This is a reflection on the recent declaration (link) and some statements from a recent discussion on it.
I had today the chance to attend a session under the topic: “Our Spiritual Traditions and Sustainable World Peace.” Representatives of different faiths and interfaith organisations stressed the point, that solutions to many problems lie in looking for the wrong in myself rather then in the other.
Some statements I picked up:
One Dutch Muslim Leader from the floor stated:
“Do we as Muslims understand our Religions and the example of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). Through our misconduct and violent response we give those people from whom such outrageous insults come more ground.”
Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid (Deputy Chair Religions for Peace Europe / UK)
“Many people in the Middle East I talked to (after the Dutch cartoon eclat) thought that these videos were deliberate actions of western governments. Many people in those countries do not understand that this are actions of individuals.”
“Freedom of expression, does not mean the freedom to insult.”
“Islam says, that evil is not in the body but in the mind. Therefore goodness can only be achieved by persuading the mind not attacking the body. There is no ground for violence.”
Dr Villumstad (General Secretary for European Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ECRL) / Norway)
“Never limit freedom of expression based on single incidents of people not using it responsibly. Freedom of speech requires responsibility, but must not be limited.”
… more reflections from young Ambassadors For Peace to come.
PS: These comments don’t have any claim to be especially enlightening or complete and don’t represent the entire discussion.