The Secretary-General of Religions for Peace shares his concern about the offensive film slandering the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. He responds, "...Members of Religions for Peace around the world are united in the conviction that no one should dishonor or bring disrespect upon the sincere religious beliefs of the other. At the same time we are united in rejecting the killing of persons and the destruction of property as a reaction to these acts." One of the positive actions to come from the production of a disgusting film and violence around the Arab world was the response of some Islamic leaders around the world who have strongly counseled against violent reactions. Just as violence fosters violence, so extremism of one kind fuels further extremism.
In a joint statement by the Arab League Secretary General, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security and the European Union High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy state their commitment: "We reiterate our strong commitment to take further measures and to work for an international consensus on tolerance and full respect of religion, including the basis of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18. We further call on all leaders, whether they be political, secular or religious, to promote dialogue and mutual understanding. And we will continue our efforts to show that what joins us together across regions and religions is far greater than what separates us."
The events following the airing of the film insulting the prophet Mohammed challenge each of us to reflect on intolerance and the demands of peace-making. We have to balance the value of freedom of expression and respect for all religions and cultures and commitment to work for peace.
One of the gifts we recently received from Srs. Diane McOsker and Barbara Kane was a resource list on Islam. What better time than now to use this valuable resource in coming to a greater understanding of Islam. Click here to access this document entitled "Social Justice Study Resource Materials."