Mohammed Abu Nimer

The Rumi Forum presented “Pluralism and Peace in Middle East: The Role of Interreligious Activities ” with Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Professor at the American University’s School of International Service in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Professor Abu-Nimer pointed out that although religion have been sometimes used as a tool to provoke violence or instrument for politicians to mobilize support for war or an ideology to justify exclusion and discrimination it can have some roles for religious peacebuilding. By supporting, education, advocacy, pastoral diplomacy, accompaniment, fact finding, assessment etc. religion can play an important role in the process of international peace and conflict resolution. According to him, obstacles in interfaith dialogue are:

– Dialogue through religioncentric defensive approach.
– No conversion but explain to the other.
– No political discussion.
– Leave reality outside of the dialogue room.
– Asymmetric Management and Funding of Interfaith Programs.
– Lack of financial transparency.
– Language Barriers.
– Preaching to the convert.
– Localized interfaith dialogue models.
– Public perceptions of interfaith field.

Mohammed Abu-Nimer is a Professor in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program at the School of International Service. He is also Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute at American University. His work has focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on application of conflict resolution models in Muslim communities. Professor Abu-Nimer has also conducted many interreligious conflict resolution trainings. In the last decade, Dr. Abu-Nimer has completed many evaluation projects and reports of peacebuilding and development programs. As a scholar/practitioner, he has been intervening and conducting conflict resolution training workshops in many conflict areas around the world, including Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Philippines (Mindanao), Sri Lanka and other areas. In addition to his numerous articles and publications, Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. His recent book is on “Unity in Diversity: Interfaith Dialogue in the Middle East.” Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Amal Khoury, and Emily Welty (USIP, 2007).

Moderator :

Ayse KadayifciDr. S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana is currently Assistant Professor in the field of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C. She is also the one of the founding members and the Associate Director of Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organization for research, education, and practice on issues related to conflict resolution, nonviolence, and development with a focus on bridging differences between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. She received her PhD from American University’s School of International Service in Washington DC in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis from University of Kent in Canterbury, England.
In addition to teaching, lecturing and publishing extensively in the fields of ‘religion and peace building,’ ‘cross-cultural conflict resolution and mediation’, ‘interfaith and intra-faith dialogues’ ‘peacebuilding and development’, ‘Islamic sources of conflict resolution’, ‘Muslim peace building actors in Africa and the Balkans’ and ‘education in the Islamic world’, among others, Dr. Kadayifci-Orellana has facilitated dialogues and conflict resolution workshops between Israelis and Palestinian, conducted Islamic conflict resolution training workshops to imams and Muslim youth leaders in the United States, organized and participated in interfaith and intra-Muslim dialogues, and organized and participated in the first American-Muslim Delegation to Iran in November 2007.

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