Letter From Rabbi Waskow:
I need to consult with you and ask your help on an important matter.
We are close to being able to publish in the NY Times “The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah,” an unprecedented peacemaking call from Muslims, Christians, and Jews that addresses both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US occupation of Iraq.
Though a number of distinguished Muslim leaders helped initiate the Call, the number of Muslim signers is not yet on the same level as those of Christian and Jewish signers.
These are the initiating signers:
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Imam Abdul Faisal Rauf, Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Imam Mahdi Bray, Meena Sharify-Funk, Saadi Shakur/Neil Douglas-Klotz; Sister Joan Chittister, OSB; Rev. Bob Edgar, National Council of Churches; Jim Wallis of Sojourners; Rabbis Rachel Cowan, Elliot Dorff, Gerry Serotta, David Teutsch, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Waskow, and Sheila Weinberg.
The Call draws on the Abraham saga that is shared in one way or another by all three traditions.
So I am making a special appeal to you to sign the statement, to contribute as much as possible to its publication, and to circulate it to your friends withn the same request. For poossiuble ease of use on Email, I am sending ther text below.
In adddition, as you will see from the attached graphic, the ad has already been formatted and a powerful graphic added by a public-relations firm skilled and experienced in shaping public-policy ads.
The Shalom Center, working also with ?Faithful America,? a project of the National Council of Chuirches, have now jointly raised about $30,000 to publish the ad. It will take another $15,000 to publish in the Times.
We believe that this statement, by showing Muslims, Jews, and Christians working together, will set an important tone to cut through the anti-Muslim feeling that has surfaced around parts of the country..
This moment is both urgent and propitious. Both in regard to Iraq and in regard to Israel-Palestine, we are at a moment when more energy can be brought into play to transform present US government policy, and to strengthen the networks that can keep working for peace.
On this issue, the participation of all three Abrahamic traditions makes it much easier for people from each of them to take part.
In the NY Times, the statement can reach a wider swathe of people and bring in enough additional support to be able to move into smaller cities. We believe the Biblical / Quranic language we are using in this ad can awaken and attract people whom many liberals have ignored.
Donations to support the publication of the statement are tax-deductible.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
The Shalom Center
Please join with Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America; Sister Joan Chitister, OSB, former president of the Society of Women Religious of America; Rabbis Rachel Cowan, Elliot Dorff, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Gerry Serotta, David Teutsch, Arthur Waskow, and Sheila Weinberg; and many others to sign this call: “The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah.”
In order to publish this to a wide audience, we need your support. Please send a (tax-deductible) donation to The Shalom Center, as shown at the end of this mailing. Though all gifts help, please aim at $250 if at all possible. Thanks!
THE TENT OF ABRAHAM, HAGAR, & SARAH: A CALL FOR PEACEMAKING
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 grew and learned, taught and flourished. Today that region stretches from Iraq, where Abraham grew up, to Israel and Palestine, where he sojourned, and to Mecca and Egypt, where he visited.
Today our hearts are broken by the violence poured out upon the peoples of that broad region.
That violence has included terrorist attacks on and kidnappings of Americans, Israelis, Iraqis, Europeans, and others by various Palestinian and Iraqi groups and by Al Qaeda; the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel and of Iraq by the United States; and the torture of prisoners by several different police forces, military forces, and governments in the region.
These actions not only shatter lives toiday, but endanger the future of our children and the children of our children. 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 for completing the safe return home from Iraq of all American soldiers and civilians under military contract. 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, Hagar, and Sarah kept their tent open in all four directions, the more easily to share their food and water with travelers from anywhere. In that spirit, we welcome all those who thirst and hunger for justice, peace, and dignity, to join in affirming this statement.
- Sister Joan Chittister, OSB; Rev. Bob Edgar, National Council of Churches; Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Gerry Serotta, David Teutsch, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Waskow, Sheila Weinberg; —- and YOU?
DONATE ONLINE by clicking on
or print out this coupon and send it to:
“Abraham’s Tent,” Shalom Center, 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119
__ Please add my name as a signer to this statement. To help publish it, I enclose my TAX-DEDUCTIBLE gift of—-
__ $1001; __ $501; __ $361; __ $251; __ $181; __ $101; ____ Other __.