Temple religion professor joins American scholars on South Asia tour to promote dialogue, cooperation
Eight American scholars of religion — Jewish, Christian and Muslim — including religion professor Leonard J. Swidler, met recently with many organizations in Pakistan to promote fruitful dialogue and cooperation.
Their visit marked the first part of a program funded by the U.S. State Department in which the scholars also will visit India and Bangladesh, matching a similar visit of Muslim scholars to the United States.
The groups visited included the highest academic institutions (Christian and Muslim) as well as grass-roots organizations (in which Muslims and Christians work together); a major focus of the latter was working toward equal justice for women.
The Pakistan portion of the dialogue trip culminated in a two-hour meeting with President Musharraf on June 30.
According to Swidler, visitors in the American group had their prior skepticism overcome by President Musharraf’s patent broad and deep grasp of current realities — political, economic and religious — and his perceptive and pragmatic plans to address the multiple problems of Pakistan and South Asia.”