Dear allies and friends,
There it is, 2010 ! It can do better than 2009… Not only regarding the weather conditions in France (remember the devastating storm on January 24).
Spain has taken the Presidency in European Union to put into practice what the Lisbon Treaty means for us. We are eager to learn how to define progress in European and global terms, especially concerning security and stability. We keep our fingers crossed, after Copenhagen we need some good news on international cooperation.
One could despair or go mad at all this usual stuff that is incessantly broadcasted and published: Haiti, Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, natural disasters (and their consequences for states already devastated before), suicide attacks, the swine flu, ruthlessly fossil-based US-American and Chinese economies, oppressed people in North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, decline of Madagascar, Guinea, etc…
One should perhaps turn over the front pages of newspapers, switch off commercial TV from time to time (or focus on those more educational pages and broadcasting stations). At least the internet gives all of us the freedom to learn what is really important, what can be and what is done all over the world to promote “Progress of Humankind”. There are many dauntless, proactive contemporaries who deserve our attention and support.
Change and courage are rarely a matter of majorities; idleness and vacuousness is common tenor. Things almost always start as a nucleus, but they engender important advancements. This also was true for our international network of military for peace in security :
In the history of our alliance, the year 2009 will be marked as the year when, starting with a small group of confident people, we brought the big International Conference of Bogota on the risks, security and defence in the 21st century to an overwhelming success and when we enlarged our network towards the African continent.
Preparing now the Forum 2010 „Defense and Security Forces in the Heart of Human Security“ to be held in Dakar under the aegis of the Senegalese Chief of General Staff, we can build on these experiences and also on those made before in Latin America and Central Asia.
As it has been said by Yann Arthus-Bertrand in his meanwhile famous feature film « Home »
« It is too late to be pessimistic ! »
The letter of the Month of January has been sent from India!
Our dear friend Ashgar Ali Engineer, director of the Institute for Islamic Studies in Mumbai, whom we met recently at the occasion of the yearly meeting of Irenees at San José (Costa Rica), gives us some interesting ideas and lessons about « Religious Diversity and Tolerance in Islam » .
We wish you good readings and look forward to your comments !
RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE IN ISLAM
from Asghar Ali Engineer (Islam and Modern Age, January 2010)
Diversity and tolerance are considered very basis of modernity as one of the modernity’s fundamental principles is individual and community rights and also, as modernity implies democratic rule, tolerance and right to pursue any ideology or religion assumes great importance. The western countries consider themselves as role models for democracy and freedom. Mr. Bush, after 9/11 attack often used to say they (read Muslims) are jealous of our democracy and freedom?
Most of us believe in this myth that west stands for freedom of conscience, democracy and liberty. And in theory it is quite correct. But is it is in practice?
First of all let us ask one question did they ever consider non-whites, non-Europeans as equal and entitled to equality and liberty? The history tells us no. The white superiority was always underlying assumption and the blacks (now known as African-American) were always discriminated against. Even Jews, until Second World War, did not enjoy equal rights. They were always discriminated against and forced to live in ghettoes, apart from what Nazis did with them.
Also, until Second World War when the Western world was mono-religious and mono-cultural its tolerance for non-western religions and cultures was never tested. It is only when economic migrations began from the erstwhile colonial countries that west began to experience what they now call multi-culturalism and western society became multi-religious and multi-cultural.
It was then that strains appeared and we saw number of cases of prejudice and discrimination against non-white, non-western people migrating to the west. The most recent case is of Switzerland voting to ban minarets for Muslim mosques. In the poll held 57 per cent Swiss people voted against allowing minarets to Muslim mosques. In Switzerland close to 400.000 people are Muslims.
It is heartening that the New York Times editorially condemned this proposed ban. It is worthwhile to quote excerpts from the editorial which was published on November 30, 2009, immediately after the referendum in Switzerland: “Disgraceful. That is the only way to describe the success of a right-wing initiative to ban the constitution of minarets in Switzerland, where 57 percent of voters cast ballots for a bigoted and mean-spirited measures.”
