Everyman debate was an important move towards better understanding

ON the grand scale of international conflict resolution, the debate which took place at the Everyman Cinema on Monday barely registered, but it was a valuable and important event nonetheless. Organised by the Jewish Community Centre as part of its engagin

ON the grand scale of international conflict resolution, the debate which took place at the Everyman Cinema on Monday barely registered, but it was a valuable and important event nonetheless. Organised by the Jewish Community Centre as part of its engaging Opinion Soup series, the debate brought leading Muslim figure Inayat Bunglawala in direct contact with a largely Jewish audience. The importance of the event is that it explored the rarely-cultivated area of similarities between Muslims and Jews, as opposed to the well-trodden ground of focusing on differences.

Mr Bunglawala made an important point when he said that it was important to stay away from importing conflicts from abroad, yet sadly this is what our very own government did when it became embroiled in the bloody feud between the House of Bush and the State of Iraq - as perilous and as injudicious a military adventure as was ever engaged in by a government of the British people.

The perpetual conflict between Israel and Palestine also shapes and dictates attitudes in the wider arena. There are few people who can remain dispassionate about this seemingly endless quarrel and there are many intelligent people who believe that siren incidents like 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London have their roots in the Israel-Palestine struggle.

But it is in small arenas like the debate at the Everyman on Monday night that a beginning to better understanding can be made. Events like this should be encouraged and are deserving of support from the wider community, yet sadly they remain all too rare.


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