Each day we are bombarded with news reports about conflict in the Middle East. We wonder why people can’t just respect each other’s differences and live in peace. The book, The Faith Club : a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew-- three women search for understanding, by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner, might be a good starting point to understand the complex issues behind the struggle.
Shortly after 9/11, Ranya, a mother and the Muslim of the group, wanted to write a book for children about Islam, Christian and Jewish faiths that would foster understanding and tolerance. Soon she realized that she didn’t know enough about Christianity and Judaism; so she invited two mothers from her children’s school, a Christian and a Jew, to join her in this project. Soon it became clear that the women themselves needed an honest and open discussion about their stereotypes and misunderstandings of one another. Each person writes from her own point of view in a readable, conversational style. It almost feels like the reader is eavesdropping on some of their private conversations.
Pursuing this club with women of other faiths took courage to face issues of prejudices and preconceptions. It was interesting too that each of them had to re-examine their own faith and found that their discussions caused their faith to deepen.