Further the editorial says, “But the vote also carries a strong and urgent message for all Europe, and for all Western nations where Islamic minorities have been growing in numbers; and visibility, and where fear and resentment of Muslim immigrants and their religion have become increasingly strident and widespread. The warning signs have been there: the irrational fierceness of official French resistance to the shawls and burkhas worn by some Muslim women; the growing opposition in many European quarters to Turkish membership in the European Union.”
The New York editorial is, indeed the voice of sanity in the growing intolerance in the Western world towards Muslims in particular and, non-western cultures and religions, in general. We would again like to reiterate here that in principle West does stand for equality, freedom of conscience and human rights which most of the Muslim countries have yet to learn. But, as we will show herein below that Islam also stands for tolerance and respect for other culture and faiths and believes diversity is creation of Allah but test really comes in practice.
It is also true that terrorist attacks in some countries, and especially after 9/11 has intensified hatred against Islam and Muslims but then in Switzerland, the Muslims have been peaceful and there have been no instances of such attacks and it appears quite irrational that people of Switzerland should display such intolerance towards their peaceful minority. However, the signs were in the air.
I had delivered a lecture on Islam and non-violence way back in 2004 in Zurich which was held in collaboration with the local church. When question answer session began the journalists present there said how Islam can ever be non-violent and peaceful. I said I have based my speech on the Qur’anic text and anyone can verify what I have said but the journalists did not seem to be convinced. They kept on arguing until the church official intervened. What these journalists must have been writing about Islam is obvious. In modern society media plays very important role.
This is further borne out by the TV debate between noted Swiss Muslim intellectual and my friend Tariq Ramadan and Oskar Freysinger on ban on minaret. It became evident from the debate that the real issue was not minaret, but Islam itself. Dr. Patrick Haenni, a researcher at Religiouscope, who believes that religion, not politics, was the core of the initiator’s discourse through a perspective full of misconceptions and stereotypes.
The ban on burqa in France by the Government is another instance of this intolerance for non-western religions and cultures. This writer is no advocate of burqas covering entire body and face from head to toe but the question is not one should wear burqa or not, more fundamental question is of individual right and choice? Whatever reason for wearing burqa, personal conviction, social or peer pressures or identity issue, does one have right to wear or not? Should one ban it outright?
Here I would like to narrate an interesting experience. I was lecturing on secularism in the University of Bukhara and in the audience were mostly young women dressed in skirts as western women do. During the lecture two burqa clad women (wearing burqa from head to toe) entered and sat down. After my lecture was over some of those women stood up and agitatedly said sir, why should we not thrown out these two women (wearing burqa)? I was shocked at the aggressive tone of these agitated women.
I enquired why do you want to throw them out? These women (all of them Muslim) said why are they wearing burqa and why do they cover themselves? I said I ask you one simple question suppose all these women were clad in Burqa and two of you had come wearing skirts and with modern haircut and if they had asked by not throw these two skirt-wearing women out, what would have been your response?
I said throwing out or banning a practice is not the solution but to dialogue with each other and to understand each other. They then appreciated my viewpoint and sat down quietly and we continued our discussion. Thus to accept the other, as other is (not with prescriptions) is the essence of democracy. Prescription for the other violates the very spirit of others’ rights and dignity which is the basis of modernity. Now it has been universally accepted that it is not only individual rights which are important but also group rights of minorities as well are equally important.
The west, whatever its principles and values, is yet to come to terms with non-western others. Also, it should not depend on the doctrine of reciprocation but group rights should be absolute. I remember in U.K. there was debate in eighties how Muslims treat Christian minorities in Muslim majority countries. Do they give them equal rights and freedom of religion? If not, why do they expect such rights in western countries?
This reciprocative approach contradicts the very spirit of democratic values and principles. These values and principles are absolute and no conditionalities could be prescribed. Of course there are complex reasons for the growing intolerance towards Muslim minorities in the western world. As everywhere the rightist forces thrive on hatred of the other and the ban on the minaret in Switzerland is also the result of rise of rightist politics. The Muslims in India too have experienced it when the BJP tried to come to power through hate politics of Ramjanambhoomi.
