History is meaningful only as long as it informs our current understanding of the world. Unfortunately, all too often, the "history" that influences the political and social spectrums is negative; ancient wrongs and age-old oppression, selectively highlighted, that informs our view of the current relations between peoples.
History is one of the first casualties of war. Not all history, of course - facts that stoke enmity and help exacerbate tensions between combatants are "uncovered" by political leaders and media outlets and used to justify hostilities. It is only the chronicles of better days between warring peoples that are deemed unnecessary, perhaps vaguely unpatriotic. The curren
The staccato sound in this particular story of Muslims and Jews is not, for once, that of gunfire. Here, the clickity-clack echoing off of stone walls and down narrow alleyways in Middle Eastern medinas, or market areas, is the sound of footfalls - Jewish footfalls - making their way steadfastly to take tea with a Muslim neighbor.
Detroit Jewish News, Detroit, Michigan, October 4, 2002
My friend David, who recently moved to the United States from Israel, said that he was looking forward to living in a place where the stones didn't ooze history. "It will be so nice," he said, while still living in Tel Aviv, "to live in a country where the earth itself doesn't moan about past injustices and ancient hatreds."
The open-minded practice of Sufism is known as a mystical system that can easily attract believers from other religions. Today, as in the past, Jews, Christians and followers of other religions have flocked to this practice, studying under Sufi masters and learning the Sufi Way. The Sufi chronicler Idries Shah has outlined past Sufi influence on St. Francis of Assisi, the Troubadours, St.