Category Archives: d-tolerance

Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation?

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

In view of the leadership being taken by youth for the fightback in the United States, Colombia (and elsewhere), we need to be prepared to listen to them and accept their leadership in the coming times.

Here are some recent articles in CPNN on youth leadership and solidarity:

‘We’re taking responsibility’: Sixty teens announce refusal to serve in Israeli army

Geneva has become an incubation hub for citizen initiatives

Culture of Peace against violence in Mexico

Kashmiri students run out of essentials, money; Khalsa Aid, J&K Students Assn extend help

Berlin: Hundreds of thousands march against racism

The People of Mexico Give the World an Example of Solidarity

2016 WFUNA Young Leader is Zimbabwean

Global Survey on Youth, Peace and Security

Global Youth Rising 2016 – Reflections

Georgia: Training Report: “Education for Peace – Developing Competences for Peace Education in the Youth Field”

GLOBAL YOUTH RISING: Empowering passionate activists and peace workers from around the world– JULY 2016

UN Security Council adopts resolution on Youth, Peace and Security

For articles prior to 2015, click here.

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East; Is it important for a culture of peace?

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

Here is a blog by Mazin Qumsiyeh that responds to this question.

1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed. Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened.

2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws. It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics

3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)

4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages

5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria). The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.

6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc).

7- Local religious ideas evolved over the ages from Cananitic Pagan ideas to monotheistic ideas to Christianity (first century), Rabbinical Judaism (3rd century), Islam (7th Century).,

8- Palestine was always multi-cultural, multi-religious society despite attempts to homogenize it in certain periods (e.g. the Crusaders killed and exiled Jews, Muslims, and Christians of other sects).

9- Jews of today, like Christians and Muslims of today come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. They are thus genetically (biologically) heterogeneous.

10- Before the wave of European Jewish immigration, Palestinians were of various religions: about 85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% Jewish and others. For hundreds of years Palestinians of various religions lived in relative harmony.

11- Zionism is a political idea that spread among a minority of European Jews who adapted to the European notions of ethnocentric nationalism and thus claims Jews of today should gather in Palestine and create a Jewish state because of discrimination in Europe. Socialist Jews and other Jews believed in fighting for equal rights. Zionists thought that anti-Jewish feelings in Europe serves their interests and thus even collaborated with racists. There was a transfer agreement between the third Reich and the Zionist movement. Zionists also lobbied Western governments not to take in European Jewish refugees so that they all go to Palestine.

12- Zionism started in the mid 19th century with formation of the “Jewish Colonization Association” and became an international movement in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress. To achieve its goals, its leaders advocated transferring the native non-Jewish Palestinians.

13- The United States and other Western countries under influence of a Zionist lobby pushed for the creation of a “Jewish state” of Israel in Palestine despite the wishes of the native people.

14- Between 1947-1949, 530 Palestinian villages and towns were completely destroyed and their people made refugees. This process of forcing Palestinians out of their land continued in other forms since the founding of Israel in May 1948. Today 70% of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people.

15- Current day Israel has a set of discriminatory laws that fit the descriptions given in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Every month, the Israeli Knesset takes on more such racist laws.

16- In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and Gaza strip. Together these two areas are 22% of historic Palestine. Israel began immediately to build Jewish colonial settlements in these Palestinian lands. Contrary to International law, there are now over 200 settlements on our lands housing over 0.5 million Jewish colonial settlers.

17- Israel has built walls around the remaining Palestinian enclaves (ghettos, people warehouses, cantons, reservations) and isolated them from each other and from the rest of Palestine. These walls separate Palestinians from their lands, from other Palestinians, from schools, from hospitals etc. As an example, the Bethlehem district houses 180,000 natives, some 50,000 of us living there are refugees from 1948 period. All of us are restricted now to develop and live on only 13% of the original Bethlehem district size. 87% of the district is now under control of Israeli settlements, military bases, closed military zones etc. The Bethlehem people are isolated behind a wall and even Jerusalem (6 km away) is off-limits to us.

18- Colonialism involves violence. Over 80 massacres were committed against native Palestinians. Over 60,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers. This is ten times more than the number of Israeli civilians (most colonial settlers) killed by Palestinians. Palestinians resisted colonialism over the past 130 years mostly by using non-violent popular resistance something not widely discussed in the Western countries because of attempts to vilify the victims.