In France too, ban on hijab came under the regime of Sarkozy who is known rightist. Secondly, the rising number of immigrants also creates fear in the minds of original inhabitants of the country and, in order to press the issue, these numbers are highly exaggerated. Muslims, both by way of migration and birth, are the fastest growing minority in the Europe. Thirdly, most of the Muslim migrants are non-whites, many of them blacks from African countries and here both religious as well as racial prejudice combine and intensify hatred and intolerance.
In France, for example, most of the Muslim migrants are from former French colonies and hence happen to be black. Discrimination against them and their marginalization totally alienates them and this alienation finds expression through complex ways – through aggressive behavior or overemphasis on their identities which in turn further intensifies their alienation.
And, if this is followed by economic crisis as Europe is undergoing these days, majority fear against the ‘migrant other’ becomes even more aggressive born out of fear and the rising tide of rightist forces in such circumstances further aggravates it. Also, the US policies in the Middle East has resulted in intensifying extremism in a section of youth in the Muslim countries resulting in terrorist attacks such as 9/11 which excites even more hatred against Muslims in the west.
What is the way out then? Where to stop this vicious circle of action and reaction? It is for sure that we cannot control all the factors. But it is also equally certain that we need a wise political leadership who is not after power but welfare of people. Democracy ideally speaking is for people’s participation and for their well being. However, like other political systems, democracy too, has become means of grabbing power by certain groups and classes. Also, it tends to be majoritarian i.e. heavily tilted in favor of racial, religious or linguistic majority. There has been hardly any exception to it in the world.
Certain Muslim countries who swear by Qur’an as their constitution also flagrantly violate Qur’anic provisions. Qur’an gives certain ideals and values for governance, an idea of the desirable society. It says diversity is Allah’s creation and must be respected and celebrated. And this diversity includes linguistic, racial and religious and human beings, whatever religion, race or linguistic group they belong to, must be accorded equal dignity and which means all of them should enjoy equal rights.
However, you will not find any Muslim country swearing by Qur’an as book of Allah implementing these ideals. You find discrimination on the basis of religion, even sects, language and ethnicity. You very much find discrimination for example in Saudi Arabia, against non-Arabs, against non-Wahabi Muslims and against other ethnic and racial groups. One finds discrimination in Iran against Sunni Muslims, against Arabs, against Bahais and against non-Persians.
In Pakistan one finds discrimination against certain linguistic groups like Baluchis and Sindhis. It is dominated by the Punjabi majority. Not only that there is sectarian violence between Shi’ahs and Sunnis besides Christians and Hindus. It is Punjabi majority which rules the roast. One has yet to see any Muslim country which does not violate injunctions of the Qur’an while swearing in by it as one has yet to see any western democracy not violating injunctions of their own constitutions enshrining ideals and values of modern democracy.
As long as the goal remains power, this is bound to happen. Another bane of the situation is current rise in rightist forces which arouse emotions of people on the basis of religion, race and language. Again no country is an exception to it. Education system itself, which prepares children and students for future material of the society, is controlled by, in most, if not all cases, by rightist elements.
The Netherlands is also undergoing severe problem of anti-Muslim tirade. One politician made a film called Fitna and refused to take it back. Also, a Muslim fanatic murdered a film maker from the Netherlands who caste slur on Islam and this further led to anti-Islamic surge there. I met a professor of Islamic studies from Netherlands in Germany who spoke on Islam. The seminar was on progressive Islam.
I was stunned by his anti-Islamic outpouring. It was nothing short of hate-Islam speech. When we protested the organizers maintained that all views are allowed to be expressed from this forum. May be it was so. But what was worrying factor was that the person was teaching Islam in the Netherlands. If such Islam is taught in universities of a country what mindset would be generated? One shudders to think.
Media is no exception. While it must be made clear there are honorable exceptions and some newspapers and TV channels which are quite objective or tend to be so but then such papers and channels are, more often than not, popular. They are read or watched by serious kind of people. Popular media tend to be prejudiced. Also, media is often owned by certain interests and it is not committed to the cause of objective reporting.
