'Brothers From Two Mothers' Bridge Gap

March 30, 2007

Author: Kay Campbell

Source: The Huntsville Times

http://www.al.com/living/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/living/117524631872540.xml&coll=1&thispage=2

Muslims. Jews. What's the next word you think of? Two religious leaders in Huntsville are among those working to make "friendship" the word associated with their faith groups' relationship.

"We know what we have to do. We have to cross the street," said Rabbi Jeffrey Ballon Monday as he and Imam Mohammad Razavi met at the Alabama Islamic Education Center to discuss their faith traditions. "The achievement of peace is not easy, or it would have been done a long time ago."

"The Quran invites Christians and Jews: Let's be united on what we have in common," Razavi said. "And what we have in common is God."

Allah. Elohim. Al-Ilah Eloha.

Ask the two religious leaders to name God, and their sacramental languages of Arabic and Hebrew show the commonness of the names for God, the closeness of the cognate roots. When they are sitting, as they were Monday, with copies of the Quran and the Torah on the table, very quickly the books are open and the Arabic and Hebrew are compared.