A JEWISH MUSLIM DIALOGUE

02/23/07
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)

WHEN THE FIRST COMMUNITY RADIO STATION WAS STARTED BACK IN 1949 IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, THE AIM OF THE STATION- KPFA IN BERKELEY WAS TO INCREASE UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN NATIONS AND PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE WAY THESE RADIO STATIONS HAVE TURNED OUT. BUT IN THE NEXT HOUR WE'LL TRY TO GET BACK TO THAT ORIGINAL INTENT BY HAVING A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL JEWISH AND MUSLIM COMMUNITY. BY THE WAY- WE WILL TAKE YOUR E-MAILS AND PHONE CALLS. OUR STUDIO LINE IS 813 239 9663 AND OUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IS DJ@WMNF.ORG.  LAST YEAR, IN THE WAKE OF THE CAPTURE OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS AND THE RESULTING CLASH BETWEEN HEZBOLLAH AND ISRAEL- INCLUDING THE ISRAELI INVASION OF LEBANON, WMNF RECEIVED SEVERAL COMPLAINTS FROM LEADERS WITHIN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY- ASKING US FOR MORE BALANCE IN OUR COVERAGE OF THE MIDDLE EAST. LAST OCTOBER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA WE HAD A PUBLIC MEETING ATTENDED BY ALMOST TWO HUNDRED PEOPLE (PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS AND RELIGIOUS ORIENTATIONS) WHO GAVE A VARIETY OF VIEWS AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO COVER ISSUES REGARDING THE MIDDLE EAST. ONE SUGGESTION SEEMED TO GAIN A LOT OF SUPPORT BY THOSE IN ATTENDANCE: A MUSLIM JEWISH DIALOGUE. AFTER SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MUSLIM, JEWISH AND CATHOLIC FAITHS WE FOUND TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED FOR THIS FIRST SHOW. OUR AIM IS TO EXPLORE IN THIS FIRST PROGRAM SOME OF THE ISSUES THESE TWO MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS HAVE IN COMMON. IT'S EASY TO FIND PEOPLE ON THE RADIO WHO THINK THAT THERE IS LITTLE HOPE FOR A PEACEFUL DIALOGUE BETWEEN JEWS AND MUSLIMS. WE WANT TO PROVE THEM WRONG. THIS IS NOT A DEBATE- BUT IT IS AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS, A CONVERSATION, A DIALOGUE.  IF THIS PROGRAM WORKS- WE'LL EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE PROGRAMS IN WHICH WE HAVE MEMBERS OF THESE FAITHS AND PERHAPS INCLUDE OTHER RELIGIOUS ORIENTATIONS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY SHARE IN COMMON AND PERHAPS IN LATER PROGRAMS- THE TOUGHER ISSUES.    OUR GUESTS ARE PILAR SAAD WHO IS A TAMPA NATIVE AND A CONVERT TO ISLAM; AND ANN HAENDEL WHO IS AFFILIATED WITH PRIMER AND RETIRED FROM WASHINGTON DC. AND I'D LIKE TO START WITH ANN. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY HISTORY, YOUR EDUCATION, SOME OF YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE?

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