SCoJeC and the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council recently got together to organise a Question Time event, recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Riddoch Questions”, featuring panelists who participated in the historic Multifaith Pilgrimage to Israel in July 2008.
Lesley Riddoch chaired the discussion between Ephraim Borowski (SCoJeC Director and Vice-Convener of BEMIS, the Scottish ethnic minority umbrella organisation), Ian Galloway (Church of Scotland Parish minister of Gorbals, in central Glasgow, and Convener of the Church and Society Council), Magdalen Lambkin (PhD candidate in Inter-faith Studies and member of the Scottish Inter-Faith Council) and Sheikh Ruzwan Mohammed (Sunni Imam and Educational and Curriculum advisor to Muslim organisations in Scotland).
After introducing the panel, Lesley initially invited Ephraim Borowski to outline how the Pilgrimage had come into being before moving on to questions from the audience. All the issues addressed were answered by the panelists with their Pilgrimage experience in mind, but sadly there was insufficient time to find out in depth about all the people and places that the pilgrims had encountered and to hear just how life-changing the journey had been.
Inevitably, there was a question on the situation in Israel after the recent flare-up in Gaza and the panelists were asked to dwell on the prospects for peace. There may have been little optimism about the immediate future in their replies, but there was agreement that the many peace groups working in the area are more important than ever, and great emphasis was placed on the need for dialogue.
Other questions included faith schools in Scotland, the recent "No God" posters on buses in London, and whether panel members of different faiths would pray together. All agreed that a question as to whether they were Scottish first and foremost, or whether they considered their faith or another culture as more important, was too simplistic because human identities are many layered!
After 45 minutes of recording there was a short break before the discussion carried on for a another 20 minutes or so in a less orchestrated manner.
Click here to listen to the BBC Scotland programme, and here to listen to the rest of the discussion.