And media plays most crucial role in democracy. I would say if media plays responsible role rising above all interests modern democracies would be far more conflict-free than they are today. And in answering the question raised above media provides one of the crucial factors. Despite all the laws made by the state, media behaves the way it wants to as various state organs fail to implement the laws.
It is true we cannot have ideal democracy as the German philosopher rightly points out ideal is not real and real is not ideal, still one has to try to come as close to ideal as possible. Even such efforts are lacking in modern democracies. Invariably it is powerful interests which determine the shape and direction of things and there is always tension between vested interests and the ideals and interests seem to win.
Of course if the conflict remains manageable it is one thing but disaster takes place when it goes beyond manageable proportions. The attack on 9/11 and subsequent attack on Afghanistan and Iraq took this conflict between Islam and the west beyond all imaginable proportions as here too very powerful interests were involved. However, it would be wrong to consider it a self fulfillment of Huntigntonian prediction of ‘clash of civilization’. It was, instead, clash of political interests on both sides.
It is interesting to note that Huntington’s book received such media attention in the west precisely because certain interests in the west wanted such book written to promote conflict. Of course things may not have gone as planned but to an extent those interests were served but at a great social cost. It greatly sharpened prejudices in the west against Islam. And this has been going on for quite some time now.
Since Muslims began to immigrate to the western countries in the post-colonial period the anti-Islam prejudices began to acquire sharper edge. The Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses in the eighties and the support it received in the west was also part of this process. The enthusiastic support was not for the sake of freedom of opinion. There was a purpose behind it. The Islamic revolution had occurred in Iran which was anti-west in its thrust and made Iranian oil beyond western powers.
Thus the west adopted anti-Iran posture and when Khomeini, for his own political compulsions, issued fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the swords were drawn on both sides and west lent unqualified support to Rushdie in the name of freedom and Muslims stood by Khomeini’s fatwa. It was neither freedom nor Islam but who will dominate Iran and its oil, west or people and rulers of Iran.
All these developments through eighties culminated in 9/11 attacks and everything was complete for anti-Islamic prejudices in western countries and media. As far as Arab oil is concerned the clashes are likely to continue and will go through different phases. It reached its culmination during the Bush’s unqualified support to rightist policies and outright adventure in the West Asia.
However, since it crossed critical limits in conflict management Obama took over the reigns of administration. But it would indeed be too much to expect that Obama would resolve the conflict. But yes, certainly he may succeed in managing the conflict a shade better and he appears to be sincerely trying. He is far from free agent as many think. His hands are tied by so many uncontrollable factors.
Al-Qaeda and Taliban issue is not here to disappear in few years. Afghan people are fiercely independence loving and even Muslim rulers like Moghuls failed to subdue them, much less totally aliens like Americans. American policy makers should study history of Afghan rebellion much more seriously than they have done. US jackboots cannot crush Afghans. Obama has to an extent realized this and though he is sending more forces but has also promised to withdraw by 2011.
Withdraws or not but certainly solution does not lay in trying to crush Afghans but to resolve it through dialogue and accommodation which again is not easy. US is also not in Afghanistan for just to wipe out Al-Qaeda and Taliban but to control rich gas and mineral resources in Central Asia. It did not invade Afghanistan for nothing. And as long as US wants to control rich resources of Central Asia it cannot find accommodation with Afghan Taliban and as long as Taliban issue continues anti-Islam prejudices will remain strong as ever.
It is also absolutely necessary to solve Palestinian problem if one desires peace in West Asia. While Afghan Taliban are more concerned about peace in their region but Al-Qaeda is more focused on West Asia and to solve both the problems sans US interests in both the regions is asking for let us say impossible. Should we despair then? Not really. But it is a challenge which few politicians can succeed in facing.
