The Rumi Forum presented “Jews and Muslims: Why They Have More in Common Than They Realize” with Robert Eisen, Professor of Religion and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at George Washington University
This talk compared the historical experiences of Jews and Muslims andl argued that there are striking similarities in the challenges that the two groups have faced, especially in recent history. It was also argued that an understanding of these similarities may help pave the way for a better relationship between Jews and Muslims, in general, and a solution to the Israeli-Palestinians conflict, in particular.
Robert Eisen is Professor of Religion and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at George Washington University in Washington D.C. His areas of interest include medieval and modern Jewish philosophy, biblical interpretation, Jewish ethics, and comparative religion. He is author of two books, Gersonides on Providence, Covenant, and the Chosen People (State University of New York Press, 1995) and The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is currently completing a third book which examines Jewish perspectives on peace and violence. He has also co-edited another volume, Philosophers and the Jewish Bible (University of Maryland Press, 2008), with Charles Manekin. Professor Eisen is also active as a consultant on issues of religion and international conflict with a particular interest in fostering better relations between the West and the Islamic world. He has participated in a number of high-level dialogues and consultations in Washington and that have focused on this issue. He sits on the advisory board of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. He is on the executive board of the C-1 World initiative, a body that grew out of the World Economic Forum and is devoted to improving the relationship between the West and the Islamic world. He has also worked with the United States Institute of Peace.
Inci A. Bowman is the Executive Secretary of the International Committee for Crimea, Washington, DC. Ms. Bowman received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1975 and served as curator of medical history, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston until 1997. She now lives in Washington, DC, pursuing her long-time interest in Crimean Tatar issues.