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Peaceful Matters January 11, 2007

Posted by doobya in america, christianity, cool, good, islam, love, music, nature, politics, religion, world.
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Some people reassure me about mankind (and, for that matter, about manhood). Michael Franti currently is one of them.

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Cartoons? Worth dying for? February 15, 2006

Posted by doobya in islam, religion, world.
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While the minority of hardliners on both sides of the Prophet cartoons controversy seems to get more vocal and violent by the week, garnering media attention and increasing tensions, some more intelligent reactions are starting to surface from the silent majority.

The only way we can end this vicious cycle of violence is by understanding each other.

What was ignored in most press coverage was the degree to which the response was widespread, spontaneous and largely took the form of non-violent direct action (…) Press coverage, at least, in the US, didn't help create understanding. If anything, it mirrored the gap and served in the end to fuel more misunderstanding.

If Muslims and Europeans, as equal citizens living together in a democracy, are not able to trust each other, if we are not able to talk to each other (…) we are sending a signal to Islamic majority countries that there is no way for Muslims and Westerners to trust each other. We in Europe have a great, great, great responsibility. It's important that European citizens understand that if mutual knowledge and mutual respect are improved, then we are sending the signal that it is possible. Right now, though, we are sending exactly the opposite message.

As this international and intercultural issue once again proves, violence and noise do not solve anything; they only escalate and amplify.

The sane way out of a situation like this involves calming down, educating, and listening to the other side's arguments. One thing we don't need is more intolerance. One thing we do need is more understanding.

Both sides have the bomb, and there's only one planet.

[Update – 21 Feb] Andrew Sullivan comes to a similar conclusion:

As readers know, I have no patience for the extremists in Islam, and no doubt about their current ascendancy. But they are not all there is. And we need to do a better job of reaching out to and understanding the arguments of their internal opponents.