The Muslim countries too will have to seriously contemplate policy changes and have to make concerted efforts to project peaceful Islam on their part. They will have to fight powerful interests and confrontationists mindset on their part. The rulers in the west Asia have to go for modernization, changes in their education system and promoting spirit of understanding and dialogue with the other.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is wiser than his predecessors and following strategies to contain extremist elements in his own country. Like Obama’s his hands are tied too. In Pakistan military establishment is too powerful to be contained easily and for quite sometime to come civilian rule will not be able to ascertain its independence and Pakistan is very crucial for peace in Afghan-Pakistan region.
Well, while working for greater understanding let us understand these challenges too.
Institute of Islamic Studies, Mumbai. E-mail: email@example.com
I was very interested by this well documented article.
Fed up with the expression of divergent theories on Islam, I am reading the Qur’an, in order to make my own opinion, without any influence. After, I will study the different interpretations. But I strongly believe that there is a tolerant Islam. For example, we should learn from Senegal. And I am convinced that most individual muslims in the world only want to practice peacefully their religion.
The issue, at least in Europe, is that we do not hear enough the voice of tolerant muslims. We must support them
For the specific case of France, it is necessary to remind the wise principle of « secularism » (“laïcité”), learnt from a troubled history. Secularism is the full respect of all religions, within the separation of the public and religious spheres. This is written in the Constitution and everybody has to respect it. The limits of this principle can obviously be discussed in a calm atmosphere ( in particular the wearing of religious signs)
The problem is not with minarets or even burqa. Problem is fear and lack of confidence. Some wrongly think that it is the first step, that, because of the activism of extremists muslims, they will loose their identity, that one day, these extremists will ask for the strict application of their interpretation of Qur’an. Mentalities do not change in a few years and both (muslims and other) should be patient and tolerant with each other
On this issue, the separation is not between leftists and rightists. It is a too simple vision. For example, the law on religious signs in public schools was voted with a large majority (including thus leftists). And President Sarkozy, when he was Minister, is the one who recognized the place of Islam in France, creating in particular the French Council of muslim worship.
Finally, as a retired soldier (and as we are on a military network), I will never forget the sacrifice of thousands of muslims for our freedom during the two World Wars, (as well as all the Indians who died on our land). It is one additional reason to respect the religion of their descendants
J’ai apprécié le contenu de cette lettre qui exprime bien -parfois sans que l’auteur s’en aperçoive- le gouffre culturel que nous devons combler notamment entre peuples de tradition chrétienne et peuples de tradition musulmane.
Je signale cependant une faute grossière - qui n’est certainement pas due à l’auteur - à la fin du 5ème paragraphe : "in Switzerland, close to four million people are muslim" ! A corriger d’urgence !
A plus d’un titres, j’ai apprécié l’exemple de Boukhara, une ville que je connais bien. la réaction anti-voile de ces jeunes femmes tadjiko-ouzbèkes s’explique parfaitement : elles savent ce qui les attend si les intégristes islamistes gagnent un jour la partie dans leur pays, ce qui n’est pas du tout exclu !
Pour une meilleure perception de la tolérance musulmane, je souhaiterais de la part de l’auteur une approche quantitative : dans combien de pays d’islam l’entrée dans une salle de cours de deux jeunes femmes "mises en valeur par un vêtement à l’européenne" serait-elle tolérée ? L’analyse serait faite par la compilation des populations des pays qui acceptent ou refusent. La même étude pourrait être menée dans les pays dits chrétiens. On aurait ainsi une donnée quantifiée de la tolérance. Ce serait une base solide, indiscutable pour entamer une action de rapprochement. merci d’avance !
René Cagnat, Bichkek (Kyrgyzstan).
Je suis désolé et je constate, une fois de plus, combien il est essentiel que nos jeunes soient familiarisés avec plusieurs langues, avant qu’il en soit instituée une commune à tous les hommes.
Celle -ci n’empêchera pas, certainement même facilitera les échanges de richesses des différences des cultures puisque nous pourrons mieux partager.
Quant à la lettre du mois de Janvier, il est certain que la multiplication des moyens de communication et d’information ne facilite pas notre besoin de savoir.
J’ai été correspondant de presse, local. Après quelques années on m’a demandé de cesser parce que j’essayais, de temps en temps, d’écrire des articles de réflexions sur le "vivre ensemble" aujourd’hui et demain. Je devais me contenter de suivre l’évolution des chiens écrasés dans la commune.