19- Palestinians and other Arab countries in conflict with Zionism have been “unreasonably reasonable” as one diplomat described it. We accept all elements of International law` and all UN (United Nations) resolutions on the issue. Israel by contrast, violated over 60 UN Security Council resolutions and over 200 UN General Assembly Resolutions. Without the USA using its veto power to shield Israel from International law at the UN SC, the number would have been doubled.

20- We Palestinians demand and are struggling for our right to return and to self-determination. We call for a democratic pluralistic state for people of all religions in our historic homeland of Palestine. We call for equality and justice. People in Europe and around the world can support us by using education, by coming to visit us, and by Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS). This is a collective human struggle similar to what happened in challenging apartheid in South Africa.

There are` many books and references available to document each point.

* * * * * * * * * *

Related discussion may be found under the following questions:

Presenting the Palestinian Side of the Conflict, Does this promote a culture of peace?

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?, Would a Truth and Reconciliation Commission help?

This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

Global Calendar of Resistance to Defend Palestine!

General strike in Palestine

Richard Falk: A Palestinian Balance Sheet: Normative Victories, Geopolitical Disappointments

Women’s leadership in the struggle for Palestinian freedom

New ICC ruling ‘opens the door’ for justice in occupied Palestine – Independent UN expert

The B’tselem Report on Israeli Apartheid

Mazin Qumsiyeh: Suggested electoral platform/program for Palestine

Amnesty International : US State Department’s attack on the BDS movement violates freedom of expression and endangers human rights protection

Palestine: 15 lessons from 15 years of BDS

Dutch pension fund divests from two Israeli banks over settlements’ finances

The Elders urge European leaders to stand firm on Israeli annexation threats

Israeli annexation of parts of the Palestinian West Bank would break international law – UN experts call on the international community to ensure accountability

Oppostion to Israel’s proposed annexation of occupied Palestinian territory

Palestine Must Live: An Online Petition

UN commemorates International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Australia: Antony Loewenstein wins the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize

Manifesto on diversity: the Land of Canaan

Uri Avnery, leader of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, 1923-2018

UN Chief Proposes Armed Peacekeeping Force to Protect Palestinians

BDS Victory: Irish Senate Approves Bill Boycotting Israeli Settlement Goods

ICC judges order outreach to victims of war crimes in Palestine

Flotilla bringing needed medical supplies to Gaza

Uri Avnery (Israel’s peace movement Gush Shalom) on Israel’s Days of Shame

The carnage against Gaza civilian protesters

Amnesty International: Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to “Great March of Return” protests

Gaza Children Cinema – Update March 2018

Great March of Return: A New Defiance Campaign

Eyeless in Gaza

Photos: #FreeAhedTamimi and #FreePalestine in Brussels, Berlin, Athens, Amsterdam, London, Jaipur, Manchester, Naples, Milan, Dortmund

Israel/OPT: Palestinian child activist Ahed Tamimi sentenced to 8 months in prison

Ahed Tamimi and the Pathology of the Israeli Mind

14th Annual Israeli Apartheid Weeks of actions

International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Israelis ‘Blacklists’ 20 pro-BDS Groups Banned from Entry, Including Nobel Winners AFSC

Ahed Tamimi: The Mandela of Palestine?

The Elders applaud Palestinian reconciliation; renew call for end to blockade of Gaza

USA: Israel-Palestine statement by the Mennonites takes a ‘third way’

Gandhi Peace Award to Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader

The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State

Confessions of a Megalomaniac by Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom (Israel)

The Elders welcome Paris Mideast peace conference, urge all P5 states to show leadership

200 legal scholars back right to boycott Israel

International Women’s Boat to Gaza

Women’s Boat to Gaza’ set to arrive in Gaza within hours amid fears of Israeli hijacking

Film review: Disturbing the Peace

Red carpet film festival asserts Gaza’s pride and talent

Freedom Flotilla will sail until the blockade of Gaza is permanently and fully lifted

The Elders welcome Paris conference as step towards two-state solution for Israel-Palestine

US: ​United Methodist Kairos Response Welcomes Pension Fund Exclusion and Divestment of Israeli Banks

Join the Palestine Museum of Natural History: Why doing so is so important

2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine

Palestine: Breaking the Silence Tour in Hebron

Letter of appreciation to the Palestinian Youth Orchestra

Gaza prepares to welcome Freedom Flotilla III

Sanctions against Israel: Round up from 2014

Le Centre de la paix organise une séance de soutien psychologique pour les enfants de Gaza

