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December 7th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Abrahamic leaders unite against a common enemy

By Gabe La Monica, CNN

On the first night of Hanukkah last Wednesday, three wise men (or at least influential ones) met inside the Washington residence of Indonesian Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal under brightly lit chandeliers.

Ambassador Djalal introduced the panel of grey-suited religious leaders as “the people of the book,” gathered together “to promote harmony and unity.”

Their common bond: Abraham, a central figure in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Before an elaborately carved wooden backdrop, Rev. Michael Livingston, Rabbi Sid Schwarz  and Din Syamsuddin sat to discuss their differences, similarities and their “common enemy,” according to Syamsuddin, which he said comprises “the problems of humanity and human beings.”

Syamsuddin said the major goal is to overcome injustice.

Rabbi Schwarz, bespectacled and wearing a gold-checked tie, was named by Newsweek as one of the most influential rabbis in North America.

He invoked the idea of syncretism, a united front of opposing parties against a common foe. “The tribal element separates us,” he said, but added that “the covenantal elements unite us.”

“We’re all asking the same questions but we may not have the right answers,” he said. “If we can recognize the paths we’ve been on are not the way out, perhaps we can join hands together, and go forward.”

Syamsuddin, a cherubic-cheeked man with silvering-hair, is the president of the Indonesia-based Muhammadiyah, one of the biggest Islamic organizations in the world, with some 30 million members.

He said that religions and people “must work towards mutual understanding and respect.”

“In this new paradigm,” he said, “dialogue must be inclusive,” and it must be a “dialogue of actions.”

The Indonesian religious leader and his two U.S. counterparts, settled on either side of Syamsuddin between Indonesian and American flags, were asked questions about globalization and stopping violence carried out in the name of God.

According to Syamsuddin, globalization has contributed to “the emergence of selfishness and greed” and “the radicalization of individualism,” which he said “leads to extremism in religious communities.”

Rev. Livingston, a moustached man in glasses and a black checked tie, is the president of the National Academy of Churches, a consortium of Christian denominations. “Even in the larger context of economic woes,” said Livingston, referring to the current global recession, “there exists a basic dichotomy.”

Globalization means the first world is racing ahead but the other world is languishing behind, he said.

Schwarz called globalization a “two-edged sword.” He said that “most religions were caught unawares” by it and that they “haven’t equipped the faithful to encounter one another.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Interfaith issues • Islam • Judaism

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    "The men most hateful to Allah are the proud pauper, the adulterous old man, the profligate scholar." Hazrat Ali (RA)

    December 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Check this useful index :
    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/quranindex.html

    December 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Lennon's last words: 'I don't wanna be dead hero'
    http://www.emirates247.com/entertainment/films-music/lennon-s-last-words-i-don-t-wanna-be-dead-hero-2010-12-08-1.326683

    December 9, 2010 at 5:11 am |
  4. Muneef

    In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
    "May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You" 
    Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

    December 9, 2010 at 5:10 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!
      The Five Steps To Lead Muslims from Their Crooked Path

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      December 9, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Muneef

      Visit this for more informations on reality:
      http://www.hamzatzortzis.com/

      December 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      Words about the Quran:
      http://www.theinimitablequran.com/eloquencechapteralkawthar.pdf

      December 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  5. civiloutside

    The ti-tle of the blog is "Belief Blog," not "Believers' Blog." This rather implies that the subject of belief itself is also a valid topic of conversation.

    But if the sum of your argument is to make entirely unfounded claims about the education levels and lives of people you've never met simply because they disagree with you, well... let's just say you are not representing your side very well.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  6. prophet

    We as Jewish people are praying for all the different types of misled people.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Woops.. Prophet you are Jew? Well welcome cousin I am Arabic you might be extending from Isaac the second son of Abraham but we as Arabs extend from Ismael the first son of Abraham who both father and first son have rebuild the Kabba in Mecca which was the first house of worship on earth.. You people latter on from Jacob the son of Isaac who's 12 Children became to be known as the Children of Israel who were moved to Egypt until saved by Moses when then the first ten commandments what was named as the Torah was handed over to Moses then followed by the El-Zaboor of David then followed by Al Angeel which came by Jesus and here was when the sons of Israel were divided in to Jew and Christians..

