing to do with conforming, fashion, or racism. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It has nothing to do with the individual wishing to live separately from the prevailing customs in observation of their religious beliefs – for example, the Amish in America are deeply respected, though they deliberately reject dress norms, electricity, telephones, conveniences. Here’s what the problem REALLY is:
It is deeply offensive to the most fundamental feeling of people in free societies to see other people openly oppressed. We know it happens in various ways to many people in many places, including our own, but when it happens it upsets us. To see degradation of another human being worn publicly and held up as a virtue of some sort is simply sickening to us.
It may be a cultural norm elsewhere to mutilate the genitals of little girls, and considered a virtue; that is not the case here. The custom must be observed elsewhere, not in this society. It may be a cultural virtue to sell off daughters in marriage to strangers, but that is not the case here, and it becomes something that people must do in private -not on the street. It may be a cultural norm for men to have four wives – but polygamy is unlawful here, and disgusting to the majority of citizens. People may freely engage in this sort of arrangement elsewhere. It may be perfectly acceptable to beat one’s wife (wives) or kill one’s daughters (“Honor” killing, I believe the term is) but here these things are crimes – assault and murder. They may not be practised, accepted and excused here.
Imagine if you will some reversal of experience regarding the veiling of females: what if people, for religious reasons, wore men’s clothing designed to expose the testicles, that women’s clothing bare the breasts? Would we not all find this appalling? If you were forced to see it on the streets or in public transportation or to know your children were exposed to it in schoolrooms from their teachers, would you not, finally, no matter how much you wish to be sympathetic and tolerant, say something?
The dehumanization of women is an obscenity to us. To deliberately throw it in the faces of one’s neighbors does more than separate – it’s offensive. If you are in our countries, you are free to act as you wish in your homes – something that is not the case, I believe, in many of the countries that promote the subjugation of women as a virtue. If people are going to emigrate to free societies, they must understand that they are guests and conduct themselves accordingly, at least in shared public life. Or, live elsewhere. I cannot help but wonder what it is that attracts immigrants to places for which they have such contempt. Please, be happy, perhaps somewhere else.
Jack Straw finally said something. It’s worth listening to. If it is unacceptable, perhaps it would be better, and people would be happier, occupying some country whose customs towards females are more in keeping with their comfort zone.
Jake Haller says
Rabbi Avi Shafran, an officer in the Agudath Israel organization, an individual who I deeply respect, once commented that as a youth in the late 1960s when he first observed Blacks wearing African garb he immediately felt less self-conscious about his yarmulke and tzitzes (ritual fringed garment).
On a somewhat tangential note, I remember some years back getting into a debate with a colleague about how if someone is allowed to wear a yarmulke in the work place then the same form of concession should be applied to cross-dressers. At the time I found the argument to be incredibly ridiculous and I probably laughed out loud. But looking back, and putting aside personal opinions toward such behavior, I wonder if from a strictly legal standpoint if possibly that colleague’s argument had legs – shaved or otherwise.
Richard Silverstein says
Regarding the similarities bet. cross-dressing & wearing a yarmulke–you’d have to prove that cross dressing was as integral to that person’s identity as being Jewishly observant is to the yarmulke-wearer. Religion is a protected category in our Constitution. Not so sure about how cross-dressing is or should be categorized.
Bob from Brockley says
I think that you and I are basically coming from the same place, Richard, but I don’t agree that Blair and Straw’s statements can be seen in any way as a war on Muslim women. Blair has not once called for them to remove their veils, and Straw has simply asked those he meets in the privacy of his surgery on a one-to-one basis. In other words, they’re not dictating what Muslims can and can’t wear. (Although the minister, Phil Woolas, has taken a more authoritarian position.)
And the central issue of the teacher, that provoked Woolas’ outburst, is a very different one from that raised by Straw. It is about whether teaching language acquisition to very young children works so well when your mouth is covered. Simple as that.
