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Research Paper


In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.

"Simply turning on the television leads to a bombardment of sights and sounds from around world. The various channels dedicated to news, such as CNN, NBC, BBC, and so on, have allowed people see even the most remote areas of the globe right from their sofas. In an era when such information is heaped onto the public, sorting through the pile is often made a difficult task. When the population is exposed to constant sound bites of Arabs calling for the downfall of disbelievers or of U.S. criticism aimed at Muslim nations, a mindset of confusion results. Images of pastors calling for the burning of the Qur'an mirror the images of Muslim clerics calling for the burning of Western nations. At the center of it all is the public, stuck in a pile of animosity, unable to see above and beyond the hateful rhetoric of two supposedly opposite sides: Islam and Christianity. In this atmosphere of tension, stepping onto common ground is the most effective way to ease strained relations. Through their rich stories and accounts of history, CHristianity and Islam can be shown to be intimately connected in many ways. The comparative stories of Mary in both traditions, for insance, offer a stark contrast to the conflicting portrayal of Islam and Christianity generated by the media. By focusing on Mary and her significance to both faiths, one can immediately see her as a much needed bridge between the two sides, one that calls not towards animosity, but towards love and mutual understanding."

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