      December 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Although we are cousins but your people reject the existence the existence of Ismael being as the first son of Abraham because he was not from the same mother of Isaac who was called Sarah but Ismael was the son of her maid named as Hajer who was latter taken to live with her son in a remote dry land that was became to be known as Mecca and for your information that Ismael was the first one as a child to have found the water spring that is called Zamzam in Mecca adding to that it was he who God Allah wanted to test Abraham with when asked him to sacrifice but was saved by being replaced by a big Ram of Sheep..that is being slaughtered up to date in Mecca every year on pilgrimage season..

      December 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      Islam is the religion of God Allah that was passed to every messenger from date creation began on earth but people were always after generations become lost and then reminders are sent to them through prophets and messengers of God Allah to remind,preach and guide where some follow and some rebel and the story goes on repeating it self up to this day where some want to make God,Angels,scriptures,prophets,messengers all become one big myth...that was the plan from the beginning separating and making religions become enemies against each other widening differences and hatred between them for this final stroke the slum dank for ending the whole history of humanity and religion...what a great brain wash we are becoming in to?

      December 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Find out what God Allah wants from us as believers and Muslims:

      http://www.islamicsolutions.com/what-does-god-want-from-us/

      December 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  7. prophet

    Many Many muslims are converting to believeing in The God of the Jewish Nation, they do already but even as muslims and this is what makes the whole muslim thing against the Jewish people so silly as they even say that they are from the same background i.e Avaraham and the religion that they say He is from, but of course Avaraham was never from a religion as The Jewish people are a Nation and not a religion and no other types of peoples can say this. Islam is just a religion as all the others are.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  8. prophet

    There is only one Avaraham and He has nothing to do with Islam, Islam is a religion trying to live of Judaism. However, Avraham did have a son that people have also decended from but he did not start Islam as it is a false and misleading religion.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  9. prophet

    All those trying to convince others that there isn't a God should not even be commenting on the CNN Belief stories, they should comment on other CNN stories. Their commenting unfortunately just proves their ignorance and their unfortunate sad lives. I and so many others are so sorry for them, their small mentality, obviously they had problems at school and this is how they can prove themselves to be someone.

    So they have very little intelligence if at all as they should know that the CNN belief stories are for people to comment on those stories and not to discuss whether or not there is God. If they are unable to make semse in this how can they make sense of anything else.

    Being a non believer is one thing but to try and prove what they trying to prove just reflects their primitiveness.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      Nice one prophet...
      But have read some thing else that they want to uproot the whole Mankind or say Human Tree extended from the date of Adam and Eve on earth calling all those we read about in the prehistorical scriptures from Abraham to Muhammed as a big myth? So what are we?! Apes and Pigs?? No we are not but do know who was metamorphosed by God Allah to become as Apes and Pigs for their disobedience to God and his messengers for which they were scattered on earth wandering and never will they find peace in their souls...

      December 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      December 9, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  10. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/pasha-hour-international-live-from-america-nov-09-2010/

    December 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Iqbal khan

    Why they are Reverting (converting) to Islam:

    http://www.usislam.org/converts/converts.htm

    December 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Reality

      And why the expansion of Islam?

      The number of global Muslims indeed is ~1.5 billion basically because of the very high birth rate in Islam.
      According to official surveys, "the disapproval of family planning is highest among Muslims", while "the practice of family planning methods in 1980 was lowest amongst Muslims (only 23% of those surveyed practised it as opposed to 36% Hindus)".[1] They further admit that between 1971 and 1981, "the Hindu population was up by 24.15%, whereas the Muslim population shot up by 30.59%".