There is an issue, though, in the Blair statement you quote, of Muslims not counting as “people”: “We have to deal with the debate,” Mr. Blair said. “People want to know that the Muslim community in particular, but actually all minority communities, have got the balance right between integration and multi-culturalism.” For Blair, Muslims will never count as part of “us”, the British citizenry.
Richard Silverstein says
Maggie is guilty of completely misunderstanding the nature of religious belief & observance esp. a religion she knows so little about–Islam. I wonder why you grant such respect to the Amish people’s Christian religion, but so little to Islam. And who are you to say that Muslim women wearing the niqab are “oppressed?” You would feel oppressed wearing it. I might too. But neither one of us are Muslim. There are Muslim women who wear the niqab and ones who don’t. That choice is theirs, not ours. So butt out. And stop throwing all this bogus rhetoric about oppression & degradation. You have no right to substitute yr own values for a Muslim woman’s values & tell her what’s good for her. She is doing nothing whatsoever to harm you or herself. She is practicing her religion as she sees it. It shouldn’t be anyone’s job to define for another how they should practice their own person religion. People have fought wars over precisely this point for centuries. I’d have thought the issue should’ve been settled by now.
Oh, do spare me the chewing-the-scenery rhetoric. This has nothing to do w genital mutilation. The latter is an act of physical mutilation which causes injury to the victim & possibly renders her unable to bear children. There is no injury or damage caused (except to yr own western sensitivities) by wearing the niqab.
You are incredibly ignorant about your own laws. You cannot sell a person because that is literally treating them as chattel, which is correctly illegal. No money passes hands nor is anyone bought or sold when a woman wears a niqab.
You clearly don’t live in the American Southwest where polygamy is still practiced by many. I may not approve of polygamy, but it is in no way comparable to the niqab. Polygamy affects relationships among husband, wives & their children in ways that the state disapproves. The niqab directly affects no one in any substantive except the wearer.
I’m not even sure it’s worth arguing with you, yr arguments have become so ridiculous. Sure baring the sexual organ or breasts in public is offensive AND illegal. But wearing a niqab is NOT illegal under the laws of my country nor in Britain. Second, she’s COVERING her face, not baring a sexual organ. You don’t see a difference? A woman covering her face has committed no crime or act of deviancy or aberration unlike the ridiculous hypothetical examples you cite.
And now you’ve become an expert on the domestic practices of women in Muslim countries. Care to enlighten us on how you gained the knowledge of how women act within their own homes in the Muslim world & whether they are oppressed within them?
W/o even realizing it you have doomed yr own argument w. yr own words. The key word in yr statement above is “free.” We live in a “free society.” That means religious practice is guaranteed to all as long as it does not infringe public health or safety. The niqab wearer is NOT required to conform to your personal definition of how women should behave. She is required to conform to the law which, thank God, at least in our country says nothing against her custom. For those countries which have outlawed the niqab, they’ve lessened the freedoms guaranteed to their own citizens & thereby impoverished cultural & religious expression within their societies. Societies have to decide whether conformity or free expression are more important values. I know which side I come down on in that debate. For you, conformity is more important. It’s a shame. But I am glad you’re not my cultural commissar or secular mullah.
That’s because of yr cultural & religious impoverishment. I know the answer to yr question because it’s the same answer my ancestors would’ve given when they came here between 1850-1906. They came here because everyone was free to practice their own religion as they saw fit & in peace. They came here because everyone was free to earn his own living & not be discriminated against due to class, race, or religious belief. That’s precisely why Muslims come to the west & will continue coming here until people like you shut the doors on them.
Perhaps it would be better for you to move to yr own personal version of Mormon polygamist Utah where there are no furriners, no A-rabs, & no one who “oppresses” women or whatever other categories get you hot under the collar.
1. You obviously missed the point that this discussion of dress has nothing to do with Islam.
There is no animus towards Islam, or racism about the objection people have to seeing people
wear something that in free societies is as obscene as the exposure of intimate body parts.
This was not a theological argument.
