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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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On Turning Up the Volume
an article by Jim Sargent

Two events have occurred recently that have significantly impacted my life: 1) the reporting of abhorent abuses to Iraqi POWs by members of the US military (clearly, I'm not alone here); and 2) more swastikas and other graffiti spray-painted on the entry of a local synagogue. Obviously events one and two are miles apart, not only geographically, but in their degree of importance on a humanitarian scale. Fact is, the two occurrences are completely unrelated. Or are they?

A minor civil rights abuse occurred at a synogogue in Auburn around April 20th. What happened? Apparently a meeting of the board of directors was held. Nothing of any substance resulted from it for three weeks. The atrocities at Abu Ghraib occurred sometime late last fall. What happened? Apparently a number of commissions were activated but nothing of any substance had resulted for months.

Then, along came the "media."

It took a photograph of the spray-painted swastikas in the local paper for anything to be done in Auburn (a few phone calls to pertinent people were made and the building was cleaned up the next day). It took photographs of blatent abuse in newspapers, on the internet and on TV before anything was done in Iraq (some of the more obvious participants have been court-martialled and a serious investigation of those in command is underway).

The atrocities at Abu Ghraib are so profound that it seems almost childish to compare the two. Still, several parallels can be drawn between what happened locally and what happened half way around the world. Of particular note is that it took someone to "turn up the volume" before anything of any significance was done in either case.

In that sense, the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Beth Abraham are very much alike.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


How can you and I make global peace a part of our daily lives?,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

Many of us dream of a peaceful world without violence. Some make it a must to voice out their outrage against violence and a few actually act in a non-violent way.

Though peace is a state that is much desired by individuals irrespective of their caste, creed, sex or colour, yet we find that it is difficult for people to work together for peace. Is it because we are most of the time motivated by our selfish interests? Is it because our greed for fame, power, wealth and status has rendered us insensible to the sufferings of others? Or is it simply because we think that peace is not possible and all our efforts in this endeavour will be vain?

Whatever be the reasons for our incapacity to work together for peace, we can perhaps acknowledge that we all desire to be peaceful and happy. Let us then imagine working for our peace and happiness. But can we be peaceful if we are constantly in conflict with ourselves and others? If we think about it, the conflicts that we encounter in our lives snatch away our peace of mind. Very often, the unresolved conflicts lead to mental, verbal and physical violence. History is a testimony of the fact that it is very difficult to solve conflicts without violence. . ...more.


This report was posted on May 26, 2004.