Holy Land Interview: Muslim Cleric in Bethlehem

This is the final clip of a 10-part series of interviews I did while producing our public television special Rick Steves’ The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today. Considering the impact of American policies on the daily lives of both Israelis and Palestinians, this is my attempt to introduce you to some people in both camps whose voices might otherwise not be heard.

For a thousand years, there has been a mosque on Bethlehem’s main square — commemorating the birthplace of Jesus (who is also an important figure in Islam). I enjoyed a conversation with a Muslim cleric at the Mosque of Omar in Bethlehem. This happy and talkative cleric shared a charming view of Islam. He explained the Muslim take on Jesus. He prayed. And when I asked him to repeat the prayer in English, his raw and simple love and acceptance that he was a child of God brought me to tears. As you listen to this discussion, realize that anyone can drop into a mosque, like we did, and get to know a cleric.