Teaching manual to be produced on shared values

July 12, 2012 by J-Wire
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The Institute for Judaism and Civilisation has been awarded a $20,000 grant to produce a teaching manual of the shared values of Christianity, Islam and Judaism to strengthen resilience against violent extremism.

Nicola Roxon

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon congratulated the project leaders, The Institute for Judaism and Civilisation and said it was important local groups were equipped to promote peace, foster acceptance and encourage non-violent expression of views.
“We want to support local projects to build stronger, more inclusive communities.
“Grants such as this will fund practical new activities to assist individuals and communities to resist and disengage from intolerant ideologies and encourage positive community participation.
“Australia is a very safe country but we can’t be complacent. It’s important to give local communities the tools they need to reduce the appeal of violent extremism”, Ms Roxon said.
The teaching manual will survey major aspects of Christian, Islamic and Jewish social and personal life to emphasise commonality between the three faiths. This important resource will be made available to community groups.
Michael Danby MP commended Rabbi Shimon Cowan and the Institute for Judaism and Civilisation for playing an important role in countering violent extremism by exploring similarities between Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
“I look forward to seeing the Institute continue to deliver a range of important services for the local community.”
The Government’s Building Community Resilience grants program already supports 29 projects worth more than $2.8 million across the country, and is kicking some early goals through initiatives like the national youth mentoring and leadership project for vulnerable youth run by the Australian Multicultural Foundation.
“I am pleased that in 2012 we will be funding 23 new projects totalling over $1.4 million,” said Ms Roxon.


19 Responses to “Teaching manual to be produced on shared values”
  1. Yousoof says:


    I cannot agree with you more… what an amazing description of yourself… however, I think you more hybris than you are hubrus… you may be articulate, but you definitely need an education. I think that there is something seriously wrong with you… you are embarrassing yourself… perhaps it may help if you READ my comments SLOWLY… it may sink in.

    Your comments are nothing but hate speech and I think you will do well, if not already, a member of the ‘prevailing society’; a lifetime membership I presume.

    Your vain attempt in endeavouring to change the ‘discussion’ signifies that you cannot or do have the ability to answer my questions… hence your hate speech…

    herr otto, (oops, I forgot the capital letters) you should be honoured that you actually had such a long ‘discussion’ with me…

    I think you should go back to the rudiments of theological discourse… i.e. read the Torah; it is truly a great book (and I mean it, it is brilliant)… pay particular attention to the sections that cover ‘Arrogance’ and ‘Humility’. GOD Willing, you may learn something.

    I know you enjoy having the floor, (based on your comments on other discussions), this will therefore be my last post with you… knock yourself out…

    Shalom my brother… may you go in peace… let it not be said (at the Pearly Gates) that I didn’t try.

    ps: I will be following this project to see if you are in anyway involved.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Can’t be blamed for not trying !!!
    The solidly forged hubris, simplicity, aggressiveness and abuse had to prevail with our “mate”.
    I must join in the prevailing attitude expressed by all other commentators on the topic and abandon any hope of civil exchanges with what can only be termed as an intrusion by the other party with the sole intention of dispatching well established prejudice and transparent intent on staying on course with conflict.
    When the bazaar/shuk variety of “wit’ comes to the fore only one side can enjoy the disturbing noise of vulgar self-gratification.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:


    when you will attain stable composition as against demeaning ilusions of wit and “intellectual” resource, express what you’d arrive at. Otherwise, badly mutilated phrases of ineptitude will not do !!

    I do not, normally, waste my time on middle-of-traffic pedestrian-jaywalking, non-sophisticated rants pretending to be smart and “informed” retorts. I made a few exceptions with you in an attempt to elevate and dignify simplicity, something you should be , actually, really proud of.

  4. Yousoof says:

    What is your intention? Are you trying to invoke an antagonistic response from me? (I’m to old for this crap) This was suppose to be a simple article that has good intentions… and then you come along, with your sarcastic undertones or overtones (pick one; let it not be said that I didn’t give you a choice).

    I do not represent any Muslim or Islamic organisation; I’m here at my own volition and representing me. I have an affinity for three Abrahamic religions and on that basis wish that this project is a success… you either accept it or you don’t… that mate, is your problem.

    However, if you represent the Jewish community, then, God of Abraham help us.
    Your comments leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
    “…called harmoniuous encounters between sides expected to be mutually incompatible.” This is your opinion and expectation…

    “Circumstances of Jews and Muslims “working together…” do you have any proof of this or is this your opinion? Remember there always three sides a story… your view, my view and the TRUTH. Take another guess where Muslims and Jews work together and help each other and attend each others celebrations and Bar mitzvahs.

