The Tent of Abraham

Rev. Bob Edgar of NCC, Dr Sayid M. Syeed, Sr. Joan Chittister, R. Arthur Waskow, 06/28/2004

Dear friends,

We are in the midst of wars between the different families of Abraham ? Jews, Christians, and Muslims. ? Some of the family members actually define these wars as religiously required.

Even worse, there are groups within the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities that are trying to incite and create an all-out war between Islam and “the West.” Such a war would bring misery upon the peoples of all nations.


Many many of you wrote to say how grateful you were for the four-clergy ad condemning torture directed toward the Arab world. Now YOU YOURSELF can join in a similar way, this time addressing the people of America.

Please join with Rev. Bob Edgar, head of the National Council of Churches, Sr. Joan Chittister OSB, past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, head of the Islamic Society of North America, in signing the statement below—- “The Tents of Abraham.”

It addresses both the US-Iraq and Israel-Palestine arenas in a new way. And it speaks to the misdeeds of ALL sides in these wars and the interreligious violence beyond them.

We plan to publish this statement as an ad in the NY Times.

That will cost $48,000. That means we must receive an average of $200 from each of 240 people to be able to do this.

We ask you to send The Shalom Center a tax-deductible donation to make this possible. Reach above the average needed, if you can.

Your donation is tax-deductible. So it can reduce the money you pay for the bombs, bullets, and torture chambers of this war.

You can donate either by sending a check to Shalom Center, 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119, or donate online.

Please send $1001 if you can, or $501, or $201 if at all possible. If not, please send as much as you can - in an amount ending in 1. Thus $151, $101, $51. (The extra dollar is to earmark this gift for this purpose. )

We will try to publish the names of all signers, but for space reasons cannot guarantee to publish in the ad the names of those who give less than $101. All signers will be listed online.

The statement follows. Warm regards; shalom, salaam, pax, peace ? Arthur

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director The Shalom Center

Please forward this letter to your friends and co-workers. ****************************************************

We are members of the families of Abraham - Muslims, Christians, Jews.

Our traditions teach us to have compassion, seek justice, and pursue peace for all peoples. We bear especially deep concern for the region where Abraham learned and taught, journeyed and flourished. Today that region is known as the greater Middle East - from Iraq, where Abraham grew up, to Israel and Palestine, where he sojourned.

Today our hearts are broken by the violence poured out upon the peoples of that region.

That violence has included the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel and of Iraq by the United States; terrorist attacks on Americans, Israelis, Iraqis, and others by various Palestinian and Iraqi groups and by Al Qaeda; the torture of prisoners by several different police forces, military forces, and governments in the region.

From our heartbreak at these destructive actions, we intend to open our hearts more fully to each other and to the suffering of all peoples.

In the name of the One God Whom we all serve and celebrate, we condemn all these forms of violence. To end the present wars and to take serious steps toward the peace that all our traditions demand of us, we call on governments and on the leaders of all religious and cultural communities to act.

We urge the US government to set a firm and speedy date, preferably no later than December 1, 2004, for completing the safe return home from Iraq of all Americans under military control or contract ? so that Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid el Adha can actually be celebrated as festivals of peace. We urge the UN to work directly with Iraqi political groupings to transfer power in Iraq to an elected government.

We urge the UN, the US, the European Union, and Russia to convene a comprehensive peace conference through which the governments of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, and all Arab states conclude a full diplomatic, economic, and cultural peace with Israel and Palestine, defined approximately on the 1967 boundaries, with small mutual adjustments.

We urge the international community to work out lawful and effective means to deal with the dangers of international terrorism, the spread of nuclear and similar weapons, and conflicts over the control of oil and water.

We ourselves will act to create transnational and interfaith networks of Jews, Christians, and Muslims who will covenant together -

*to insist that governments take these steps,

*to undertake whatever nonviolent actions are necessary to prevent more violence and achieve a just peace throughout the region,

*and to grow grass-roots relationships that bind together those who have been enemies into a Compassionate Coalition.

According to tradition, Abraham kept his tent open in all four directions, the more easily to share his food and water with travelers from anywhere. In that spirit, we welcome all those who thirst and hunger for justice, peace, and dignity.

? Sister Joan Chittister, OSB; Rev. Bob Edgar, National Council of Churches; Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center—- and YOU?

TO: Shalom Center, 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119


__ Please add my name as a signer to this statement. To help publish it, I enclose—-

__ $1001; __ $501; __ $201; __ $151; __ $101; ____ Other __.

(This donation is tax-deductible.)

Name/s _____________________________________
Address _____________________________________
Phone/s _____________________________________
Email/s: ______________________________________
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