      Once the bowers to Mecca, however, see that they have been conned by the "angelic" hallucinations of a long-dead, warmongering, womanizing (11 wives) Arab, these 1.5 billion lost souls will quickly become secularists, agnostics or atheists and a semblance a global peace will spread across the globe

      December 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Half the percentage you mentioned are born under Islamic country or communities and therefore obtained the name of being Muslims but many are non perfect Muslims in every thing they do or as good as your agnostics or polytheists or even atheists as well as satanic ones but in heart although they may bow and do worships better than any believer but in heart are not as should be if a believer....take for an example the scandals of the Catholic Church the Vatican so aren't those supposed to be the purest of all humans?? But can we blame it on all? There are many who are genuine and have goodness in heart helping the weak giving the poor paving their paths with good deeds minding that there is a judgment date that we all will be answerable to all of our doings.in our earthly life...
      Seen in some post some one say about Abraham being a myth?? In such case this will all to believe that God down to the last prophet is just one myth? Isn't that called brainwashing history from minds? Isn't that just like uprooting the whole Tree calling it a myth? As far as we learned that the myth is history told but not found written or only written in one book one.language but this so called myth came by the prophets in many scriptures and in different languages so why should it become a myth? Just wonder who does it serve to uproot such ancient huge Tree that was extended from Adam & Eve?
      Wouldn't surprise me to find out that those the supposedly chosen ones to be behind it to maintain their superiority over others since making them people unreligious would make them rightful slaves to use and abuse any time.

      December 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan

    Check this....

    Al-Ala
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, (1) Who has created (everything), and then proportioned it; (2) And Who has measured (preordainments for everything even to be blessed or wretched); and then guided (i.e. showed mankind the right as well as wrong paths, and guided the animals to pasture); (3) And Who brings out the pasturage, (4) And then makes it dark stubble (5) We shall make you to recite (the Qur'ân), so you (O Muhammad (SAW)) shall not forget (it), (6) Except what Allâh, may will, He knows what is apparent and what is hidden. (7) And We shall make easy for you (O Muhammad (SAW)) the easy way (i.e. the doing of righteous deeds). (8) Therefore remind (men) in case the reminder profits (them) (9) The reminder will be received by him who fears (Allâh), (10) But it will be avoided by the wretched, (11) Who will enter the great Fire (and will be made to taste its burning). (12) There he will neither die (to be in rest) nor live (a good living). (13) Indeed whosoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islâmic Monotheism) shall achieve success, (14) And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord (worships none but Allâh), and prays (five compulsory prayers and Nawâfil — additional prayers). (15) Nay, you prefer the life of this world, (16) Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. (17) Verily, this is in the former Scriptures — (18) The Scriptures of Ibrâhim (Abraham) and Mûsa (Moses). (19)

    December 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bob

      I read it, it's nonsense. Welcome to reality.

      December 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @Iqbal khan
      Thank you for not posting a video. Other than that, I must say you still don't appear to have anything to say on your own.
      Perhaps one day you will be free of your slavery to the words of others.

      December 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • civilioutside

      I am curious. I keep seeing these Koran quotes that have portions of sentences in parentheses that do not read as parenthetical expressions. (e.g. ' We shall make you to recite (the Qur'ân), so you (O Muhammad (SAW)) shall not forget (it)." Are these artifacts of translation from Arabic? Are they commentary added to clarify because the direct quote is ambiguous without them? What is the reason?

      December 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  13. PAGANGRL69

    Religion the most Sick n' Twisted...- yet most Brilliant Orchestrated Hoax ever created by Man to this Day...=Too Control the Masses by letting oneself(you) think to "Believe" that you are the one truly controlling of one's life based on Religious Choice...-as if their really is a "Freedom of Choice" and "Will"...Religion-Doesn't =Freedom-but only the Control of the Weak Minded who truly cannot think for themselves...Common Sense...One doesn't need Religion to guide and tell one how to act and who to be we are all capable of figuring this out and doing for ourselves...-but people are lead to believe they can't live or survive without some form of religion in their lives or the world will come crashing down upon them and end...What a 'crock of crap"...This is my opinion...
    Blessed Be...696969

    December 8, 2010 at 5:56 am |
    • jeff

      out of curiosity, by whom or what would you be blessed?

