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Question: Does a culture of peace require that there be no violence? CPNN article: Asian youth gather in Cambodia to discuss peace, development
David Adams
Posted: June 11 2013,11:11

The initial target article for this question, concerning the Asian Youth Forum in Cambodia, quotes the Cambodian Prime Minister warning the youth not to follow the example of the Arab Spring because it has led (at least in some cases) to violent civil wars.

But does this mean that the Arab Spring has not promoted a culture of peace?  Not at all according to articles in CPNN.

How should this paradox be understood?

Let us go back to that great master of nonviolence, Mahatma Gandhi.  According to him, the key is that we must always address injustice, whether or not there is a question of violence involved.  In fact, to quote Martin Luther King, "Nonviolent resistence is not a method for cowards.  It does resist.  If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent.  This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the ony alternative to violence, it is better to fight . . .  while the nonviolent resister is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent that he is wrong.  The method is passive physically, but strongly active spirtually.  It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

So, we may conclude that Asian youths should emulate the Arab Spring in the spirit of non-violence, and should not turn away from it because there was sometimes violence involved. The quest of justice is a constant quest!
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