Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims

Overview

A prominent rabbi and imam, each raised in orthodoxy, overcome the temptations of bigotry and work to bridge the chasm between Muslims and Jews
 
Sons of Abraham relates the unlikely friendship between the orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali. Despite the anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices they were exposed to in their youth, these two men forged a lasting friendship in the tumultuous decade following the attacks of 9/11. ...

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Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims

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Overview

A prominent rabbi and imam, each raised in orthodoxy, overcome the temptations of bigotry and work to bridge the chasm between Muslims and Jews
 
Sons of Abraham relates the unlikely friendship between the orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali. Despite the anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices they were exposed to in their youth, these two men forged a lasting friendship in the tumultuous decade following the attacks of 9/11. Here they share their vision of how Jews and Muslims can work to find common ground. To that end, they analyze some of the religious texts that divide—but can also unite—Jews and Muslims, and address the pressing issues of the day, such as why Jews should be concerned about Islamophobia and why Muslims should care about anti-Semitism. In a time when Jews and Muslims are viewed as incorrigible enemies, Sons of Abraham is an example of a genuine alliance that gives readers a cause for hope.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sons of Abraham represents the culmination of years of work by Rabbi Schneier, my partner at the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Imam Ali, and myself to bring Muslims and Jews together all across the world.  Few people thought that these orthodox religious leaders could be friends, and even fewer believed their work would succeed, but Sons of Abraham shows how their friendship has created a model for a worldwide Muslim-Jewish reconciliation.”
—Russell Simmons, Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and co-founder of Def Jam Records

“Through a robust discussion of the history and mindsets that define both Judaism and Islam, Imam Shamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier offer that the truest illustration of faith lies not in traditions or a myopic approach to piety, but rather in a deeply held belief in one God, a concern for human dignity, and a commitment to mutual respect.  The authors—in their friendship and in their service—offer a rare example of cooperation and provide a beacon of hope as we pursue peace between peoples torn apart by millennia of misunderstanding and mistrust.  Sons of Abraham is a work of political, social, and religious significance and a roadmap for how we should and can move forward.”
—Congressman André Carson

“In this book my friends Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali show us that Muslims and Jews are not enemies, but friends who are united by our belief in a monotheistic god and our lineage to our forefather Abraham. The Rabbi and Imam’s friendship is a reminder that peace and friendship are possible between our peoples.”
—S. Daniel Abraham, Chairman, Center for Middle East Peace  

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807033074
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 635,586
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Marc Schneier serves as vice president of the World Jewish Congress, founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (where he works with Russell Simmons), and founding rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach. He has been honored by the US Congress and the State of Israel as an advocate for human and civil rights and religious and ethnic tolerance.

Imam Shamsi Ali
is the spiritual leader of Jamaica Muslim Center, New York City’s largest Islamic center and former imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York. Imam Ali also serves on the boards of the Tanenbaum Center, the Federation for Middle East Peace, the Asean Muslim Federation of North America, and the Muslim Foundation of America, among others. Both men live in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Contents
 
Foreword by President Bill Clinton xi
 
Introduction by Samuel G. Freedman xiii
 
PART ONE: WHO WE ARE
Chapter One
Child of the Soil  3
Imam Shamsi Ali

Chapter Two
Child of a Dynasty  13
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Three
The Struggle Within  21
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
Chapter Four
The Empathetic Imagination  33
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Five
From Suspicion to Trust  41
Imam Shamsi Ali

Chapter Six
Growth and Evolution  54
Rabbi Marc Schneier

PART TWO: WHAT WE BELIEVE
Chapter Seven
The Chosen People  63
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Eight
Kheir Ummah  79
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
Chapter Nine
Amalek, the Dangers of Literalism,
and the Role of Oral Tradition  98
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Ten
War and Jihad  114
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
Chapter Eleven
Love Thy Neighbor or Love the Stranger?  132
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Twelve
Understanding Shari’a  151
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
PART THREE: OUR SHARED FUTURE
Chapter Thirteen
What Israel Means to Jews  175
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Fourteen
Anti-Semitism  181
Imam Shamsi Ali

Chapter Fifteen
Why Jews Should Care about Islamophobia  190
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Sixteen
Palestine  197
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
Chapter Seventeen
Standing Up against Holocaust Denial  206
Rabbi Marc Schneier
 
Chapter Eighteen
At Home in America  211
Imam Shamsi Ali
 
Acknowledgments  219

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