Conflict in Middle East Strains Interfaith Relations in Kansas City

August 19, 2006

Source: The Kansas City Star

On August 19, 2006 The Kansas City Star reported, "In the best of times, Mahnaz Shabbir and Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz reach across cultural and religious barriers. But the conflict in the Mideast has strained local interfaith relations between people who ordinarily try to bridge the gap between their respective faiths, Islam and Judaism. The divide was evident in the As I See It feature on The Star’s op-ed pages when Shabbir, past president of the Heartland Muslim Council, called upon the United States to stop the war and to broker a peace settlement. The next week Katz, who is associate rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom in Overland Park, replied in The Star, saying Shabbir was condemning the United States for supporting Israel’s fight against a terrorist group that wants to destroy that nation. Others in their Jewish and Muslim communities are seeing a mountain from opposite angles, and the view of the war is completely different. This concerns people who work to bring about better relations between faith groups and who take pride in the various interfaith initiatives."