Beyond the Walls of Hatred: Initiatives of Change Conference on Human Security

by mgopin on August 20, 2009 · 6 comments

I met a fascinating group of people from around the world at Caux, Switzerland a few weeks ago. The man who wrote this article was part of a large contingent from India and Pakistan who had some very serious and exciting exchanges under the able guidance of Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi, former parliamentarian, veteran peacemaker and distinguished author.

Beyond the walls of hatred
By Jawad Naqvi

An excerpt from the article:

Mr Ahmadinejad would do well to get invited to Caux and to listen to Prof Marc Gopin’s views on the states’ culpability in arming militant groups on both sides of the equation. He would gain amazingly fresh insights from the intervention by Jakob Finci, the president of the Jewish community in Bosnia, about the efforts of a small community of Bosnian Jews, Christians and Muslims to build a life together.

Marc Gopin, a rabbi, is the James H. Laue professor of religion, diplomacy and conflict resolution. Listen to what he says in his priceless book To Make The Earth Whole: The Art of Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy. His belief that there is a marked tendency among the Abrahamic religions to cultivate intolerance has encouraged extremists from all sides to target him.

‘Explaining this principle of kindness and patience with enemies is where I have had the hardest time before audiences from every culture. And I have been attacked for it many times. I would say there are countless people in my community who will never forgive me for reaching out to Yasser Arafat. I can try to explain that Yasser Arafat is to Jews what every Israeli prime minister has been to Palestinians — a source of great suffering and the death of many innocents; yet they expect Arab conciliatory approaches to such prime ministers.’

Link to article at Dawn.com.

© Marc Gopin

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