To: Dr. William P. Mech, Dean of the Wilkes Honors College, FAU
From: Dr. Ron Kronish, ICCI
We, the members of the Executive Committee of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, made up of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, wish to voice our support for our colleague Dr. Mustafa Abu-Sway. In a recent column published in, among many places, the New York Post and the Jerusalem Post (22/10/03), Dr. Abu-Sway was attacked in an effort to discredit him as a Fullbright scholar by implying that he has ties to terrorists. We are writing to you to let inform you that we know Professor Abu Sway as man of courage and dialogue.
In Israel, we who seek to promote dialogue and interreligious relations have regularly called upon Dr. Abu-Sway to join us in dialogue over many years and he has always responded positively. His religious view of who owns the land was always matched by a commitment not to use violence. Some may not agree with his views, but he was courageous enough to engage Christians and Jews about his views when we invited him to. In a land where little dialogue occurs and where dialogue partners from different religious traditions are hard to find, Dr. Abu-Sway has regularly been involved, courageously coming to events sponsored by Christians or Jews, including the ICCI, to represent his Muslim perspective. He has been candid in his views with which not everyone in the audience would agree, and he has also been a good listener, which is essential to genuine dialogue. The purpose of dialogue is to explain and to understand, and Professor Sway has helped us understand much about Islamic philosophy and tradition and the contemporary sitution in Israel and the Middle East.
If we allow innuendo and smears to guide our way, then we will continue to be victims of the ongoing violence which plagues our region. Dr. Abu-Sway has consistently chosen the way of dialogue. We can vouch for him as a person of integrity, honesty and genuine desire to know and come to undertand the other.
On behalf of the Exeutive Committee of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI),
Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish