Conversation closed early; But everyone is still welcome to post here.
Closing Statement from Rollin Wildhorse
The striking "Profession of Faith" by one of the visitors here made a deep impression on me. And after a great deal of reflection, over several days, I decided to close out this thread. I realized that the task of reconciling the Islamic world to the rest of the world really is a daunting task. I got a feel for what our diplomats must experience when they approach leaders of Islamic nations. Frustration. And even hoping to open a dialogue was a bit beyond anything I could ever achieve, even symbolically, even temporarily, or even momentarily just on TED. I was hopeful at first. Because if TED can do anything, TED can give us at least a momentary vision of a better and more positive future. That vision might be unrealistic or quite distant in the future if it is ever to be achieved. But TED has a handle on what the George H.W. Bush White House used to call: "That Vision Thing!"
But the single "Profession of Faith" given here by a follower of Islam, did the most to make that clear to me. In no way am I in a position to Judge, or even comment upon the spiritual experiences of any Muslim. That was clear. Furthermore, something here seemed both unapproachable and unassailable in terms of engagement. Even a quiet conversation seemed impossible to achieve. It would take much more than anything I could write or post on TED to sort this out in any meaningful way.
I gave up. I might be deserving of criticism for that. But I gave up.