The lack of tolerance for other people's beliefs has been the bane of mankind's existence for who knows how long. Theoretically we're a rational species and after the millions of years we've been hanging around on the planet you'd think we'd have matured sufficiently to accept not everybody looks at the world the same way. Unfortunately the reverse seems to the be the case as the longer we hang out, the more intolerant we seem to become. From east to west you'll find the world has become more and more divided into "us" and "them", with them being responsible for all of "our" problems, no matter who "they" are.
Yet wouldn't the world be a lot easier to live in if we weren't afraid of the person beside us on the plane because they're a different colour or call their god by a different name they we do? What makes it so hard for people to be tolerant of somebody else's beliefs or even worse, makes it so easy to hate and fear them for it? Are we all so desperate to find somebody we can blame for what's wrong in the world that we have to find a scapegoat? Why is it so easy for our leaders to convince us that those others over there are evil and we are good? Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if there were a place where people of all faiths could come together and appreciate what they have in common instead of fearing their differences? Where we could all celebrate the fact that we all believe in something and see that for the miracle it is?
You might think that's an impossibility in this day and age, but every year since the first Gulf War people of all faiths from all over the world have been coming together to do just that for a week in June at the Fez Festival Of World Sacred Music in Morocco. Of course Morocco is a bit of an oddity in itself, for as hard as this may be for many to believe, it's an Islamic country where Christians, Jews, and Muslims have lived together in peace for centuries. The festival brings together faith-based musical groups of all beliefs from countries all over the world to perform for international interfaith audiences.
A few years ago director Stephen Olsson traveled to Fez to record the event and find out more about the remarkable circumstances that have allowed it to happen. The resulting movie, Sound Of The Soul, is now not only available on DVD through Alive Mind Media, it's also being broadcast on the Internet by Global Spirit, one of the many programs available through Link TV. (The initial broadcast is on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm EST but check the schedule as it will be re-broadcast throughout the month.) The Global Spirit broadcast will include a question and answer session with the director and a panel discussion about the film with Marla Kolman Antebi, Sarah Talcott, and Kabir Helminski, a Jewish scholar, an organizer of interfaith youth camps, and a Muslim/Sufi scholar and musician respectively.