Ce sont les journalistes, eux-mêmes, (ceux qui vont perdre leur emploi parce que les journaux sont de moins achetés faute d’intérêt des jeunes) qui ont souhaité mon départ.
Je n’ai pas la télévision depuis plus de trente ans. Je n’arrive pas à lire, aller voir ou faire tout ce qui m’intéresse. J’écoute beaucoup la radio et, de plus en plus sur l’ordinateur, internet comme vous le dites, les soirées je lis ou regarde les articles, fiches de réflexion, rencontres, conférences, colloques.... qui sont vraiment très riches.
Rien que les richesses de la Fondation FPH, et les échanges entre Alliés, ce sont quelques soirées bien agréables pour qui veut essayer d’apprendre pour comprendre et entreprendre ... au moins sa vie.
La Paix que vous construisez avec les militaires est essentielle, chacun le sait.
Pour ma part, mes liens avec la Guinée Conakry et le Congo Brazza et Kinshasa, le Burundi où j’ai des amis, me tracasse beaucoup.
Mon engagement auprès de l’ONG S.T.O.P. de lutte contre l’exploitation sexuelle des femmes et des enfants, me dit chaque jour combien les militaires, les retraités, pourraient être d’excellents appuis pour faire disparaître cette indignité.
Mon amie Célhia de Lavarène, dans son livre "Visa pour l’enfer" - Une femme combat les marchands du sexe, Fayard 2006 dénonce: "... Leurs clients ? (de ces jeunes filles et enfants) Hauts fonctionnaires libériens, diplomates, membres d’organisations humanitaires, casques bleus. Ces derniers , sûrs de leur impunité, me narguaient plus encore"
Nous avons du travail, surtout nous les retraités. C’est pourquoi je défends que nous ne pouvons plus, aujourd’hui, "seulement nous occuper durant les vingt, trente ans et plus qui nous sont offerts en situation de retraite".
amitiés à tous
et bonne année 2010... avec la certitude que nous avançons parce que nous en avons la volonté, l’ambition et que nous sommes engagés et responsables.
First of all I would like to thank the author of the article for sharing with us his opinion about the very important and critical issue of modernity, mutual misunderstanding and tension between West and Islam. There are a lot of precious thoughts and important examples in the article making us think about the problem, which exists for centuries, and about how we can influence and change the present situation.
In general the article is very rich in content and it is obvious there was a lot of work done on it. However, I noticed several contradictions. In the beginning of the article (p. 2) the author says “…we will show herein below that Islam also stands for tolerance...”, but I could find no much information or examples reflecting that fact. Similar contradiction I found concerning the “…myth that west stands for freedom of conscience, democracy and liberty...” (p. 1) and then after mentioning the fact of discrimination and providing one example with New York Times – “We would again like to reiterate here that in principle West does stand for equality, freedom of conscience and human rights which most of the Muslim countries have yet to learn”. I would say the article does not really cover the topic of tolerance in Islam. It mostly tells us about the existing conflict and non-tolerance of the West towards Islam.
The author shows us several instances of unequal approach to non-Europeans, non-whites etc. in the West, mostly meaning Muslims, which is probably true. But in my opinion, we should not be satisfied with mentioning just general appearances of the existing conflict. We all know about it and keep discussing the issue will not add much more to make progress in its solution. If we discuss the conflict, we should pay more attention to its history and roots and to understand why it is so. Then we should try to suggest something, which may help in establishment of the dialogue. I agree with the author regarding necessity of involvement of political will in this process.
I think if we talk about tolerance in Islam we need to stress more on real examples of that tolerance. Here I agree with the above commentary of Rene Cagnat about a more quantitative approach to the problem from both sides. It would be something really interesting. I share the concept of tolerance in Islam, as it is indeed true, and we have to create a tool of its promotion in the whole world where people don’t know about it. It is not an easy task seriously complicated by tragic events of the recent years.
