Peace-Forum: The Grave Threats to World Peace

The Grave Threats to World Peace One cannot quote just one factor as threat to the world peace. There are series of factors and reasons which has resulted to massive killings, displacement of people and destruction at unprecedented scale in modern history, with no end in sight. Here is a selection of articles which may help to understand some possible reasons of present turmoil. Keep reading Source: Peace-Forum: The Grave Threats to World Peace

Violent clashes rock al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem – thenews.com.pk

Clashes have broken out between masked Palestinian youths and Israeli forces at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, the last day of the Muslim Eidul Azha holiday.

A statement from the Israeli police claimed young Palestinians “threw stones and fireworks at police and border police forces,” who responded with “riot dispersal means”.

Calm returned to the compound later in the morning and most police had withdrawn but Israeli Arab activists remained inside, news agency AFP reported.

No serious injuries reported in the latest clashes at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The violence follows weeks of tension and a number of confrontations at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest Islamic sites in the world. Al-Aqsa is also venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount and is considered the most sacred place in Judaism.

Muslims have been alarmed by an increase in visits by Jews and fear rules governing the compound will be changed. Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray to avoid provoking tensions.

Visits by Jews were stopped on Sunday and age restrictions on Muslim men entering the compound lifted for the Muslim Eidul Azha holiday.

Israel seized east Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-198804-Violent-clashes-rock-al-Aqsa-mosque-in-East-Jerusalem

Peace-Forum: US at war with an imaginary Islam: Lies, propaganda and the real story of America and the Muslim world

American propaganda exaggerates the power and moral depravity of the Islamic enemy, in the service of our empire

Excerpted from “One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity and Resistance Across Islamic Lands”

The United States is at war with a very different, mythic Islam of its own making that has nothing at all to do with this Islam of the Qur’an. To make sense of that conjured threat, scholarly studies of Islam or Islamic movements are of no help at all. Even the examination of the real-world history and practice of empire has limited value, unless the perceived Islamic dimension is considered. The American imperial project cannot be brought into clear view without assessment of the distinctive rationale that the Islamist Imaginary provides. The task is not an easy one. The Islamist Imaginary has no simple and unitary existence. Rather, it is a complex amalgam that shapes both the delusions of empire and a conjured threat to imperial power into a co-evolving composite. It is a “difficult whole,” in the helpful language of complexity theory. The Islamist Imaginary, unlike Islam itself and political movements of Islamic inspiration, does not exist outside of the imperial interests that shape it. It has no independent cultural or historical reality, outside its role as predatory threat to Western global interests. The American empire, in turn, requires a hostile and threatening enemy, which today takes the form of Islam of its imagination, to realize and rationalize its expansionist project that must remain unacknowledged and unspoken. The two elements of the imaginary and empire co-evolve. The needs of a threatened empire as vulnerable victim change over time. The Islamist Imaginary transforms itself to meet those needs. Imaginary and empire circle one another in a dance of predator and prey. Their roles are interchangeable, a clear sign that they are not entirely real. The predator is prey; the prey is predator. They develop in tandem in a complex process of mutual adaptation. Boundaries give way between the real and the imagined. In the end it is the imagined that haunts our imaginations and drives our policies. 》》》》》http://peace-forum.blogspot.com/2015/09/us-at-war-with-imaginary-islam-lies.html?m=1

Why Interfaith Dialogue?

Today’s world is highly diverse. There is not a single country in the world which is homogenous and without diversity. Though in the past too diversity existed but colonization, scientific progress and faster means of transpiration has increased diversity in the world and globalization has further added to its intensity. In the past generally people moved for better prospects within the country, today people seek jobs, even education, in far off countries or even across continents.

 Also, it is Allah’s will to create diversity among His creation. ALLAH SAYS IN Qur’an, “And if Allah had pleased He would have made you a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you. So vie one with another in virtuous deeds.” (5:48) Thus diversity is Allah’s will and it is trial for us if we can live in peace and harmony with each other despite this diversity. Also, Allah wants us not to assert our superiority but to vie one with another in good deeds.

