Randall, Yafiah Katherine. Sufism and Jewish-Muslim Relations. The Derekh Avraham Order in Israel. New York: Routledge, 2016.
In Israel there are Jews and Muslims who practice Sufism together. The Sufi’ activities that they take part in together create pathways of engagement between two faith traditions in a geographical area beset by conflict.
Sufism and Jewish Muslim Relationsinvestigates this practice of Sufism among Jews and Muslims in Israel and examines their potential to contribute to peace in the area. It is an original approach to the study of reconciliation, situating the activities of groups that are not explicitly acting for peace within the wider context of grass-roots peace initiatives. The author conducted in-depth interviews with those practicing Sufism in Israel, and these are both collected in an appendix and used throughout the work to analyse the approaches of individuals to Sufism and the challenges they face. It finds that participants understand encounters between Muslim and Jewish mystics in the medieval Middle East as a common heritage to Jews and Muslims practising Sufism together today, and it explores how those of different faiths see no dissonance in the adoption of Sufi practices to pursue a path of spiritual progression.
The first examination of the Derekh Avraham Jewish-Sufi Order, this is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Sufi studies, as well as those interested in Jewish-Muslim relations.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Procedure and Contexts of the Research
2 Contexts of the Investigation
3 Historical Encounters of Jewish and Islamic Mysticism: precedents of Contemporary Practice in Israel
Part 2: Reading the Field Narratives
4 The Derekh Avraham/Tariqat Ibrahimiyya and its Contemporary Re-emergence in Israel
5 Beshara: Lovers of Ibn Arabi
6 Embracing the Sufi Path and the Dissemination of Knowledge
7 Jewish and Muslim Peacemakers
Part 3: Conclusion
8 The Other Voice
YAFIAH KATHERINE RANDALL received her PhD at the University of Winchester. She combines academic research into Jewish-Muslim relations focusing on Sufism with grass-roots action for interreligious understanding and conflict transformation.
Yonay, Yuval P., Mair Yaish, and Vered Kraus. “Religious Heterogeneity and Cultural Diffusion: The Impact of Christian Neighbors on Muslim and Druze Women’s Participation in the Labor Force in Israel.” Sociology 49.4 (2015): 660-78.
This study exploits the unique demographic structure of the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel and their geographical immobility in order to help resolve the riddle why women in the Middle East and North Africa are less likely to participate in the labor force than women elsewhere in the world. We show that, controlling for economic variables, Muslim and Druze Arab women are more likely to enter the labor force if they live in a locality where Christian Arabs live as well. A possible explanation of this finding is the impact of social interaction among people who have different cultural schemas. Female labor force participation is rising throughout the Middle East, including among Arab-Palestinians in Israel, but the tempo of this transformation depends on various local variables, and in this article we identify one such factor, namely, the ethno-religious composition of a community.
During the British Mandate in Palestine, there existed among the majority Muslim Arab population a perception that the British favoured Christian Arabs for administrative positions. While such a preference was arguably justifiable during the early years of the Mandate, inasmuch as Christian Arabs were initially more qualified from an educational standpoint, over the ensuing years, the number of Muslim youths with a suitable, secular-based education very quickly increased. There nonetheless persisted a perception of Christian favouritism – that is, that Christians still enjoyed preferential treatment with respect to government employment – and this soon came to define a significant Muslim grievance, one that would periodically prove divisive between Muslim and Christian Arabs, not least within the context of the Palestinian nationalist movement. This article seeks to ascertain whether, on the basis of a statistical analysis of the actual numbers of Muslim and Christian Arabs employed by the British Mandatory government and their respective educational qualifications, Christian Arabs did in fact constitute a privileged group. Also considered (in light of certain sociological concepts regarding group and national identity) are the ramifications of such a perception – regardless of whether reflective of the actual reality – with respect to Muslim–Christian unity, the shaping of Palestinian Arab national identity and the relationship between Arab national identity and Islam.