Interfaith coexistence was the subject of the evening on September 22nd at the Yuba College theatre. At 7pm “Out of Cordoba” a documentary film by Jacob Bender was shown as part of the Crossing Borders, Building Bridges series. Before the film began Neelam Canto-Lugo introduced the event and stated the goal behind it, namely that of learning about all who made America great, fighting xenophobia (fear or distrust of those who are different esp foreigners), and learning about ourselves. After Canto-Lugo’s intro Abdul Kabir the official representative of the Islamic local population read a passage from the Qua-ran and made a statement that was at the heart of the thinking behind this night. Kabir said the more we get to know eachother the better, especially for those of faith.Jacob Bender was then introduced by the representative of the Jewish community from the congregation of Beth-Shalom. Bender spoke on how the inspiration for the film came from the attack on September 11th and how that event prompted him to make a film that could show the peaceful coexistence of the three Abrahmic religions Islam, Judaism, and Christianity which he said some claim is not possible. He then introduced the film itself which he said took 9 & ½ years to make. The film opened showing Bender with his wife and daughter frolicking in Central Park but then the camera moved skywards showing a low flying plane. The destruction of September 11th was the next thing the film showed as well as the ensuing religious tension and mistrust that resulted from the tragedy. A Muslim commented on the fact that someone would use the sacred texts to do such violence was a great crime. Bender went to Spain to see the City of Cordoba and to make a film that could answer the rising turmoil that surrounded Islam as a religion in the world. There Bender looked back through history to a time in Medieval Spain where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in peace. Two individuals were focused on in depth by the film. Averroes the Muslim and Moses Maimonides the Jew, both of whom were radical thinkers in their day. They envisioned peace and tolerance and also encouraged science along with their religions. Maimonides and Averroes both favoured looking to the Greek philosopher Aristotle to see what truth he had. They were widely criticized in their time and many of their writings were burned. Today Muslims are forbidden to pray in the great mosque at Cordoba and are waiting for the day when they are again allowed to do so. A Muslim in Spain said letting them back in to pray could be a symbol of reconciliation between Catholics and Muslims. He also condemned the terrorists saying that not only were they doing evil directly but they were creating mistrust and hate around the world. The time of peace in the past did not last forever and eventually Maimonides and Averroes had to leave Cordoba. Bender followed their trail going to Morocco and Venice. In Venice Bender interviewed a local who said that Venice was a prime example of religious coexistence. Many people interviewed by Bender pointed to the time of peace in Cordoba as a model for the future. Averroes was noted as being a forward thinker who was seen as dangerous by the authorities of his day. Maimonides was likewise shown to be very open minded, and one person in the film joked that Maimonides wouldn’t care if truth was presented by a Klingon so long as it was truth. Towards the end of the film Bender looked into the conflict between Israel and Palestine, supporting peaceful resolution. The conclusion the film drew from its extensive search was that there is no inevitable conflict between Islam and the Jews or anyone else. The film closed as it had opened, with Bender and his family in Central Park. Afterwards Bender took questions and comments from the crowd thanking them for their praises of the film. In answering a question Bender reached the heart of the message when he said that its important to remember that the others are people like us.