Instead of guns and bombs, lets try to help one another.
As I quickly looked on CNN I came across a story about how Israelis are helping Bedouin students address every day problems using the Quran. I read it fully and was surprised that there wasn’t a massive outcry that this was happening – in fact, those Muslims quoted said give it a chance. If it helps it helps.
But will it be accepted widely or will there be a greater call for the website it uses to close down?
I don’t know to honest – but isn’t this a much better way forward than the bomb and the gun?
Organizers of the site, Quranet.net, say they hope it will serve as a “bridge between Islam and the West” by applying the wisdom of Islam’s holiest book to modern-day problems.
“We try to transform the Quran into a modern and useful tool, so that every person can find a Quranic answer to modern psychological and educational queries,” said Ofer Grosbard, professor at the Academic Arab College for Education, affiliated with Haifa University.
Bridge building is a good thing – and if this website can help in such things then it should be given as much help as possible, what would be good – even better, is if some Muslims were involved as well on the teaching and creating side – even maintenance.
Mazarib plans to work with Bedouin parents as a school counselor. She believes the words of the Quran hold the key to addressing every question those parents may have.
“I want to explain something to parents in a language that they will understand. They don’t understand psychology, they only understand the Quran,” she tells CNN. “We believe [the Quran] is from God and you cannot question it.”
Grosbard was taken with the simplicity of Mazarib’s challenge. Soon, he doled out a new assignment: Each of his Bedouin students was to extrapolate the most educational and inspirational verses from the Quran and come up with a short story exemplifying their practicality.
His students were up for the task, returning to class with hundreds of stories from the Quran “that only a Bedouin knows how to tell,” Grosbard said.
If that could be transposed into many of the universities recognised around the world that are based in Islamic nations this would give a very positive view of them and the Islamic religion – especially in the west.
As many of us know college and universities in the west have policies that do not exclude anyone due to religion – all are, in fact, equal.
Some Arab media, however, urge Muslims to be wary of an “Israeli Web site” that interprets the Quran to serve the “political agenda” of Israel. Politics aside, the idea of Jewish scholars interpreting or translating Islamic texts is nothing new, said Professor Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at the American University in Washington, D.C.
“Anything that furthers understanding, furthers bridge- building, furthers interfaith friendship is to be encouraged,” said Ahmed, who believes some in the Muslim world are bound to be skeptical given the delicate nature of interpreting holy texts.
“If this project has been handled with sensitivity, then Muslims need to look at it on its merit,” he said. “Before judging we need to give it a chance.”
One voice in a greater debate – but the mistrust between Muslim and Jew is still apparent even in his quote. Yet, there is a positive tone. And as I say – if it can bring about the use of dialogue and diplomacy rather than weapons, it can only be good, no?