 Also, if there is diversity there is likely to be misunderstandings and misconception about each other which often lead to conflict and breach of peace. These applies to both: interfaith and interfaith communities. Interfaith conflict is also widespread even within Muslims [between Shi’ahs and Sunnis or Bohra or non-Bohra Muslims or between Barelvis and Deobandis]. The only way to remove these misconceptions is to have dialogue with each other.

 Thus three days become quite important: democracy, diversity and dialogue. Democracy and diversity is complimentary to each other though many people think homogeneity is strength, it is not. Homogeneity can result in dictatorship whereas diversity becomes life-line for democracy. Experience shows that greater diversity results in stronger democracy.

 But diversity also poses a challenge and this challenge has to be met through proper understanding of each other though dialogue. Dialogue, it should be noted, is not a modern or contemporary concept including inter-religious dialogue. In medieval ages Sufis and yogis often used to have dialogue in India. Also, Sufis on one hand, and, Christian mystics and Jewish saints on the other, had mutual dialogue. Some of them spent years understanding others religious tradition. Dara Shikoh or MAZHAR Jan-i-Janan, for example, had thorough knowledge of Hindu traditions. Dara Shikoh even translated Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian and named it …I have seen its manuscript in Darul Musannifin, Azamgarh. He also wrote a book called Majma’ul Bahrayn (Co-mingling of Two Oceans). It is a great book of dialogue between Hinduism and Islam.

 However, there are some rules to be observed if dialogue has to succeed and produce required result. The very first requirement is that none participating in the dialogue should have attitude of superiority over the other. It goes against the very spirit of dialogue. Secondly, dialogue should be on certain concrete issues like women’s rights or war or non-violence and so on. Today there is breat misunderstanding a bout these issues. Most of the non-Muslims, especially westerners think that Islam gives no rights to women and subjugates them thanks to certain practices among Muslims like hijab or polygamy or honour killing and so on.

 Similarly, there is widespread misunderstanding about the concept of jihad thanks to certain fatwas or statements of Usama bin Laden justifying his attack on New York Towers as jihad. In fact there is great misconceptions among Muslims and Muslim Ulama about these issues like polygamy and Jihad. There is great need for dialogue with them too. And much more need to have dialogue with non-Muslims.

 The dialogue process should include religious functionaries, scholars who have in-depth knowledge of the issues, journalists (who write and spread misconceptions) and lay people as well as these people are often victims of misconceptions. Secondly one should have humility to learn rather than argue on the basis of ignorance rather than knowledge. But participants must have right to raise questions to remove doubts.

 Thirdly, one must be firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition and should be able to explain the reasons for certain practice orrationale of the teaching. Any doubt or ignorance may harm the spirit of the dialogue. Also one should be able to remove all the doubts raised during discussion through ones own thorough knowledge and conviction and clarity.

 Fourthly, one should have tremendous patience and capacity to listen and understand others situation and try to remove doubts express and not try to silence the other through debating skill or try to use polemics. It will destroy the very idea of having dialogue. There is fundamental difference between debate and dialogue.  

 Also while being firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition one also has to accept the other with his/her otherness without being critical of otherness. Dialogue is to promote understanding and not to reject other’s faith or finding fault in others faith. Dialogue should never be directed to convert the other but only to understand the other. Both or the multiple partners in dialogue should throw light on the concerned issue in the light of ones own faith tradition and handle the question with tact and delicacy they deserve.

 Dialogue so conducted can really work wonders and promote real understanding about ones own faith while understanding others faith. I have been a part of dialogue process for more than 40 years and can say with confidence that dialogue plays very important role in a diverse society. Knowledge, conviction and clarity and appreciation for others point of view are very useful tools for dialogue.

By Asghar Ali Engineer

http://wp.me/p1dL2Q-hL

Nigerians Want to Transcend Sectarian and Ethnic Violence


There are those who look at violence between Muslims and Christians with glee, such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. For them it is more fodder to smear Islam for the actions of some Muslims, while dismissing the same logic for Christian attacks on Muslims.