Because this article provoked a lot of excitement in my mind, I decided to read more about the topic. By doing this I found a forum where one professor on Islamic studies answered different questions asked by Muslims about how to behave in a non-Muslim society and about many other things. This discussion lead me to the idea of foundation of a supranational working group consisting of respected clerical persons representing Islam and Christianity, and the civil society which will have to develop a comprehensive document explaining that Islam indeed stands for tolerance, diversity, non-violence and peace. This will be something like a guide on Muslim values and rules. Then, this document needs to be disseminated in all countries and especially among young people. It has to be done through all available means – mass media, educational programs, international organizations, NGO’s etc.
I would like as well to express a couple of thoughts concerning the two, in my opinion, main issues presented in the article, which are problems of Muslim minorities in western countries and ongoing “war on terror”. The two issues are interwoven. At the same time, both of them need to be learnt more in details. The issue of Muslim minorities and existing tension in between them and local majorities traces long back in the history starting from crusades and even before those. This is a two edge sword problem. I think it will require a real will for dialogue and mutual concessions. The issue of “war on terror” is the most critical and the most exciting for now. It has lots of hidden currents and interests in it. Starting from economical problems in the so called “third world countries”, existing inequality of the life level in the West and East, eternal Palestinian problem till neocolonial and geopolitical aspirations of nowadays powers trying to justify why they do so, plus, for sure, the idea of fighting itself.
It is very sad to say but today the terrorist threat comes under a flag of Muslims, who are far away from the real faith and religion as it is, having for main purpose the same: money and power. The terror is the weapon of the weak. There is only one way out – to become so strong that it is out of question to encroach somebody else’s freedom and to escape from the own one. This has to be universally known. But this is a topic for a separate discussion.
In conclusion I would like to thank again the author for proving his opinion and making us think more about that question.
Последние комментарии ( 3 ) Мне понравилось содержание этой статьи, которая хорошо выражает - иногда даже незаметно для самого автора – культурную пропасть между народами христианской культуры и народами мусульманской культуры, которую мы должны заполнить.
В то же время хотел бы отметить серьезную ошибку – которая, возможно, и не зависит от автора – в конце пятого абзаца: «в Швейцарии, около четырех миллионов человек являются мусульманами»! Срочно исправить!
В частности мне понравился пример с Бухарой, городом, который я хорошо знаю. Негативная реакция, которую проявили эти таджикские и узбекские девушки по отношению к парандже объясняется достаточно просто: они знают, что их ждет, если исламские фундаменталисты в один прекрасный день придут к власти в их стране, что, в принципе, совсем даже не исключено!
Для лучшего восприятия мусульманской терпимости я пожелал бы автору в большей степени использовать количественный подход: в скольких мусульманских странах при вхождении в класс двух девушек «в европейском одеянии» отношение к ним было бы терпимым? Проанализировать результаты можно было бы путем сравнения количества людей в этих странах, кто отнесся бы к этому терпимо и тех, кто нет. Подобный анализ мог бы стать солидной и непререкаемой основой для инициирования процесса сближения. Заранее спасибо!
В первую очередь я хотел бы поблагодарить автора статьи за то, что он поделился с нами своим мнением о чрезвычайно масштабной и важной проблеме современности – а именно, взаимном недопонимании и напряжении, существующим между Западом и Исламом. В статье содержится большое количество ценных идей и интересных примеров, которые заставляют нас задуматься об этой проблеме, присутствующей на протяжении веков, и о том, как мы можем повлиять и изменить существующую ситуацию.
В общем, статья очень богата по своему содержанию и очевидно, что для её подготовки была проделана огромная работа. Однако я заметил некоторые противоречия. В начале статьи (стр. 2) автор говорит «…мы продемонстрируем далее, что Ислам тоже поддерживает толерантность…», но я не обнаружил много информации или примеров, отражающих этот факт. Схожим противоречием я считаю «…миф о том, что идеалами на Западе являются свобода сознания, демократия и право выбора … » (стр. 1) и потом, после упоминания о дискриминации и, приведя один пример с «Нью-Йорк Таймс», - «Мы хотели бы повторно отметить, что в принципе Запад действительно поддерживает равенство, свободу сознания и права человека, чему большинство мусульманских стран должно еще поучиться». Я бы сказал, что на самом деле статья не охватывает тему толерантности в Исламе. Она в основном рассказывает нам о существующем конфликте и нетерпимости Запада по отношению к Исламу.