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      December 8, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @jeff
      Not by your presence, I would guess. You think you have grace and peace yet you come here to post. Not gracefully or peacefully.
      She sounds like a great girl with a level head. You see no blessings in her post? You have no idea who could possibly have "blessed" her?

      hah

      December 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • jeff

      @Sumerian Dude, it was an honest question. Pagangrl69 says that religion is a sick, twisted hoax, and that we should all figure things out by ourselves. Christians believe Christ is the source of our blessing, other religions have their sources, so I was curious to inquire regarding hers. As for having grace and peace and yet still posting, I did not realize that was a barrier to entry, but it would explain why there are so many angry posts here.. I'll end it with the full blessing so that you wont get the idea that I think I smugly possess it...

      grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

      -jeff

      December 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @jeff
      Thanks for clarifying that. I take back my boorish accusations. You might want to reconsider having that shortened "blessing" at the end of your posts – it really does look smug and arrogant, you see....like saying "I have grace and peace and you don't".

      As for religion, it IS a sick, twisted hoax, but I understand that you are deep into it – I was myself once. I'll try not to hold it against you, but I can't really promise anything there...I hope you understand. 😛

      December 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • jeff

      @Sumerian Dude – thanks back! 🙂 and sorry that it appeared that way – nearly every one of Paul's letters contains that phrase, and in fact, there was a tradition in the church known as the 'passing of the peace', (not to be confused with the 'passing of the piece' which generally involves dogs and legos...)... Many churches still do this during their worship service. It often gets shortened to 'grace and peace to you", with a reply of "and to you also"

      for a change, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      -jeff

      December 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @jeff
      Thanks. Happy Holidays to you, as well...even though we are all clumsy and agitated... 😛

      December 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  14. Truth - the common enemy of all religions

    They wasted time and money and even got this breathlessly-written article written about their little "meeting".

    Religions hate me – I will always exist in opposition to their lies. I am their common enemy. I am truth.

    They used the meeting to make their back-room deals and justify their grossly swollen salaries and empty jobs.

    December 8, 2010 at 5:55 am |
    • Reality

      Truth,

      Most excellent commentary!!

      Some added words:

      O Islam, Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha, illiterate and hallucinating,
      O Islam, Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha greed and lustful, womanizing,
      Was he too,

      O Islam, O Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha, warmongering and hateful,
      Was he too,

      O Islam, O Islam, violent Islam,
      Sunnis of hate, Shiites of late,
      Even Pretty Wingie Thingies cannot
      Save us from O Islam's hate.

      Save us from these Islamic FEMs,
      Flaws, Errors, Muck and Stench,
      They ooze from the rocks of earth,
      Like worms of death and wrench.

      Born, Bred, and Brainwashed too,
      Whatever, whatever to do?

      Truth, Truth, History and Truth,
      Let it Ring True, Freedom, Freedom
      Freedom at Last and much left to do!!!

      December 8, 2010 at 7:13 am |
    • Muneef

      Find out the true Reality of Islam:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYed9-Gw0FA&w=640&h=360]

      December 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Reality

      Some examples of the reality of Islam:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
      Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
      defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      December 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  15. Jeff

    I have never heard syncretism defined as "a united front of opposing parties against a common foe", rather, as a mingling or attempted mingling of practices from different religions.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Folks might want to read article at http://www.gotquestions.org/syncretism-religious.html.

      The banner at the top of this page says "got Questions?org the Bible has the answers, we'll find them for you!"

      "Religious syncretism is simply not compatible with true Christianity. In fact, any modification to biblical law and principle for the sake of a “better” religion is heresy (Revelation 22:18-19)."

      December 8, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @HotAirAce

      Good find...!

      Peace...

      December 8, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • jeff

      @HotAirAce
      @Peace2All

      That was my exact thought – it was not compatible with Judaism in the Old Testament either – again and again, Israel is punished for incorporating practices from other religions into theirs. So I was rather surprised to see a rabbi use the word for what they were doing in this joint effort between Jews, Christians, Muslims...

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      December 8, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  16. Muneef

    -Syamsuddin said:"the major goal is to overcome injustice". 
    I say "So much injustice in the world in all aspects of life and equality"..  

    -Rabbi Schwarz said:"“We’re all asking the same questions but we may not have the right answers,” he said. “If we can recognize the paths we’ve been on are not the way out, perhaps we can join hands together, and go forward.”
    I say already the awaited path has been sent by God Allah through his messenger Muhammed as prophesied in the elder holy scriptures and it is the path of monotheists as Mumens:
    The Conditions of Iman
    He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Prophets, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. [Sahih Muslim]..    