What boggles their mind however is when Muslims and Christians come together and oppose sectarianism and actively seek peace and reconciliation.

This is the case in Nigeria, where many want to transcend sectarian and ethnic violence(h/t: SK).

Here for example are pictures of recent protests in Nigeria showing solidarity and unity between Nigerians and Muslims:

Muslim and Christian Nigerians holding up their respective symbols Muslim and Christian Nigerians holding up their respective symbols
An Imam and a Pastor in a show of unity

Christians protesters protecting praying Muslim protesters (something we also saw in Egypt):

These are the forces and the voices who should be promoted. Yet extremists on both sides want to see violence in a push for power.

So Read More >>>>

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Muslim Non Muslim Relationship, Hostile or Peaceful? Qur’an and Bible Answers

The common misconception that; “The Muslims are commanded by Qur’an to be hostile with the non Muslims”, is far from truth. On the contrary Qur’an urges the Muslims to keep normal relationship with non Muslims based upon, “Equity, Kindness and Love” [Qur’an;60:7-9]. The Christians and Jews being ‘people of scripture’ are accorded special status, to the extent that Muslims are allowed to eat their food [kosher] and marry their chaste women, what else could be the level of intimacy! Muslims are urged to resist oppression and fight in self defense with those who expel or aid in expelling them from their homes due to their faith and belief. Those non Muslims who do not indulge in such an activity against them are to be treated with kindness and equity [Qur’an:22:39-40]. The actual cause of antagonism with non Muslims is not their disbelief but their hostility to Islam and their tyrannical treatment of the followers of Islam. The Muslims, therefore, should distinguish between the hostile disbeliever and the non-hostile disbeliever, and should treat those disbelievers well who have never treated them evilly.  Unfortunately extremists on both sides, misquote the Qur’anic verses out of context to support their own ideas and concepts and use it for malicious propagandas. Equitable treatment of non Muslims in Muslim Spain, Palestine, Ottoman Caliphate, Muslim rule in India and elsewhere is living testimony to the fact. Muslim history does not have any example comparable to Spanish inquisition and ethnic cleansing, but some isolated distortion of history. Though use of power is permissible for self defense or for freedom of oppressed people under tyrant rulers, however it was also used for imperial aspirations, a part of historic process. The events like Crusades took place upon instigation of over ambitious clergy, which if allowed to be repeated would result in bloodshed as in past. Non Muslims have been playing important role in development of Muslim empires. If they could mutually coexist in peace in the past, why not now?

Even Jesus Christ accords highest priority to good relations and fair treatment to others while summing up the teachings of entire Bible [as known now] in one verse: “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. The modern communications have made this world as a ‘Global Village’, nations all across world are closer like neighbors. All the three major scriptures are unanimous on the good treatment of neighbors [Qur’an;4:36, Al-Tirmidhi Hadith,11, 1334, Talmud, Shabbat 31:a, Matthew 22:39-40,7:12, Luke;6:31, similarly Leviticus 19:18].

Hence why practice violence and extremis on the name of religion while the Holy Scriptures do not sanction it. Let’s remove the mist of selfishness and strive for world peace.  Still there is much needs to be explained and many questions to be answered below….

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Muslim Next Door NOT Welcomed: CNN Special

CNN Special: “Unwelcome: The Muslim Next Door”

Soledad O’Brien had a very interesting special that aired on Sunday, March 27th dealing with the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry in America, specifically the case of the Murfreesboro Mosque and Community Center.

We have covered this story extensively, Eric Allen Bell a close follower of the issue and of LoonWatch has sent us video and tips regarding what has been going on and the morbid ignorance of the Islamophobes in that area.

Soledad did a decent job and all in all the Islamophobes and Muslim-haters come out looking quite malicious if not profoundly ignorant.

Also read “”US Muslims face discrimination Senate body told

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http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2011/03/28/cnn-special-%E2%80%9Cunwelcome-the-muslim-next-door%E2%80%9D/

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