interfaith dialogue; NYPD Ramadan

some people a staunchly against interfaith stuff.  i think it’s very important.  the more we talk to each other, the less we are to have hate and fear for each other in our hearts.  no one is saying to go an believe in their religion.  it’s a matter of understanding each other.  even if it’s done for show, and there isn’t an ounce of sincerity in it, it’s needed.  obviously the more sincere, the better.  i make it a point to smile and say hello to all my orthodox jewish neighbors.  for that matter, all my neighbors.  they all know my name and i know theirs.  the more people know that muslims are human beings, the more mouths there are in this world to squash this hatred that politicians are spewing worldwide.  here’s some links:

taken from => Sun Journal

Two major Jewish and Muslim organizations unveiled an interfaith dialogue curriculum Saturday and are urging their hundreds of thousands of members to use it. Both sides say it is the broadest Jewish-Muslim interfaith effort in the continent’s history.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, North America’s largest Jewish movement, announced the partnership with the Islamic Society of North America at his group’s biennial convention in San Diego.

“As a once-persecuted minority in countries where anti-Semitism is still a force, we understand the plight of Muslims in North America today,” Yoffie said. “We live in a world in which religion is manipulated to justify the most horrific acts, a world in which – make no mistake – Islamic extremists constitute a profound threat. For some, this is a reason to flee from dialogue, but in fact the opposite is true. When we are killing each other in the name of God, sensible religious people have an obligation to do something about it.”

This summer Yoffie became the first major Jewish leader to address ISNA, the continent’s largest Muslim organization with 30,000 attendants coming to its annual convention. ISNA President Ingrid Mattson will address the 980-congregation Jewish group Sunday, the first leader of a major Muslim group to do so.

The manual and video are built around five sessions that touch on topics including the place of Jerusalem in Jewish and Muslim tradition and history. The toughest potential sticking points will probably be related to Israel and to stereotypes both groups carry about the other, Mark Pelavin, director of interreligious affairs for the Jewish group, said in an interview. “Jews want to know how Muslims feel about terrorism in the name of Islam, and Muslims want to know how Jews feel about Palestinian suffering.”

Eleven synagogue-mosque pairs have already been set up as pilot programs.

Yoffie also announced that the two groups created an adult curriculum on Islam and pressed every synagogue to consider offering it.

“There exists in our community a profound ignorance about Islam, along with a real desire to learn about what moves and motivates Muslims today. We must respond to this desire with serious programs of education,” he said.

Both groups already have dialogue programs with various other faith groups, but on a much smaller scale.

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taken from => NY1

In an annual pre-Ramadan meeting, city police officers, religious leaders and community members gathered Monday to discuss steps to ensure a safe holiday.

The NYPD says more foot patrols, special patrol cars, increased presence at mosques and greater communication with the Muslim community will all be in place.

“Across the police department we continue our work to familiarize all our police officers with the Islamic faith,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “We do this with the help of special training videos to mosques and meetings such as this one.”

“Commissioner Kelly did a good job to keep it a tradition, a relationship between the police department and the Muslim community,” said Ahmed Jamil of the Muslim American Society of Queens. “We encourage this. And it has to be developed a little bit more. But it’s a good start.”

Kelly also eased concerns of profiling saying they are not monitoring any communities, including Muslim communities.

Ramadan starts next Friday.

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