    “…In Australia, as well as other Western type societies where we find both Jewish communities as well as muslims, the type of enthisiastic expression, as you put it, is all but non-existent precisely because of acutely active efforts by the core Islamic entity of not just keeping a distance from tthe local Jewish entity, but due to a cronic adherence by the Islamic fold to a visceral policy of enmity toward the Jews, whther based on Israeli “issues” or not…” you seem to have all the answers; why don’t you enlighten us… if this is the case, then why haven’t you extended your hand in friendship and show these “Australian Muslims” that you are the better man…

    “Modicums of elegnt, civilised discourse can be exhibited with incredible ease… to present, the sincere ” take it or leave it” intent of reconmciliation…” – what is your issue? Is it that I made a contribution or is the issue about Israel / Palestine? Your contribution thus far; is that you are trying to give me a set ground rules… if you are in any way part of this project, than, the GOD of Abraham help us… I think you will hinder this project, you have no trust in all things human.

    These are the given facts if this project has any chance of success… that you need to extend the same courtesy when using the word ‘Muslim’ as you do when using the word Jewish… at least have the respect to use Capital letters… (I think this was deliberate on your part; you are too articulate to make such a mistake)

    “Otherwise, look at me, all hope and happiness !!!… In the US they have and had Barak Obama, Bob Hope and Stevie Wonder. In Australia, we have Otto, no wonder we have no hope…

    • Otto Waldmann says:


      I will not invest in direct references to your slightly all over the shop attempt at “correcting ” me.
      Assuming that you are of good faith, my approach ( intentionally not use term “advice” ) would be to examine my critical comments as clear reflections of facts well documented of MUSLIM ( how is that for all capital letters !!! ) substantive attempts at consistently positively dwellig on the Jewish ( only one capital letter !!) issues with the Islaimic response to their Jewish irritant.

      The mere fact that you have access to a site designed to express mainly Jewish stances reveals a genuine intent by our side to engage with yours.

      Approaching me with a high tension tone, in parts dismissive, in parts critical and, overall, annoyed by my temerity of questioning the Muslim genuine intent, is not going to impress me or anyone interested in developing a workable process with almost Anyone hitherto not perceived as most amicable to the Jewish fold. I am not looking for conflict, but, at the same time, encounters with those not quite in agreement with me fit quite perfectly with my DNA.
      By turning a discussion into an argument with me you betray, if anything, a contentious disposition, not quite the terrain for what you, otherwise, claim to pursue.

      Your less than mature darts at me personally, the market place/bazaar/shuk plays on hope/wonder words, demean the tone I always intended and betray the trait I was precisely aluding to in my constructively criticism of the Islmic consistency in the interfaith dilogue.

      Otherwise if Mulsims, Islam , all other Abrahamic triangular participants wish to build a harmonius village, we Jews, are most apt at accommodating. Our Torah created the fundamentals for such a venture. Those who diverted from it need to acknowledge this.

      • Yousoof says:


        I didn’t think you would invest in any direct references to my ‘slightly’, all over the top, attempt in “CORRECTING” you.

        You are now assuming that I’m of good faith, I’m sorry, I cannot have the same assumption for you… and again, using the ‘capital’ letters with either a sarcastic or hateful overtone; I’m sure your conscience and your DNA make up already have a foregone conclusion.

        You extend your hand (literally) in friendship, no other way… this would apply to ALL faiths. I’m sure if you were the editor of J-Wire; you would have cancelled my free subscription. Mate, nothing stops you in joining any religious or community sites’ mailing list… I belong to many faiths mailing lists, including, interfaith Christian, Jews and Muslims, Hindus etc… perhaps you should try it, it’s an enlightening experience.

        I’m not approaching you with a high tension tone… you my friend, have set the pace… I’m merely returning the compliment.

        You have not answered two main questions… (don’t worry about the other questions; they have become rhetorical) I’m asking this again because you use the royal plural ‘we’ Jews often. We need to establish this, if we are going to develop any harmonious relationship.
        Do you represent the Jewish Community?
        Are you in any way involved with this project?