Автор приводит нашему вниманию несколько примеров неравного отношения к неевропейцам, небелым и т.д. на Западе, в основном имея в виду мусульман, что возможно является правдой. Но, по моему мнению, нам не следует довольствоваться упоминанием только общих проявлений существующего конфликта. Мы все знаем о его существовании и дальнейшее муссирование этой проблемы не ускорит процесс её решения. Если мы обсуждаем конфликт, мы должны обратить больше внимание на его историю и корни, и попытаться понять, почему так происходит. Затем, нам стоит попытаться выразить предложения, которые смогут помочь в установлении диалога. Я согласен с автором относительно необходимости вовлечения политической воли в данный процесс.
Я думаю, что если мы говорим о толерантности в Исламе, мы должны обратить больше внимания на конкретные примеры этой толерантности. Здесь я хочу согласиться с комментарием Рене Канья о более количественном подходе к этой проблеме с обеих сторон. Это было бы действительно очень интересно. Я разделяю концепцию толерантности в Исламе, поскольку это, несомненно, правда, и нам необходимо создать инструмент продвижения этой истины во всем мире, где люди не знают об этом. Это непростая задача, в значительной степени осложняемая трагическими событиями последних лет.
Поскольку статья взволновала меня, я решил в большей степени ознакомиться с этой темой. В ходе этого процесса я обнаружил форум, на котором один профессор по вопросам изучения Ислама отвечал на разные вопросы мусульман о том, как вести себя в немусульманском обществе и о многих других вещах. Данная дискуссия натолкнула меня на мысль о создании наднациональной рабочей группы, состоящей из уважаемых духовных лиц, представляющих Ислам и Христианство, а также достойных представителей гражданского общества. Эта группа должна будет разработать исчерпывающий документ, объясняющий, что в Исламе на самом деле восхваляются толерантность, разнообразие, ненасилие и мир. Это стало бы чем-то вроде руководства о мусульманских ценностях и правилах. Затем, этот документ необходимо распространить во всех странах и особенно среди молодежи. Это должно быть сделано с использованием всех доступных средств – СМИ, образовательные программы, международные организации, НПО и т.д.
Я также хотел бы выразить пару своих мыслей относительно двух основных, с моей точки зрения, проблем, затронутых в статье. Этими проблемами являются неравное отношение к мусульманскими меньшинствам в западных странах и продолжающаяся «война с терроризмом». Обе проблемы переплетены между собой. В то же время необходим более детализированный подход к их изучению. Проблема мусульманских меньшинств и существующее напряжение между ними и местным большинством уходит далеко в прошлое, начиная с крестовых походов и даже до них. Это палка о двух концах. Я думаю, что она потребует реального стремления к диалогу и взаимных уступок.
Проблема «войны с терроризмом» на сегодняшний день является самой важной и будоражащей. В ней присутствует множество скрытых течений и интересов. Начиная с экономических проблем в так называемых «странах третьего мира», неравенства жизненного уровня на Западе и на Востоке, вечной палестинской проблемы и до неоколониальных и геополитических стремлений современных держав, пытающихся оправдать, почему они делают именно так, и, конечно, идея борьбы сама по себе. Очень печально отмечать, что сегодня проблема терроризма приходит под флагом мусульман, которые далеки от настоящей веры и религии как таковой и имеют в качестве основной своей цели те же деньги и власть. Террор – оружие слабых. И выход здесь только один - стать сильным настолько, чтобы не посягать на чужую свободу и не бежать от собственной. Это должно быть повсеместно известно. Но это уже тема для отдельной дискуссии.
В заключение я хотел бы ещё раз поблагодарить автора за предоставление своего взгляда и побуждение нас в большей степени задумываться об этом.