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February 2010

t r u t h o u t | What the Muslim World Can Teach Us About Nonviolence

Please don't get stuck on the standard lines that "all these people understand is violence" and "their religion is based on violence." If we are to judge Muslims as a whole based on the actions of a small sample of fanatics, then we have to apply the same gaze to ourselves, and it isn't a pretty reflection looking back. Terrorists have hijacked Islam just as they putatively have our airplanes and civil liberties here in America. Every religion, especially the monotheistic ones, can be used to justify aggression, but it's equally true that at the core of each faith is a nod toward the virtues of peace and love. All that Gandhi really did was to take this core and deploy it in actual practice, touching that same part of the aggressor and asking his own people to embrace the essence of nonviolence unflinchingly and unequivocally. It worked in India and it could work again in the beset nations of the Muslim world.


Cathie's notes: I like the way author Randall Amster is thinking about this.

Why Are Americans Passive as Millions Lose Their Homes, Jobs, Families and the American Dream? | | AlterNet

What happened is a result of at least five major, interrelated forces. One is a transformation of American morality, and with it the loss of belief that the social and political realms could be shaped by morality, ethics, and secular spirituality. Another is an economic depression. A third is a transformation of the family, which has been the foundation of American emotional life. A fourth is the decimation of Americans' social participation in all areas, from bridge clubs and PTAs to political parties. A fifth is the tranquilizing and numbing of the American population with psychotropic medications.