The Peace Centre organized a counseling session for Gaza's children

Despite crackdown, Palestinians organize for long-term peace

The Elders support Palestinian move to sign international treaties

Presbyterian General Assembly Votes 310-303 to Divest from Israeli Occupation

Anti-Apartheid Archbishop Tutu Calls Presbyterians to Back Divestment From Israeli Occupation

One Democratic State gaining momentum – Bethlehem Declaration

Worcester Palestinian Friendship (WPF)

Appeal: Welcome to Palestine 2012

L’appel de 'Bienvenue en Palestine 2012'

Towards a Culture of Peace and Recognition: Palestine is a UNESCO Member State

Vers une culture de Paix et Reconnaissance: La Palestine est un membre de l’UNESCO

Edward Said lecture

Students for a Free Palestine

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

Different religions come together to pray for peace in Peru

Hans Küng: Towards a Global Ethic

Sabadell, Spain: Ensuring intercultural mediation and interfaith dialogue

Switzerland: Lutheran World Federation marks World Interfaith Harmony Week

UNAOC and BMW Group Announce the 10 Finalists of the Intercultural Innovation Award

Asian church leaders call for greater interfaith cooperation

Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

Geneva: Conference on ‘Promoting Peace Together’ Promoting Human Fraternity and Harmonious Co-existence through Dialogue

Fourth edition of living together in Togo

Pope hopes his Arabian trip will help Islam-Christian relations

Pakistan: Interfaith Christmas Celebration

Panel on education and peace at UN in Geneva draws faith and secular sectors together

“Peace through dialogue: Our destiny” is theme of Mindanao Week of Peace 2018

Europe’s Religious Leaders to discuss the role of multi-religious cooperation in social cohesion

Burkina Faso: Inter-religious dialogue for peace: “It is the diversity of religions that gives meaning to religion”

Brazil: Londrina to hold meeting for peace and religious tolerance

Taiwan: The sixth Buddhist-Christian talk in progress

Burkina Faso: A forum talks about peace

Historic peacebuilding program launches in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Qatar: DICID chief highlights role in spreading peace

Spain: Melilla Unesco Center will host the presentation ‘Islam: Culture of peace and non-violence’

Jewish, Christian, Muslim Leaders Feast Together for Interfaith Ramadan Break-Fast in Istanbul

Burkina Faso: Dialogue of religions and cultures: prospects for the Ouagadougou symposium

Burkina Faso: Dialogue des religions et des cultures: tenants et aboutissants du symposium de Ouagadougou

Vatican: PCID and WCC to draw up document on Education for Peace

Niger: Niamey opens a forum on the culture of peace through religious dialogue in the subregion

Reunion: Statement from the 2016 Symposium of the Interfaith Network of the Indian Ocean

Niger: Ouverture à Niamey d’un forum sur la culture de la paix par le dialogue religieux dans la sous-région

Muslim Council of Elders, Anglican Church meeting ends on high note in Abu Dhabi

There’s a Place in India Where Religions Coexist Beautifully and Gender Equality Is Unmatched

USA: Kids4Peace Boston summer programs

Beating the drum for peace: A chat with the general secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches

A Year-long Project for “Living Together – REVE” in Niger

Un an du “Projet Revalorisation du Vivre Ensemble – REVE” au Niger

Lebanese dialogue aims to strengthen unity in diversity

For articles prior to 2015, click here

English bulletin December 1, 2015


The refugee crisis in Europe has revealed the deep contradictions in the culture of war. As stated by the Nobel Peace Prize winners in their recent meeting in Barcelona: “The refugee and migration crisis does not exist in isolation. It is a symptom of the broader problems that confront humanity that include . . . the consequences of militarism, extreme nationalism and the use of force and proxy wars by global powers in pursuit of strategic, financial and ideological interests”

In his remarks on the crisis, Nobel Prize winner Kofi Annan says that Europe should consider the refugees as a potential resource rather than a liability. Taking this into consideration, at CPNN we look this month at the many initiatives around the world that welcome and integrate refugees into their societies.

In France, 15 civil society and international organizations are currently working to welcome and integrate refugees, which includes a network of 570 associations in the “Fédération nationale des associations d’accueil et de réadaptation sociale” (National Federation of Associations for Reception and Social Integration).

In Spain, the non-governmental Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) has the commitment of organizations and institutions in solidarity with refugees that form part of its Assembly: political parties, trade unions, religious groups and NGOs and prominent personalities in the field of defense and the human rights of asylum seekers. The School for the Culture of Peace in Barcelona is presently developing a map of cities with good practices in this regard.