2. I’m glad for whoever isn’t feeling oppressed. But objectively, manifestly, people who wear dehumanizing articles of clothing are. Here’s why: most of human communication is not auditory. The ability to interact and communicate fully with others is diminshed – the person is less able to be seen as a unique and valuable human being, and is less able to express themselves freely. To erase the person and obscure the face underneath a pile of black cloth makes them more an object in the eyes of others, and less a human. There’s are few things more oppressive than being objectifed.
3. Genital mutilation isn’t rhetoric. It’s real, and done in the name of religion and cultural virtue – the same foundation for encasing females in cloth shrouds. Certainly, it’s far more horrific and the association was only with the reasoning, not the egregiousness of the custom.
4. I don’t know the country you come from. I do know that my neighbors from Yemen will receive $25,000. more per daughter, so they tell me, when marraiges are arranged (to strangers), because they have managed to secure western passports for the girls. Hence the comment.
5. I don’t believe I was telling any Muslim woman what is good for her. I was engaging in a public discussion of public norms. As stated, this discussion of clothing and custom is not about religion. I’m sure most women who submit to this custom are, as you say, practicing their religion as they see it. People know what they’re told.
6. It seems you don’t live in the American Southwest either, or you would be aware that there are very few people who practice polygamy, and that it is illegal. There was a recent arrest of a leader of one of these cults which engage in this illegal practice, and the authorities pursue others as it becomes possible to prosecute on the basis of evidence acquired and
testimony becomes available. It’s sad, and messy. And not a cultural norm.
7. I don’t purport to be an expert on what Muslim women do in their homes. I was referring to countries, not people, in which purity police search homes for satellite dishes, music, alcoholic beverages, etc. – which I know varies by area and the type of government in power.
Again, this isn’t a discussion of Muslims. It’s a discussion about various societal norms.
8. Of course there is a distinction between covering a body part and exposing one. If one subscribes to the notion that our Creator made humans with love and that what was created is good, there is nothing objectionable about anything of the human body. It’s not the particular body part which is vulgar or not – it is what a society feels is a violation of human dignity, or proper conduct towards others. It is, in free societies, a violation of human dignity, which is offensive, to obliterate the image of 50% of the population. Indeed, it is not illegal to wear pretty much what one wants, and shouldn’t be – no more than Britney Spear’s obscene fashions are illegal. But that doesn’t make it a virtue. And it doesn’t mean no one gets hurt. It just means she’s free to do as she wishes, and I have neither the power nor the inclination to prescribe her choices. Being a free country, though, I am entitled to my own opinion of Ms. Spears or of niqabs, and to voice it. So do you. I won’t tell you to butt out.
9. I don’t personally know anyone who uses the term “furriners”, or “A-rabs”. The Mormon Church you refer to, of which I am not a member, is actually called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they do not practice polygamy nor have they done so since the 1800s. The polygamists to whom you refer are from the Fundamentalist Mormon Church – which, like most fundamentalist religious groups, live well outside the norms of civilized
You seem very angry. I’m sorry we disagree, but it’s not personal – it’s just one of the hazards of blog communications, that people are bound to differ. I wish you well and wish you peace.
Richard Silverstein says
No, I didn’t miss yr contention that it has nothing to do with Islam. I just think you’re full of crap. If you think you’re not hostile to Islam you’re deluded. At least the folks at Little Green Footballs admit that they hate Islam & Muslims. If you try to pretend you don’t you can fool yourself, but not the rest of us who know better. Wearing the niqab is a Muslim practice. Hate the practice, hate the religion. Very simple.
It’s entirely unuseful to try to argue with people like you who, like the folks at Little Green Footballs, made up their minds long ago & have no idea of actually listening to what a Muslim might have to say about their customs or what someone like me would have to say on the subject. You see us as targets to dispute with rather than to grapple seriously with.
God preserve us from the holier than thou moralists.
And I’ll give you an enforced break from participation in this comment thread since you seem to love the sound of yr own voice far too much for my taste. This ‘conversation’ here (or should I call it a moral crusade?) has ended for you.