        You mention that your Torah created the fundamentals of this venture and that those who diverted from it need to acknowledge this… I agree, but do not agree with the term divert… I think expand is a more accurate term…

        Shalom and Salaam (what do you know, they both mean peace)

  5. Otto Waldmann says:


    At the “risk” of being specific, one must consider all tangible evidence of attempts as well as reluctance at what I called harmoniuous encounters between sides expected to be mutually incompatible.
    The notion of transplanting circumstances is simply non-practical, it cannot work.
    Circumstances of Jews and muslims “working together” will be obvious in oplaces such as Turkey where, by necessity local Turkish Jews have no option but function in a predomnantly muslim society. We have seen, however, that our Turkish Jews have been under immediate pressure not to express their stances on certain matters for fear of muslim retribution. A lot worse in Iran. Local muslims may say that they are “happy” with their local Jews but that can only be at the expense of reciprocity.
    In Australia, as well as other Western type societies where we find both Jewish communities as well as muslims, the type of enthisiastic expression, as you put it, is all but non-existent precisely because of acutely active efforts by the core Islamic entity of not just keeping a distance from tthe local Jewish entity, but due to a cronic adherence by the Islamic fold to a visceral policy of enmity toward the Jews, whther based on Israeli “issues” or not.
    Modicums of elegnt, civilised discourse can be exhibited with incredible ease. Rejection by the Jews of circumstantial mimics contains the sincere Jewish desire to arrive at a substantial shift in what has become the trademark of Islamic consistence in a resumption of enmity toward matters Jewish when political “circumstances” demand it. “Occasional”, actually regular, manifestations of let’s say unhappiness with , pick if you want , Israel commiting “crimes” against palestinians seem to find their way into the otherwise, as you try to present, the sincere ” take it or leave it” intent of reconmciliation.
    These are given facts which must be addressed before we all can agree that the climate for a project as the one above could have any chance of success. Not stumbling blocks, but matters to be seriously considered !!!
    One other thing, reflex retort in kind of suggestive criticism, such as who is deceiving who, is not quite conducive to amiable dialogue. Otherwise, look at me, all hope and happiness !!!

  6. Otto Waldmann says:

    As partisanship is laudable, not to mention necessary for the perpetuation of ANY existential belief, what I see in ALL present postings is a fairly wide variety of incredibly erroneous takings on what religion means and, specifically, the nature of each of the creed approached.

    For starters , religions, as we witness their historic trajectories, have been the ONLY, retain, THE ONLY societal moral codes in existence for millenia. Apart from religious codes of behaviour humanity did not contain ANY other form of social, read moral, cohesion mechanism. That includes the inclusion of so called non religious philosophies into the tenets of main religions !!! This is NOT to say that , from our CURRENT perspective, the contents of the said codes were acceptable in their totality. Changes in emphasis and even content have operated throughout the ages. The mere application of most religious tenets has changed in more or less subtle ways. To dismiss, for instance, religion from the Judaic stance on human interaction is, in actual fact, a denial of Judaism as such, to most people of the Jewish adherence, a denial of their modus vivendi, of their existential substance.
    A dismissal out of hand of Islam is as inoperative as it is detrimental to any progress in the necessary alteration on the attitude some muslims must operate to the way they perceive their own religion. That is to say that, fortunately, Islam DOES contain valuable codes of behaviour consistent with mutually acceptable norms. Judaism will, of course from where I sand, takes a lot of credit for those retainable Islamic traits. Same with Christianity, not to mention that some important changes in certain christian quarters are taking place in regards to their attitude toward Judaism, again, a process of reconciliation with its spiritual alma mater/pater.
    To dismiss religion, as “Fred” does is a roundabout admission of rejection by ignorance. All Freds who attack religions are, most obviously, unaware of the historic value of these moral codes, as aluded above, and, indeed, the very current ethical function of the same, as Judaism for instance, is understood AND practiced in its purest, best form.

    The effort we are talking about here must be seen as a genuine exercise in approaching a complex issue in the most honest way. If we shall see an utopian, naive, toombaee hand holding improvised song and dance ( a hora of convenience if you want ) then nothing will be accomplished.
    To mine, the only manner in which, at least from the Jewish viewpoint , anything can be acomplished in addressing the current open religious conflicts, is by carefully looking at the Judaic way of directing human behaviour . Thus much about partisanship, but , discovering with every breath the supreme beauty of Judaism, how can I not proclaim IT as the ONLY way !!!! All I do is study it with an open mind and most generous heart. I stongly reccomend it !

  7. pam says:

    Yes, Judaism and Islam have lots in common. Jewish and Christian teachings urge its followers to choose life, whereas Islamic teaching elevates death in jihad as the highest calling.

    And who are these Muslims instructed to kill? Why, the Jews of course, closely followed by the Christians and any other infidel (including the naive people who are doing interfaith in the hope of ‘understanding’ why Muslims don’t like us).

    So what will this project achieve? More people who feel guilty that they are being Islamophobic every time they read of yet another atrocity against Christians in Nigeria or against Muslim women in Afghanistan.

  8. Shirlee says:

    As Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi says

    “Islam cannot be defined only as a religion in the Western sense of the word, neither can it be termed as
    a faith only.

    It is a whole encompassing system.