Latin America has long been a leader in receiving refugees, with excellent legislation in many of its countries. The fundamental principles were adopted last December in Brasilia, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees. The action plan commits Latin American and Caribbean governments to approach the problem from a humanitarian point of view. Examples of this effort include the implementation of programs such as Quality Asylum, and Borders with Solidarity and Security, which address the needs of people who live, cross or return to border areas. With regard to the current crisis, some 6,000 Syrians have been received thus far in Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

In the United States Republican governors have opposed the reception of refugees from Syria, but in response, Cities United For Immigration Action, a coalition of nearly 100 cities and counties is leading the effort to promote and execute immigration reforms nationwide. The initiative includes a letter from 18 mayors of the most important cities, including New York, Chicago and Baltimore, saying among other things that “The global refugee crisis brings with it a responsibility and opportunity to welcome those seeking exile from tyranny and oppression.”

For example, the city of New Haven expressly invited a Syrian family that had been rejected by the Republican governor of Indiana, and the family was welcomed by the Democratic governor of Connecticut: “I assured them that not only was I welcoming them, but I was proud that they’ve come to the US and come to Connecticut.”

The American humorist and movie director Michael Moore summed up the struggle in an open letter to the Republican governor of his state of Michigan: “I just wanted to let you know that, contrary to your declaration of denying Syrian refugees a home in our state of Michigan, I myself am going to defy your ban and will offer MY home in Traverse City, Michigan, to those very Syrian refugees you’ve decided to keep out. I will contact the State Department to let them know I am happy to provide a safe haven to any Syrian refugee couple approved by the Obama administration’s vetting procedures in which I have full faith and trust. . . I’m asking anyone who can, anyone who has spare rooms in their homes or an empty apartment, cottage, or whatever, to make it available for Syrian and Iraqi refugees . . . THIS is what we want the “American way” to be from now on. No more war, or interfering in other people’s lives, no more turning our backs on the messes that we’ve created.”

And finally, we salute the 50 cities of ICORN (The International Cities of Refuge Network). Each ICORN member is a city of refuge and provides temporary shelter through residencies for persecuted writers and artists. The residency is typically for two years. According to ICORN, these “writers and artists represent a rich resource for the entire network of cities. They bring new impulses to the cultural life of each city; they contribute to enhancing knowledge about different cultures in your city and enrich our debate, our insight and our understanding.”

In the long run, the refugees can enrich our debate, our insight and our understanding that we must move from the present culture of war to a global culture of peace.



The Barcelona Declaration – Refugees: Meeting the Challenge to Our Humanity



International dialogue on gender equality in the media to be held in Geneva


USA Exclusive: Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror


Nearly 100 Home-based Workers from 24 Countries Gather in Delhi to Adopt Historic Delhi Declaration on Workers’ Rights


food sovereignty
We are the solution: African women organize for land and seed sovereignty


New Cities of Peace


Angola to host biennial on culture of peace in Africa


USA: Restorative Practices in Schools

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?


As a response to this question, CPNN readers are encouraged to read the full text of the analysis of the refugee crisis in Europe by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a speech on October 9, 2015.

Here are a few excerpts from his speech:

* * * * * *

The refugee crisis is a by-product of at least three broader trends:

First and foremost, it is the result of the breakdown of the authoritarian state order in the Middle East and Africa after the destruction of authoritarian states in Iraq and Libya, as well as the Arab Spring.

What we are witnessing today is not just a series of civil wars, but also a geopolitical struggle to redefine the balance of powers in the Middle East.

Second, the inability of the Security Council to find a compromise that can resolve the crisis in Syria has undermined its own authority and perpetuated the conflict.

Finally, the growing migratory flows are also compounded by demographic growth in countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa that are unable to generate sufficient employment for young people.

The populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East have multiplied by four since 1950 . On current trends, both will double again their 2000 populations by 2050.

This underlying trend is exacerbating political instability in the Middle East and Africa and fuelling migration.

Europe sees the massive influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa as a threat.

In reality, it is an endorsement of the European project, an opportunity, but also a challenge that will require decisive action.

Europe is a symbol of freedom, prosperity and justice that attracts immigrants. At a time when the EU is not popular within its own borders, Europeans should reflect on the significance of their popularity abroad.

