A Trend Too Big To Ignore

A couple of days ago, we blogged about the new Adam Sandler movie, “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan.” While it’s a slapstick comedy, it does deal with the bigger issue of an interfaith relationship – one between a Jew and a Muslim.

On the heels of Zohan comes another movie, this one dramatic, also about the relationship between Jews and Muslims. According to promotional material, the movie “David and Fatima” is about a young Jewish man, David, who falls in love with a Palestinian Muslim named Fatima. Unlike Zohan, where the protagonists carry out their relationship in America, David and Fatima try to have a relationship in Israel, against the backdrop of families and a culture that aggressively disapproves of their romance.

The Jewish/Muslim interfaith relationship might be the most taboo of them all. It offers some of the biggest challenges in the already complex world of cross-cultural relationships. Both these movies, while different in approach, show that it’s a subject becoming too big to ignore. Even last years “The Band’s Visit” falls into this category. Although it’s about an Egyptian band that gets lost in a small Israeli town, it drew rave reviews for it’s depiction of Arabs and Israelis putting aside their cultural differences and, as film critic Roger Ebert says, it “shows them both as only ordinary people with ordinary hopes, lives and disappointments.”

JOI has been advocating for a broader discussion of Jewish/Muslim interfaith relationships, and we hope the sudden spate of media interest in this subject will bring this conversation to a new level.

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