Sky TV News last night contained wall-to-wall coverage of that Baghdad reporter who threw his shoes at George Bush. We all learned that shoes are considered unclean in the Islam world and, despite tight security at the press conference in Afghanistan, here was a very effective means of showing one man's disdain for (and hence misunderstanding of) the outgoing President of the United States.
A news item that didn't appear at all to my knowledge was something FAR FAR GREATER. Yesterday - and we should all note the date, as something truly historic occurred - 85 Immams, Rabbis and Christian clerics met in Paris. Many of these came from Israel and the Palestinian territories to discuss 'new actions' to promote peace in the Middle East. Individual Immams, some from places like Iran, were seen talking peaceably and amicably to individual Rabbis, some from Israel. All were saying the same thing. As individuals they never get to speak to one another. They discovered they all wanted the same thing, without exception. They wanted to build bridges across the world, to speak to each other, to understand each other. All understood that most global troubles were caused by a complete lack of understanding of each other's beliefs and mindsets - all caused by A LACK OF COMMUNICATION.
As a new secular year approaches, may all individuals of the world communicate one-to-one with each other, appreciate each other's customs and beliefs, and work together for peace.
In Paris yesterday, 15th December 2008, something quite remarkable started. Let us hope it continues. Amen.