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Descripción de editorial
In a narrative that is at once thoughtful and passionate, an award-winning historian reveals the history of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews over the course of fourteen centuries until the present day.
The harsh reality of religious conflict is daily news, and the rising tensions between the West and Islam show no signs of abating. However, the relationship between Muslims, Christians, and Jews has not always been marked with animosity; there is also a deep and nuanced history of peace. From the court of caliphs in ancient Baghdad, where scholars engaged in spirited debate, to present-day Dubai, where members of each faith work side by side, Karabell traces the forgotten legacy of tolerance and cooperation these three monotheistic religions have enjoyed—a legacy that will be vital in any attempt to find common ground and reestablish peace.
Conventional wisdom says that Christians, Jews and Muslims cannot get along and have never gotten along; the Crusades, the Inquisition and September 11 have all fueled the flames of constant religious intolerance. In a pedantic and frustrating study, journalist Karabell (The Last Campaign) challenges this view by pointing to numerous but little-known periods of peaceful coexistence among the three religions. For example, he points to John of Damascus's condemnation of Islam as a Christian heresy as a powerful indication of the close connection between the two faiths in the early Middle Ages. During the Crusades, Christian rulers often adopted the policies of the Muslim governments they had supplanted, while in the 19th century, some Muslim nations attempted to emulate the progress of Europe and to coexist more peacefully with European nations. Karabell points to Dubai as an area in which such ironic coexistence still occurs and wonders whether Dubai holds the key to the future. Regrettably, the moments of peaceful coexistence are hard to spot in Karabell's narrative, since the largest portions are occupied with the ways that Christians, Jews and Muslims have failed to get along.