This exciting website just came online in June 2012 and it is already attracting lots of attention. A brain child of Carl Medearis, it is a great place for news on the Middle East from a variety of perspectives. The main items are Books Reviews (I have two already), Blogs (from a variety of religious and national perspectives), Israeli-Palestinian Issues, The Modern Middle East, and Video of the Day. It's very lively, interactive, diverse, thought-provoking, yet always seeking to facilitate conversation between parties not used to listening to each other.
In their own words, "Middle East Experience is dedicated to providing an open-source forum for all the varied voices from today’s Middle East. Whether the voice is Sunni Muslim or Shia Muslim, Christian or Jewish, religious or non-religious, all these distinct voices can be found in one place. From war, oil, economics, the environment, to religious extremism; what happens in the Middle East today affects everyone."
I highly recommend this site, initiated and directed by Hofstra College anthropologist Daniel Varisco, with the participation of many other scholars from various disciplines. Along with an extensive and easy-to-use catalog of several thousand previous blogs, this site offers accessible yet scholarly commentary on many aspects of this part of the world and the Islamic tradition.
The Salam Institute for Peace and Justice (Washington, DC) is actively involved in conflict resolution between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in several parts of the world. Its co-founder and Executive Director, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, is the author of Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam: Theory and Practice (University Press of Florida, 2003) and is Directorof the Peacebuilding and Development Institute at American University. He co-sponsored a series of two dialogs between Fuller Theological Seminary and the Salam Institute (of which I was a part) which resulted in the book, Peace-Building by, between, and beyond Muslims and Evangelical Christians (Lexington Books, reprint. ed., 2010).
The 2007 letter by 138 global Muslim leaders and scholars addressed to the Pope and all Christian leaders was an historic initiative. Based on the premise that what unites Muslims and Christians is at the core of their respective faiths (love of God and love of neighbor), this was a call for the two communities of faith to work together to build a more peaceful world. It is part of a larger website, The Amman Message, which chronicles the most stunning show of Islamic unity in at least a millennium (2004-6). More than just a repudiation of all acts of terrorism, it was an effort a) to define who is a Muslim; b) to ban the practice of calling fellow Muslims apostates (takfir); c) and to agree on concrete benchmarks for those scholars/jurists who issue legal opinions (fatwas).
The Yale Center for Faith and Culture, founded by Professor Miroslav Volf, houses a "Reconciliation Program" run by my friend, htmeph Cumming, who founded and directed a women's health NGO for many years in Mauritania. Volf and Cumming hosted the first Muslim-Christian dialogue conference after the publication of the 2007 landmark letter to the Pope and all Christian leaders signed by 138 Muslim leaders and scholars from all over the world (The Common Word).