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Religious Debate or Religious Dispute?



     A number of WAISers have written expressing annoyance at loose charges of anti-Semitism. One writes: It is pointless to try to reason with the zealots. It's interesting that at the Menninger Clinic there are plenty of Jewish psychiatrists and psychologists About half of the Jewish staff are liberal and open-minded, and the other half are not. I am bored to tears by the lecture I always get from them.
     If a world map of Americans' view of religions were drawn, the Islamic world would be marked "terra incognita." Note that I am not pro-Islam, in fact for me it has a fundamental belief in the use of force which is unacceptable. However, we must be balanced. The Arabs who blew up the marines' barracks in Beirut are labelled terrorists, but the Arabs reply: What about the Jews who blew up the Hotel David in Jerusalem?
     Iran is a country with a great history and an important role to play in the world. Much as we dislike terrorism, we cannot just dismiss it as a rogue state. Its influence in the Islamic world in growing, as are its ties with Western Europe. After a revolution, all countries go through a long period of adjustment before they settle down in their peculiar mode. It is likely that this will be true of Iran and Cuba. I wish WAIS could enlist a moderate Iranian to take part on our dialog.

Ronald Hilton - 2/2/00


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