The overall theme of this podcast series is religion and conflict. The focus is on the three Abrahamic faiths — it’s a religious affairs production rather than a political one. Although Islam is indeed one and the same.
Clearly this is a departure for Suchet. He is rather a distinguished actor — not a journalist — and he was chosen to give the series “an original and refreshing tone.”
And while he has a voice for radio and he assembles an esteemed group of thinkers, clergy, et al in the UK, Middle East and USA. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Dr Rowan Williams and Hamza Yusuf were interviewed, as well as historians and ordinary people of faith, and no faith.
The series is a moral equivocation. The premise is all religions are equal (in all ways), and Suchet tries to be evenhanded when he posits, “Who do the Jews think they are?” “Do they follow a G-d of love or a G-d of war?” This is absurd and very much disconnected from reality, and has no basis in the Jewish scriptures. On the contrary, The Jewish priestly blessings end – as do the vast majority of Jewish prayers – with a prayer for peace. Peace, said the rabbis, is one of the names of God himself, and Maimonides writes that the whole Torah was given to make peace in the world (Laws of Hanukah 4:14). If any religion is a religion of peace ….