NEW YORK (Dec. 14)
The initiation of interfaith discussions between Jewish and Moslem religious leaders was urged by Emanuel G. Scoblionko, president of the World Council of Synagogues, at a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel here tonight. Had such discussions taken place years ago, many of the discordant stresses and tensions in the Middle East probably would have been averted, he said.
The president of the global synagogue body stressed that Judaism is the mother religion of both Christianity and Islam. “We have made progress in our relations with one; let us now press forward toward better relations with the other,” he declared. He detailed the many points of similarity between the Jewish and Moslem faiths, and said:
“These common qualities that pervade our two sister faiths cry out for closer bonds between Islam and Judaism. Just as there is now better understanding with Christianity, so is it our duty to seek with all our hearts to create closer harmony with Islam.”
He warned that in any such rapprochement, neither side must seek to dominate, but only to esteem, Theological differences, he said, should be respected, but spiritual similarities should be stressed; As a first step toward such a link, Mr. Scoblionko urged the creation of an international committee “to study the best method of establishing communication between Judaism and Islam.”
Such a committee would survey the history of Moslem-Jewish relations and report “on the opportunities that can most favorably be found or made to seek a working religious relationship between Moslem and Jewish religious leaders,” he said.