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ABOUT TOWN: Durie Shares Perspective on Islam, Christians, Jews and Israel at Ahavath Torah

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to pmpco@aol.com.

IRAN SO FAR AWAY: Dr. Mark Durie, spoke Thursday night about "A Perspective on Islam, Christians, and Israel" at in Stoughton.

The evening focused on the view of Christians, Jews and Israel through Islam's foundational texts and how that should shape one's understanding on the future of negotiations between Israel and her neighbors, as well as sister democracies.

He talked about what happens when non-Muslims live under Muslim rule. They have traditionally been presented with three choices: conversion to Islam, death, or the subservient status known as dhimmitude.

His latest book sheds light on that little-understood condition and its contemporary relevance. The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom by Durie was released in February by Deror Books and was short-listed for Australian Christian Book of the Year.

A former linguistics scholar, Durie is now the Vicar of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Caulfield in Melbourne, Australia. He writes and speaks about Islam, interfaith dialogue, religious conflict, and the persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians living under Sharia law. 

Dr. Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom.

He spoke about the extreme threat that Iran poses to Israel and the United States, as well as the contradistinctive intersection of Islam's doctrine, Israel as the independent sovereign project of the Jewish people and Christian support of Israel's right to exist. Some of the material is scary to those of us who have been "informed" by the "lamestream media."  

He spoke about his first experience with this topic with FrontPageMag.com: "When I left academia to become an Anglican minister, around 1998, I thought I was leaving Islamic jihad well behind me. I had no idea of the depth and breadth of the global Islamic movement.

“Then as I watched the burning World Trade Center towers collapse in the New York morning sunshine, I knew there was no ideology on this earth other than Islamic jihad which could have inspired such an attack. It was no surprise when verses from the Koran reportedly found in the backpacks of the terrorists were exactly the same verses which had figured so prominently in Acehnese jihad epic poems from over a century ago."

Iran & Sharia Law are not just problems for Israel. Look around in Europe to see what can happen. This thought-provoking event was co-sponsored by Christians and Jews United for Israel (CJUI), Rabbis and Ministers for Israel (RMI), ACT Boston, and ACT Framingham. 

It is part of a continuing series of thought-provoking talks at the Central Street synagogue.  

Thirty-two (32) pastors and rabbis also attended a clergy luncheon, which dealt with what Pastors and Rabbis should know about doctrinal Islam.

About 100 people attended Thursday night's lecture.

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WATER CAN BE YOUR FRIEND: While eager children and their parents watched snow fall to the ground on Friday, it was a pipe that delighted some of the younger ones.

At about 4:30 a.m., Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marguerite Rizzi notified the media and parents that there would be no school today—but only at the

On a night when the scraping sounds of plows hitting pavement woke me up all night, most kids had school. But, those lucky Gibbons students got to stay home and play in the four inches of snow, while their unlucky brethren were in class learning.  

As Rod Stewart once sang, "Some guys have all the luck." The broken water main pipe is expected to be repaired in time for school on Monday.

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GIVE A PINT, GET A POUND BLOOD DRIVE: You can give blood TODAY (Friday) from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at , 150 York Street (Brenner Conference Room).

To donate, call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go to redcrossblood.org.  All presenting donors receive a coupon for a pound of Dunkin' Donuts coffee in honor of National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.

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WINTER FESTIVAL:  This event at the brand-new Kiddie Academy is sure to please the kids!  It all takes place TOMORROW (Saturday), January 21, at the new educational facility located at 1202 Washington Street on Rt. 138, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Free Food, Entertainment, Live Music, Magician, Wally the Green Monster, and more. FREE Admission.

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ADULT ZUMBA EXERCISE SERIES BEGINS IN JANUARY: Stoughton Zumba teacher Carolina Pokraka leads a free 4-class series for adults beginning tomorrow (Saturday), January 21, in the Wales French Room at the .

All classes will be held on Saturday mornings from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Space is limited, so please call or visit the library to sign up.

The schedule is as follows: Saturday, January 21 and 28, Saturday, February 4 and 11.

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WELCOME BABY BRUNCH: Enjoy brunch on Sunday, January 22 from 10-11:30 a.m. while meeting other local families at the Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Avenue in North Easton.

Kindermusik’s Leah Siegel will lead the group in fun activities to engage even the youngest participant.

Learn about the developmental benefits of music in your baby’s life. Older siblings may explore the museum with an additional adult.

It’s geared towards families with children ages 0-1 year. Cost is $15 per family and includes museum admission. Space is limited. Register at bostonjcc.org/south. For more information, contact south@jccgb.org or 781-795-0510.

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