But migrants should not be regarded merely as beneficiaries of Europe’s bounty: they also represent an opportunity for Europe itself.

By definition, immigrants are entrepreneurial people. After all, they have taken huge risks to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that they are over-represented amongst entrepreneurs. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant .

I am certain that many of the wealthy philanthropists in this room, like Mr. Arton himself, are immigrants or children of immigrants.

Moreover, immigrants can help to compensate for the ageing population of many European countries, and can therefore help sustain their welfare states into the future.

* * * * * *

The historic refugee crisis Europe is facing today is so hard to solve because it is not a one-off, humanitarian phenomenon.

It is, in fact, a by-product and symptom of much deeper political problems that beset regional and global order.

It will therefore require concerted action not just in and by Europe, but amongst the regional powers of the Middle East, and the global powers of the Security Council.

Like climate change, it is one of those issues that epitomise our era of globalisation, when crises in one part of the world can no longer be isolated or ignored by the rest.

Once again, international cooperation and dialogue will be the key to finding solutions.

According to an African proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

We have a long way to go; we can only do so if we go together.

This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

Milan, Italy: Anti-racism protesters denounce Italy’s right-wing government

Italy: Mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples “Rebelled” against a Tough Anti-Immigrant Law

France: Culture for Peace Award to The Artists in Exile Workshop

The Elders challenge leaders to confront migration lies and make UN deal a success

Artist’s Portraits Show Migrant Caravan’s Hope, Joy: ‘These Are Regular People’

UNESCO recognizes Cortes de Baza for Dialogue and Coexistence

Nobel Women’s Initiative: Standing with Rohingya Women, Spotlighting Survivors for World Refugee Day

The Coming Wave of Climate Displacement

France / Refugees. Resumption of Trial of Martine Landry, Member of Amnesty International France and Anafé Unfairly Pursued for “Crime of Solidarity”

Germany: The dead refugees lament! Action September 5

Barcelona demonstration calls for the reception of refugees

Una multitud clama en Barcelona por la acogida de refugiados

From the “jungle” to the theater, refugees replay their exile to Europe

De la “jungle” au théâtre, des réfugiés rejouent leur exil vers l’Europe

The international Society Culture of Peace: Solidarity concerts in Athens and Mytilini / Lesbos

Greece: Union pushes for access to education for all refugee children

The Elders hail Germany’s engagement on refugee and migration issues

USA: Refugee Orchestra Project Showcases Refugees” Impact through Music on World Refugee Day

Grecia: Un sindicato nacional ejerce presión en favor del acceso a la educación para todos los niños refugiados

Grèce: Un syndicat national exerce des pressions afin de garantir l’accès à l’éducation de tous les enfants réfugiés

MOAS & EMERGENCY NGO partner up to provide rescue and medical care to migrants in the Mediterranean

Hundreds join refugee solidarity rally in Madrid, slamming NATO invasions

Latin America heeds the cries of refugees

The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)

USA: Indiana Said No; New Haven Said Yes To Refugees

France: Comment venir en aide aux réfugiés ?

France: How to help the refugees?

Michael Moore (USA): My home is open for Syrian refugees

Spain: The Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid

UNHCR welcomes first arrivals of Syrian refugees in Canada

The Barcelona Declaration – Refugees: Meeting the Challenge to Our Humanity

USA: 18 mayors join forces to commend Obama administration, and call on them to accept more refugees amid Syrian crisis

2015 MacBride Prize to Lampedusa (Italy) and Gangjeon Village, Jeju Island (S. Korea)

Is dropping more bombs on Syria way to solve refugee crisis?

Bulletin English July 1, 2015


The commercial mass media, always eager for headlines of violence, is having a good time telling us about all the atrocities committed by Boko Haram and the Islamic State, which have inherited their mantles from Al Queda. They give us the impression that we have found the new enemy and we have no choice but to go to war. They don’t give much priority to non-military approaches to counter the terrorism. However, such approaches do exist, as we see this month in the articles of CPNN.

Let us begin with the comprehensive strategy for “A Cultural Program to Reject Extremism and Violence” by Ismail Serageldin. It is not an abstract academic proposal but is based on the extensive experience of the organization he heads, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. He provides us with “seeds of hope” for a Cultural Transformation in the Arab World as an alternative to the fanaticism and “barbaric terrorism being displayed by the forces of the so-called “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria.

