Saturday, May 10, 2008

based on force and imposition

(L-R) Mohammad Khatami, former Iranian President and President of the Foundation for Dialogue Among Civilisations, Spaniard Federico Mayor Zaragoza, president of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and former director-general of UNESCO, and the Abbot of Montserrat Josep Maria Soler applaud during a meeting after the signing and presentation of the Declaration of Montserrat in Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona April 10 2008. The Foundation for a Culture of Peace organised the international meeting to discuss the role of religion in the building of peace. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino (SPAIN)

On 2008 April 10, among others Federico Mayor, Khatami, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal signed or adhered the "Declaration of Montserrat".
It states
"Based on our common humanity, common vision
and the shared values of fraternity, human solidarity and love, religions should
never again be the origin of confrontation but of conciliation.
The dramatic and endless conflicts in the Middle East, as well as recent tragic
developments in other parts of the world, require solutions prompted by the
awareness, commitment and involvement of religious leaders and civil society,
which must urge political will and action to the decision-makers.(...)"

"As stated in the Alliance of Civilizations Report and others we must enhance
efforts to bridge the divides between religions and cultures through dialogue and
concrete action because religions and cultures are intertwined. We must overcome
the misperceptions, stereotypes, biased language and concepts reproduced by the
media and frequently echoed by irresponsible leadership. Religions must stay
together to co-exist harmonically and work jointly to build a common future.
We must challenge attitudes that spread the appearance of links between religion and violence, extremism and even terrorism."

"In this context, there is a most urgent need to promote action which can
counteract the present situation and trends, based on force and imposition.
We must encourage action–oriented behaviours and attitudes, and widely spread
knowledge on the real root causes of the conflicts –including, when appropriate,
the misuse of religions and ideologies. We must provide possible solutions to build
peace in the minds of people, particularly in the minds of social and political
actors as well as the mass media."
"We invite all cultural expressions to participate in the building of and
international architecture through intercultural dialogue which shall strengthen a
shared culture of peace. We call upon media to contribute to avoid the wide dissemination of stereotypes and biased images, and to promote better understanding between different
cultures and religions."

whole declaration:

By the way Santa Maria de Montserrat
is a Benedictine abbey located in the Montserrat mountain, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia. It hosts Virgin of Montserrat, one of the black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, la Moreneta ("The little dark-skinned one"). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the church. Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. Upon his recovery from battle wounds, Ignatius of Loyola visited the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat (March 25, 1522), where he hung his military accoutrements before the image. Then he led a period of asceticism before later founding the Society of Jesus.

photos: Reuters, Gustau Nacarino/ own source

stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

If Khatami is a moderate, can you imagine what the extremists look like? So happy to know he wants us to all be tolerant and have peace..

Anonymous said...

Who do they think they are kidding.



Norah said...

Good words.