Sometimes you can only dream of being that good
is what I call 'least common denominator' dialogue – platitudes. We’re all three Abrahamic religions, we’re the three Middle Eastern monotheisms, the Issa of the Koran is really the same as the Jesus of the New Testament … This is mostly what transpires at Christian-Muslim dialogue conferences ... this is what Kierkegaard called idle talk ... In other words, if this is dialogue, it’s pathetic.
The second is “'functional' or 'practical' dialogue.
This is dialogue with pragmatic aims: solving a specific problem, relieving tensions in a particular area, humanitarian relief, crisis management. This is very useful dialogue, a form of negotiations, if you will. It certainly has a role to play, but it’s still not real dialogue”.
Thirdly, is what he calls “'dialogue as witness'. And this is important ... for Christians, living Jesus Christ in the presence of others is the most powerful manifestation of this kind of dialogue.”
Genuine dialogue is achieved he says, when finally,
Dialogue [is] elevated to the Buberian dialogical, moving communication to communion, as it were, having a partner. It takes two if you are dialogically prepared to tango. Reciprocity here is of the essence. ... 'A relation between persons that is characterized in more or less degree by the element of the inclusion may be termed a dialogical one.' Inclusion here comes very close to the Christian conception of love, but it has to be reciprocal. So ... instead of searching for a new epistemology, I would say, back to ... basics.
If the paradigm or template is Buber’s dialogical, then what goes under the name of inter-religious dialogue today, except in very rare cases, falls short of the mark. Certainly it’s absent in Christian-Muslim interaction. Inclusion has to be reciprocal, mutual, relational, interpenetrative.
That's real dialogue.
But we are stuck at a stage where we sometimes admire what Malik calls "Pathetic" dialogue as a bold step forward.
A case in point: the recent inter-faith event in Massachusetts where a Rabbi & his congregation welcome as real peacemakers & honest partners in dialogue people associated with the West-hating Muslim Brotherhood.
Robert Spencer goes through some of the teeny tiny little issues with all this make believe in a 5 minute clip.
Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer explains why it was a mistake for Massachusetts Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Massachusetts to bring in Nadeem Mazen of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Stephanie Marzouk of the Muslim Justice League (MJL), and Samer Naseredden of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), all of whom misled his congregation.