“Gaza divides the wheat from the chaff among religious leaders”
~ Dr. James M. Dorsey, Times of Israel
“The illusion that fundamentalism and terrorism can be overcome with Western tools has been completely shattered in light of the left’s intellectual hypocrisy and the right’s lust for war, it may be time for a new approach.”
~ Dr. Amit Varshizky, H’aaretz
TEL AVIV, Israel, 24 November 2023 — Two essays that were recently published in leading Israeli newspapers highlight religion’s critical role in shaping geopolitical dynamics. The articles contrast the humane and constructive engagement of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama in this vital arena with the harsh and polarizing rhetoric generally employed on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.
In an in-depth analytical piece titled “Israel–Hamas War: What if there’s another way to fight fundamentalism?” author and historian Dr. Amit Varshizky writes:
Only a Muslim struggle which calls, for example, for what’s known as ijtihad (renewal of religious rulings in the direction of openness and social reform), or the adoption of a moderate, tolerant form of Islam such as was introduced by Abdurrahman Wahid, the fourth president of Indonesia and onetime chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Sunni religious-political movement, will be able to accelerate liberalization processes in Muslim society and mitigate entrenched resentments that originate in the disparity between a feeling of religious supremacy and political weakness. Voices like this, it must be acknowledged with regret, are very much absent in the Muslim Middle East today. Continue reading full communiqué. . .
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