These are not great times for Jewish-Muslim relations. In many ways, these are not great times for religion as such. There is so much bad religion around that we sometimes wish it didn't exist. It need not be so. It was not always so. Moments like holy times, such as the month of Ramadan and the concluding Eid el Fitr, are moments when we can imagine alternatives.
A missing voice in negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is that of the global interreligious community. It is astounding that this voice has either been intentionally muted by the American media or, even worse, discredited by our own government as a comparatively unimportant interference in negotiations.
More than three years after the broadcast debuted, my Muslim audience now finds it ordinary, rather than aberrant, to hear a Jewish voice opine on Arab affairs in their mother tongue. In numerous Arab countries, such a situation would be revolutionary--but in Morocco, it's merely one step forward among many.
Francis must take a different approach than his predecessor, and must meet openly and publicly with the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Francis must not allow the whims and demands China, notorious for its abuses of religious freedom, dictate the statements and choices of the papal office.