Interfaith Dialogues

Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the School of International Service, American University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Q: You mentioned that the Christians in that one example overcame that stereotype. Does that happen, I mean, is that possible?

A: That always happens. This is one of the accomplishments that you get in inter-faith dialogue. I have been working for five or six years in inter-faith dialogue and one of the primary accomplishments is this notion that now we see each other as equally humans, so it is more difficult to dehumanize the other. I see that not all Muslims are terrorists or violent, to frame it positively there are many sources of peace and non-violence in Islam, like Christianity, they would say if they were a Christian. For Muslims when the finish these inter faith dialogue groups they come out with similar statements such as "Now I understand that the other side that we decided to dialogue and that Christian I was talking to they are not all occupiers or they are not all government and they see our pain and they could be our friends." The Muslims always have to confront the image of being perceived as violent.