In SONS OF ABRAHAM (Beacon Press, on sale September 17, 2013, 978-0807033074, $25.95), Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali pool their collective wisdom and compassion to achieve the unthinkable: They plot a realistic course towards a peaceful, co- existing future for the world’s Jews and Muslims—one that begins with understanding the fundamental similarities between the two faiths, and then cultivating mutual respect and appreciation for the differences.
Featuring a stirring, urgent foreword by President Bill Clinton (plus a nuanced introduction by renowned New York Times journalist Samuel G. Freedman), SONS OF ABRAHAM is the first time two leading religious figures from Judaism and Islam have come together for this crucial dialogue and published the results in book form. The two authors alternate chapters, beginning with each describing his early years—in doing so exposing the dark roots of the anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that many young Muslims and Jews are still being taught today by their teachers and communities.
There is much more ground covered in this endlessly rich dialogue between the two religious leaders. Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali do not agree on everything, but when they disagree, the manner in which they do so sets an example for all future participants in this necessary dialogue. The bottom line for them—and indeed, for everyone—is that both Judaism and Islam promote kindness, service, and responsibility to the less fortunate. And nothing is more important than the fact that Muslims and Jews (and Christians) are all SONS OF ABRAHAM, descended from the same holy lineage.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Rabbi Marc Schneier is founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (where he works with Russell Simmons) and founding rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, New York. He has served at the helms of the World Jewish Congress and the New York Board of Rabbis and he has been honored by the U.S. 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.