According to the Elders, “There is no other option but to use the military option, but at the same time it is always important to understand that military operations can never succeed in dealing with these kinds of forces unless and until a good social and political strategy is implemented in the areas where these forces are not active” If force must be used it must be “after a political and social agenda has been constructed on what to do thereafter.”

While calling for nonviolent approaches, the Elders are clear that past military interventions have been a major cause for the increased terrorism we see in recent years. According to Elder Mary Robinson, “I think a lot of the problems stem from an unjustified and incredibly damaging war in Iraq. It humiliated, the “shock and awe”, the whole sense of it, and then, I think, it broke a trust somehow which is going to be very hard to rebuild.”

Serageldin is very clear that as a major cause of the rise of the terrorist Islamic State, “the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent mismanagement of the tense ethnic and religious cleavages in that society dealt a traumatic blow to the self-confidence of Muslims, who viewed the direct invasion by America and its allies of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as a direct humiliation of Muslims by the West. Furthermore, the systematic murder of civilians by the use of drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere; all served to inflame sentiments of victimization that fed the Muslim majorities’ emotional despair.”

According to the peacebuilding specialist John Paul Lederach, what is needed is a policy of nonviolent engagement with the people in the groups that have been labeled as terrorists, rather than a policy of isolation. For example, we should be engaged with the women of Syria, at the heart of the region that is being terrorized, who are courageously promoting a culture of peace by stopping child marriage, uniting refugees and host communities, policing the streets, listening to marginalized groups, reopening schools, helping families survive, reforming corrupt courts, vaccinating children, disarming youth and mobilizing a movement for peace. A good example of engagement is the work of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, as described in their “Urgent Update from South Sudan.”

The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone provides a voice of wisdom in her address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Faced with an “an increasing wave of terrorist insurgencies and unrests across the globe”, “we must endeavour to undertake initiatives ranging from humanitarian activities to mediation with a view to nurturing and promoting the culture of peace and tolerance among peoples.”

And in Benin, the conference for a “general mobilization against the danger of Boko Haram” concluded that ““Military force will not be enough to annihilate the jihadist movement.” Instead what is needed is “trust between followers of different religions to build together a better society with development and peace and to mobilize the enthusiasm around concrete tasks whose priority is recognized by all.”


Benin encourages interfaith dialogue against Boko Haram


Argentina: Massive march against gender violence in front of the Congress


Gaza prepares to welcome Freedom Flotilla III


Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Canada guilty of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples


Colombia: FARC and the Government Will Create a Truth Commission


The Challenge: A Cultural Program to Reject Extremism and Violence


FAO: World hunger falls to under 800 million, eradication is next goal


Colombia: Teaching peace

Islamic extremism, how should it be opposed?


For one response to this question, see The Elders debate “should military action be taken against Islamic State?”

Readers are encouraged to comment below on this theme which refers to the following CPNN articles:

Cameroon: A radio station for the protection of the Waza biosphere reserve

Civil society in northeast Syria promotes women’s role to fight extremism

Morocco: Combating the radicalization of young people via the Internet

Burkina Faso: Struggle against radicalization: Imams and preachers strengthen their knowledge

Ivory Coast: The Mohammed VI Foundation preaches the return to the sources of Islam through the Achâarite doctrine

Dakar: International Post-Forum Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa

Book review: A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo

Challenge of Tackling Terrorism Threat Can Be Achieved through Solidarity, Secretary-General Tells African Union Peace and Security Council

The League of Ulema, Preachers and Imams of the Sahel Countries: Communication to counter extremism

Egypt : Launch of the 27th session of the International Conference on Islamic Affairs

Lancement de la 27ème session de la conférence internationale des affaires islamiques

Benin encourages interfaith dialogue against Boko Haram

Speech of Sierra Leone Foreign Minister to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Nonviolent Peaceforce: Urgent Update from South Sudan

The Challenge: A Cultural Program to Reject Extremism and Violence

The Elders debate “should military action be taken against Islamic State?”

Algérie: Séminaire sur l’islam et le rejet de la violence les 12 et 13 août à Laghouat

Algeria: Seminar on Islam and rejection of violence on 12 and 13 August in Laghouat

The Global Movement Of Moderates: An Effective Counter To Islamic State? – Analysis

Search for Common Ground: Take Action to End Violence against Civilians

Mali: The struggle against terrorism: Towards the creation of a global network of Ulemas

Togo in the struggle against terrorism: The “Pacific Magazine” plays its part

Togo Lutte contre le terrorisme : Le « Magazine le Pacific » joue sa partition