    Rev. Livingston, referring to the current global recession, “there exists a basic dichotomy.” Globalization means the first world is racing ahead but the other world is languishing behind, he said.
    I say it means that first world racing ahead in all aspects on account of rights and resources of the other world that was left languishing behind in conflicts,corruptions,poverty and ignorance... 

    Schwarz called globalization a “two-edged sword.” He said that “most religions were caught unawares” by it and that they “haven’t equipped the faithful to encounter one another.”
    I say that is true and it started from the date the children of Israel got divided among them selves at the time of Jesus the Messiah the son of Mariam on wards until Christianity was divided again as Catholics and Protestants and so on.
    As Jews motivated and Christians fighters Christianity went in troops on Holy War against Islam for the Holy Lands of Jerusalem where there were Arabs and non Arabs of all Abrahamic faiths Jews,Christians,Muslims living in harmony with each others under the protection of Islam...but were most wiped out for the sake of new comers immigrated to it under the propaganda of freeing the Holy Lands from Islamic rule and ever since started it went on moving between both side until the recent history of WW1&2.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Reality

      One solution as seen on another blog: Move all the Israelis to the USA. Move all the Muslims in the USA to Israel.

      A simpler solution: Since Abraham was a myth, declare all Abrahamic religions null and void!!

      December 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Alex

      I see. So when the Jews were kicked out of their homelands twice. First by the Romans and then by the Arabs, and when the grand mufti of Jerusalem collaborated with Hitler to kill and/or expel all the Jews from the middle east (or so was the goal anyway), who's fault was that exactly? When over a million Jews were ripped from their homes across the middle east, forced to flee to new locations around the world, and when they return are called "Europeans", irregardless of whether they actually were genetically, what type of justice would you call that? Lets try this. How about Jordan provides a section of their land to the Palestinians (like they were supposed to in the first place), or alternatively, how about Palestinians stop threatening to kill every Jew alive and quit blowing themselves up! The Muslim Arabs have no more right at this point to reconquering that land than the Romans do! If everything should just stay in its place in terms of who heads what, then kick all the Muslims out of Turkey, Kick all the Arabs out of Africa, and kick all the Muslims out of Pakistan! Get real! Stop calling the kettle black! No one with half a brain is buying it!

      December 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Jim Bob

    These leaders spoke well. Religions must benefit humanity with reasonability and practicality, or reveal their fraudulence.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  18. HotAirAce

    I liked this part the best:

    "Rabbi Schwarz, bespectacled and wearing a gold-checked tie, was named by Newsweek’s as one of the most influential rabbis in North America.

    He invoked the idea of syncretism, a united front of opposing parties against a common foe. “The tribal element separates us,” he said, but added that “the covenantal elements unite us.”

    “We’re all asking the same questions but we may not have the right answers,” he said. “If we can recognize the paths we’ve been on are not the way out, perhaps we can join hands together, and go forward.”"

    Given 2000+ years of trying to find the right path and the way out, you'd think they figure out that there is no path – that god is just a myth...

    December 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  19. Reality

    Not so fast!!!

    Read and peruse, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 i.e. Abraham was a myth according to 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis.

    December 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • philip

      Jesus is a myth according to billions of people who think for themselves.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  20. Nonimus

    Sounds like they are saying economic development is their common enemy.
    "...globalization has contributed to 'the emergence of selfishness and greed' and 'the radicalization of individualism,'..."
    "Globalization means the first world is racing ahead but the other world is languishing behind..."
    Languishing like China (was 2nd world) and Brasil (was 3rd world), at one point two of the fastest growing economies in the world?

    December 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @Nonimus
      They are more likely to have been discussing the terrible numbers of people who are becoming wise to their lies and lamenting the difficulties in modern money-laundering techniques.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • philip

      Nice deflection, but consider the little girls working in sweatshops to make your name-brand underwear. Yes, that is one small and shameful effect of globalization. The nation's economic growth is NOT an indicator of the well-being of its inhabitants.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.