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A new generation of Muslim peace educators PDF Print

Published: July 20, 2010

Region: South-East Asia

In this age of widespread misperceptions that Islam is a religion of violence and intolerance, an Islamic peace education curriculum, addressing peacebuilding from an authentic Islamic perspective, is essential.

A group of 35 Muslim educators from eight countries came to Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, in the last week of June for an international workshop on Islamic peace education. They discussed various models and approaches to Islamic peace education, which are currently being employed by Muslim teachers in some classrooms around the world.

Members of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), who organised the workshop with the United States Institute of Peace, noted that while peace education is an established field and discipline, Islamic peace education is a fairly new and innovative subject for Islamic educational institutions.

 
#Flotilla: information that leads to change PDF Print

Posted: June 17, 2010

Region: Gaza strip

The ships seized by Israeli armed forces en route to Gaza have made headline news these past weeks. Much of the coverage has focused on the ships from the flotillas that were unsuccessful in their attempts to deliver aid to Gaza. However, in a weird twist, it is #Flotilla – a widely read collection of updates on Twitter posted by people following the events on the real flotillas – that has been successful in delivering “aid” for Gaza, in the form of information.

 
Raid on the Gaza flotilla PDF Print

Posted: June 9, 2010

Location: Gaza (Palestinian Occupied Territories)

The Israeli military's violent raid on the Free Gaza aid flotilla has been analysed to death—no pun intended. And while I’m not trying to pile on the Israeli government, I do think that the incident points out to issues that go beyond what was obviously a failed military operation based on faulty intelligence that has resulted in humanitarian tragedy and a diplomatic and public relations disaster for the Israelis.

 
Israeli-Arabs have been living with Jews in relative peace: why reverse the process? PDF Print

Posted: June 9, 2010

Region: Middle-East

As Arab-Jewish ties in Israel fluctuate they mirror larger regional tensions. The raid on the Gaza flotilla may impact Israel’s external relations with Turkey but they are also likely to introduce new significant unknowns into the already complicated relations between Jews and Arabs within Israel.

Overcoming discrimination, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have managed to live in relative peace with their Jewish co-citizens. Although the Arab community is largely separate—living in Arab towns and cities—they share many aspects of their lives with their neighbours.


But attitudes are changing with mounting tensions in the region. A recent study led by Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa revealed that relations between the 1.5 million Arab Israelis and the five million Jews in Israel have worsened over the past decade. No doubt, the events of the past week have rendered the situation described in the report even worse. Reports that Sheikh Ra’ad Saleh, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was among the injured, were thankfully mistaken, but these events certainly do not bode well for inter-communal relations in the near future.

 

 
Minorities must have the right to freely practice their religion: an interview with Franz Magnis-Suseno PDF Print

Posted: June 9, 2010

Jakarta - Franz Magnis-Suseno is a German-born Jesuit Priest and Professor of philosophy in Indonesia. In this interview with freelance writer Anett Keller, the naturalised Indonesian citizen talks about religious tolerance and the definition of blasphemy in Indonesia.

 
Pakistanis cannot afford to encourage intolerance PDF Print

Posted: June 9, 2010

Country: Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan - As soon as I heard that gunmen had attacked two Ahmadi houses of worship in Lahore on 27 May, I posted a despairing comment on my Facebook page, condemning the violence and wondering out loud why we, as a nation, had let it come to this.

Only later was I struck by the irony of my action: I had logged on to Facebook, a website recently banned in Pakistan for carrying blasphemous content against the Prophet Muhammad, to decry the murder of members of a community that has for too long been persecuted on charges of blasphemy.

 
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