    It is first and foremost a socio-political and socio-religious system, as well as socio-economic, socio-educational, legislative, judiciary, and military system, cloaked and garbed in religious terminology, with
    regulations that govern every aspect of the lives of its adherents and their relationships among themselves, and with those that are non-Muslims.”

  9. Susan says:

    People should be aware that Judaism and Christianity adhere to the Ten Commandments and Islam does not.

    Anything else is irrelevant. There is no similarity other than superficial ones that Mohammed copied from both of them.

    There is no “Thou shalt not kill” in Islam, but there is JIHAD! Kill in the name of Allah.

    Every day we see it in the news.

    Fred: Totalitarianism has killed more people than ANY religion. Who’s intolerant then?

    Michael: Good comment.

  10. Michael says:

    Similarities between Judaism and Islam that is an oxymoran if I’ve ever heard. Or maybe they are referring to the fact that both faiths don’t eat pork and ”male” members of our faiths have their attachments shortened.

    Maybe our Jewish promoters of multiculturalism and better Islamic relations should float the idea of engaging Muslim security guards at our Day schools, Community cent res, Synagogues and to look after our visiting Israeli and Jewish entertainers, Politicians , speakers that visit Australia.

    After all It wasn’t so long ago the former President of JCCV floated the idea of having our CSG Jewish Community Security train the Muslim community on security matters { I guess the Muslim community live under siege from Jewish extremists and fanatics]

    Nothing would surprise me what these naive members of my community will do to embarrass me and further make it look like the Jews are once again grovelling and just don’t get it.

  11. Fred says:

    Oh my GOD!!!!
    Intolerance is religions main course. None of the religions nominated or for that mater many other religions or cults have time “time or appetite ” for tolerance.
    View past histories, read the bible, follow the rise of christianity and islam.
    The only tolerance is that of seas of blood and destruction.
    Religion preaces elitism and intolerance. View how minorities and second class citizen were treated and are still treated. Read history it is not a dull subject, it is exciting as it tells you about the untramelled power of religion that knows only to dominate,oppress,supress,repress without pity and lacks humanism. Each of them offers the false lure of false promises in heaven but give hell on earth.
    Leaders are ready to sacrifice their young in wars with deceptive fantasies of heaven.
    God has created a beautifull world to enjoy but religion is here to destroy His creations.

  12. Yousoof says:

    I wish you all the success on this project… The similarities between the three sister religions are amazing, particularly between Judaism and Islam.
    Best of luck and I hope that we can have an opportunity to view draft copies of the manual before publication.
    One point to consider: we should not confuse, E.g. Middle Eastern culture with Islamic Culture… there is a huge difference between culture and religion. Most times this is confused with religious views. The religions should be explored in it’s purest form. Best of luck…
    Kosher and Halaal food rocks.

    • Otto Waldmann says:


      when posting on sites that are suposed to be read by intelligent people, please be very, I mean very CAREFUL in mixing up clear, simple terms. Most of us here know that in clear English ( and clear comprehension ) saying that “there is a huge ( no less !!) difference betwee culture and religion” will send you at once at the back of the class and that is considered very lucky. I would send you right home and advise your father to give you a few good broad ones, the healthy islamic way !!!
      Promise that you will never say such silly things because, otherwise, you sound like a nice bloke.

      • Yousoof says:

        My simple statements were not intended for intelligent readers, such as yourself… as only they (the intelligent ones) would find it offensive… hence your response.

        Yes, I will go to the back of the class and go back home for a few hugs from dad (he has passed on though)…

        The statements were clear and deliberate…

        Based on some of the responses above, I can see that it made no difference to some readers and that is why a project of this nature is important…. will it make difference? I hope so… perhaps they should review there current reading material…

        Otto… you sound like a nice bloke to.

        • Otto Waldmann says:


          When reading my other posting here one will , no doubt, draw the immediate conclusion that the notion of absolute incompatibility between the three Abrahamic religions has no legs, let alone brains. It’s no brainer that people can arrive at civilised confluences. What matters most is where they start from. Your deliberate error suggests good intentions and that alone augurs for a different kind of a healthy treatement to the one I frist suggested.
          You will agree, however that traces of , let’s say, timidity at certain Jews may be justified when your kind – and I mean emotionally kind – of approach is encountered.
          Sincerity based on GOOD, solid knowledge of the substance of ALL parts that are supposed to be seen discussing harmoniously is, by far, ingredient number ONE.
          So far I cannot detect any deceit, so we are on the same page……

          • Yousoof says:

            I’m so glad you approve; let’s hope that no deceit will be detected from your end…

            My statements are what they are… take it or leave it… Where I come from, Muslims and Jews go into business together, they support each other and at the risk of generalising, I cannot say the same attitude applies here.

            Pity… under the circumstances… this project will have to be followed closely…

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