Nonviolence and Violence, the Shocking Difference
For decades, there was hardly any opening in this strong police state to train and plan for creative and steadfast nonviolent social change. Some of us as peace activists did our best to introduce even the mildest ideas of social change at great personal risk to our Syrian friends. For over ten years I had been working steadily in Syria with Syrian partners on interfaith diplomacy and peacebuilding. We built bridges between both average people and between influential people across the spectrum from Alewite, Sunni, Shiite, Catholic, Protestant, and atheist. We engaged in what nonviolence practitioners refer to as exercises in solidarity.
We built a cadre of students in conflict resolution from young to old, inside and outside the government. We did this work with the grudging permission of the regime, through clever strategies of diplomacy. We also enjoyed the friendship of some Western …
This is one of the more profound investigations of London jihadis and ex-jihadis who are evolving in very modern directions. The relationship of European racism to the jihadi phenomenon, as well as the hard realities created by corrupted jihadi behavior in the Middle East are also analyzed. All in all, it shows a dynamic universe that is dramatically changing, and that demands much more creative and emphathetic responses from non-Muslims.
Ever since the 7/7 suicide bombings, carried out by young Englishmen against London, the British have been squinting at this minority of the minority and trying to figure out how we incubated a very English jihadism.
But every attempt I have made up to now to get into their heads – including talking to Islamists
I am not a fan of Sheikh Qaradawi. I think his response to violence in the name of Islam was extremely disappointing in the first decade of the twenty-first century, and I have not seen him as helpful to a peaceful and just settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict nor toward the development of a more tolerant form of Islam. He has consistently refused so far many overtures from a variety of Jewish rabbis to engage him. Put bluntly, he only seems to have rejected suicide terrorism as illegitimate when thousands of Muslims were dying at the hands of other Muslims. In other words, he found his moral compass on jihad when it was affecting his own group.
That having been said, the fact is there are many parallels in the Jewish world to rabbinic leaders who refuse to engage Christians and whose Halakhic interpretations are entirely intolerant. They too will …
In Refugee Aid, Pakistan’s War Has a New Front
QASIM PULA, Pakistan — Islamist charities and the United States are competing for the allegiance of the two million people displaced by the fight against the Taliban in Swat and other parts of Pakistan — and so far, the Islamists are in the lead.
Although the United States is the largest contributor to a United Nations relief effort, Pakistani authorities have refused to allow American officials or planes to deliver the aid in the camps for displaced people. The Pakistanis do not want to be associated with their unpopular ally.
Meanwhile, in the absence of effective aid from the government, hard-line Islamist charities are using the refugee crisis to push their anti-Western agenda and to sour public opinion against the war and the United States.
“The Western organizations have spent millions and billions on family planning to destroy the
The men arrested for trying to bomb two synagogues and other sites in New York apparently acted alone. They indeed were seeking an opportunity for jihad. But it was primarily in response to the deaths in Afghanistan in Pakistan at the hands of American soldiers. Now it appears that they were deeply involved with an informant who, according to the leader of the mosque, was a government agent who came two years ago to the mosque encouraging meetings on jihad.
So…did the government agent instigate this group of criminal men? Of course, this was a sting operation, but what are the ethics of sting operations? Is it the same infiltrating a mafia group and instigating a crime as infiltrating a house of worship and doing the same? I know the Jewish community would not be thrilled with some government agent who infiltrating Brooklyn and instigated some massive fraud scheme …
Rabbi Froman, who we have written about before, is determined to convince the Israeli leadership to speak to Hamas. The pressure to do so is mounting, even now in the capital of Israel’s only real ally, the United States. It is especially mounting due to the slaughter of civilians in Gaza, and the war crimes that are likely to be exposed in detail by the Western media’s entry now into Gaza. But Rabbi Froman always has one idee fixe, namely, that religious people need to lead the way into the conversation with Hamas, an odious idea for government people in general. Rabbi Froman is one of the most courageous and controversial peacemakers in Israel. Notice how he empathically engages his Jewish listeners. What one cannot see here is how he does exactly the same thing as he engages his Arab audiences. This combination is a rare gift and goes …
Sometimes in the construction of a better world, it is necessary to go into the heart of darkness, to quote Conrad. Sometimes it is only in exploring our heart of darkness that we can figure out where we are, so that we know how to get beyond our current fallen state. I am drunk with blood these days, thoughts of blood, fear of blood, the rage of boiling blood, and so is anyone for whom Palestine and Israel are a fixation.
This report of carnage in a Gaza hospital in all its horrifying details is typical of the innocents who are being cut to pieces. What stands out is the report of the impatient, smiling Islamic Jihad fighter who is just thrilled with the blood of his own people. New recruits to his cause. He sees around him a man with his…
Millions of Muslims across India have decided to temper or even cancel festivities on their most cherished week of holy yearly celebrations, the Eid, in protest of crimes committed in the name of Islam by the criminals who murdered so many in Mumbai.
They wore black ribbons, carried placards of peace, sent out emails and SMSes reiterating harmony, and put up banners saluting those who died in the 26/11 terrorist attack. From Chennai’s Thousand Lights Mosque to Delhi’s Jama Masjid, from Khwaza Banda Nawaz dargah in Gulbarga, to the mosques of Mumbai – Bakr-Eid celebrations were subdued, in a symbolic declaration of Muslim protest against terrorism.
“At every dargah, prayers were said for the grieving families in Mumbai. In Ajmer Sharief, Kaliyar Sharief (Uttarakhand) and Barabanki’s Deva Sharief, the community came together burying their differences to focus on one thing: communal harmony. By showing our unity, we have spoilt the
It is not easy to be a nation that advocates and indeed missionizes on democracy and the rule of law. It is the missionizing that causes the conflict with those who may want democracy and the rule of law in their own country but are blind-sided by the glaring American hypocrisies of recent years. Plans are already underway by President elect Obama’s team as to how to end the illegal imprisonment of combatants at Guantanomo, and to return the United States to a nation of laws. Why was this so hard? Was revenge that important? This remains a mystery to me.…