Here’s what makes me angry: people who make judgments on behalf of others when they have neither the knowledge nor the right to do so. People who are intolerant of the beliefs of others. People who moralize and make pejorative judgments about the behavior of others. People who are intolerant & hateful. People who are intolerant of the religious beliefs of others cause much hatred & friction in our world. And yes, people have even died because of such intolerance. Your own words may not kill or injure or maim. But they contribute to a tone of social discourse that leads to coarseness & hatred. This in turn can lead to violence by one group against another.
So yes, yr ignorance & know-it-all attitude angers me. Pontificate all you want. But do start yr own website devoted to western moral purity. We don’t need any moral lessons or cultural superiority from you here.
Richard Silverstein says
That’s not what’s been said in coverage over here. Here they’ve said that he’s told Muslim women that he will only meet with ones who are veil-less. Since I didn’t know he was a doctor, & few in this country would, nor have the U.S. press made that clear–the only inference we could draw was that he refused to meet such women in his office i.e. his political office.
It is less offensive if he’s only laid down this rule for his medical practice. But not much less offensive, as I don’t feel its a doctor’s prerogative to tell his patients how they should dress. A doctor’s job as a doctor (as opposed to citizen) is to heal, not to moralize or engage in social debate about how people should dress. And as a politician, any practice (i.e. refusing to treat veiled women) he observes in his private or professional life reflects on his public life as a politician.
If I were a Muslim, I don’t think I’d use him for my doctor. I don’t see his views as particularly sympathetic or understanding of Islam. Frankly, I can’t see how he’d have any such patients. And if I were a devout Muslim woman I imagine I might choose a female doctor anyway rather than Straw. So I think all of Straw’s moralizing is moot & even political dundering as far as his own medical practice is concerned.
Personally, I think Straw & Blair are engaging in that old hallowed Republican tradition of throwing red meat to their constituency by thundering on social issues, but never actually doing anything legislatively to address them (i.e. for Repubs gay marriage, Terry Schiavo, etc.). The two Laborites think that by taking up what should naturally be a Tory issue they may peel off a few such votes fr. them in the next elections. I think it’s particularly cynical strategy if you can grace it with that term.
If you mean in legal or legislative terms–yes. But Straw is dictating the terms under which he will treat Muslim women & I do object to that. As a doctor, he’s sworn a Hippocratic Oath to minister to the sick w/o regard to social status or religious belief.
The NY Times says that she only wore the veil when other male teachers were with her in the classroom. As long as there were only female adults in the room, she did not wear the veil. At least, that’s the NYT’s & my understanding of her position.
You’ve got that right. Listen to the tone of Blair’s comment: People [i.e. white Anglo-Saxons] want to know that…Muslims…have got the balance right bet. integration & multi-culturalism.” In other words, real Brits want to know whether Pakis are for us or agin’ us. Are you going to lose all that Islamic hokus pokus & become a loyal subject of the Queen? I hear condescension; I hear white man’s arrogance in this statement.
sarah mohammed says
Al Salam alikum
I am really impressed by the way you eduacted your self about islam, Richard. I am a female muslim (waering Niquab) I admit that my knowledge about jewdism is so humble. Now I feel guilty about that and I think I will start educating myself about jewdism becuse the way you talked about islam encouraged me to know more about other relegions and show more respect to them.
I think that this whole endless argument is becuase so many of us do not have enough knowledge about the other part believes. I think that all you would agree with me when I say stop arguing and start reading about other religions. Education will teach us how to respect each other and make this world a better peacefull place. I am sure the world is wide enough and there is always a space for everyone.
May God bless you all
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks, Sarah, for those lovely comments. I too believe that despite the endless hostility between religions, and specifically bet. Judaism & Islam, there is room for peaceful co-existence. Let us make a space for peace amongst us.
Jeanne Capozzoli says
Thank you Richard for lending your talents and time to creating understanding among Muslims, Jews and Christians. Sarah’s response illustrates your effectiveness in promoting peaceful co-existence.