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Tim Colgan

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How can the Islamic and non-Islamic peoples get along better?

There is a lot of conflict between Islamic and non-Islamic people:
. War in Iraq.
. War in Afghanistan
. Chechnya/Russia.
. Balkans
. Indonesia
. Northern Africa/sub-Saharan Africa
. Uyghurs of China
. Israel/Palestine

What is necessary for us to get along better?

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    May 23 2011: I'm not sure it's just the Muslims who have had public relations issues. Fighting over religion has been the sport of man for a very, very long time. Since the muslim states are far from unified, and the west is appearing more and more like a single superpower; it would be up to us to better understand the Muslim states. Since we do not understand them as well as we should, we will never get along.

    This is essentially a culture war, and one that continues to stem from the separation of church and state. The same thing is happening in the United States, where debates of the quote "One Nation under God" are being held.

    I believe the answer is leaving Religion off the political agenda. Freedom of Religion is what should be spread to all people.
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    May 13 2011: Everyone could start my actually reading the Koran(Qu'aran) in community. It is very much rooted in the ancient wisdom traditions and even reveres Jesus and his mother Mary, honors all the same prophets. It has no more call to violence and strange admonitions than our own Bible.
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      May 13 2011: too bad, just like the bibile, some people hold these books to "interpretation"
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        May 15 2011: yes just as chistian fundamentalists have tried to harness American law to their beliefs causing chaos and division radical islamic fundamentalists have manipulated the faithful to violence..so far though we've seen nothing to equal the violence of the christian church in the inquisition or its silent complicity during the holocaust. all of the wolrds great religions, ancient wisdom traditions teach the same values of charity compassion and peace.
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          May 18 2011: Lindsay, My worry IS the actual words on the pages. We can accept that they are dismissed and ameliorated by interpreters but the words of the Old testament of the bible or many passages of the Koran when interpreted literally- exactly as written on the pages - are scary.
          If, as many believe - these books were written by God or Allah himself- how do earnest believers just poo - poo them away with some sort of lofty rationalization? The answer is that many do not.

          With many people in this world still illiterate and even more at very literal levels of comprehension how can we just say the threat doesn't exist? Especially when we have seen the outcome. Especially when it is backed by the very fundamental and very rich Saudi nation.

          I have been in some seriously scary churches with some seriously literal interpretation and I do not see why it would be any different for any other Holy book or religious group.
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        May 20 2011: Hi debra..I didn't see your comment here until today.I cant speak for the history of the Koran as written today and I am no biblical historian or scholar..I agree many incomprehensible things in the old testament and a few hadiths in the Koran seem not to be about love and peace. And the new testament is in many ways a very political document that excluded many beloved early christain teachings.

        I think my point was just that manipulation of religious beliefes for political ends isn't new ..it's an old story and actually is being played out in the US with the religious fundamentalists.

        Not a very compelling arguement on my part I'd have to admit.. just a small reminder that Jihad and the terrible acts that have come from it have counterparts in Christain history.

        I know you agree, there are always dangers when we paint any group with abroad buish and discount everyone in that group. It's just silly to think all Muslims share the values of terrorists. Just as it's silly to judge all christian by the extreme and often juts plain silly things fundamentalists do and say.
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          May 20 2011: We are in absolute agreement that people need to be treated as individuals with minds and feelings and hearts. We hardly need more people hurting people or their feelings. That is why I believe so profoundly in discovering what another person actually feels or means and where their heart is. They are not 'Muslims' they are people like the sweet young man who has posted just below us. Muhammad is a 19 year old man with a heart of purest gold.
          In earnestly contending mind to mind with him, I learned that he is a really fine human being. While we may not see spiritual things in the same way- we do agree on the need to be truly caring toward one another.
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        May 20 2011: @debra..@people heart to heart yes..what you do here..working through differences with others, working through and opening up explorations of issues presented, building conversations is all good work..important work. That's what builds community..that's what builds a capacity to have a civil conversation about worthy issues.
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    May 13 2011: Hi Tim
    The list you mentioned, all elements of those are not really Islam versus non Islam

    War in Iraq is nothing but an war of getting control oil resource. Saddam himself was heading Bath Party which had no islamic agenda in it rather it was a psuedosocialistic agenda.

    Afganistan was a result of Cold War while the the Soviet Union existed and this Islamic element was introduced by the NATO.

    Isarel was a transplanted country again with an agenda of having control on Oil Resource of Middle east.

    Others are merely conflict of estabilishing regional dominance by greedy politicians.

    So I don't see those as really being differences between Islamic & Non Islamic peoples.

    However , I strongly believe Islamic world has to open up to the non Islamic people.

    Just due to my curiosity to history & culture I visited Vatican , and many other religious places of Hindus, Bhudhas , nobody stopped me. Tthough had to maintain certain rules and didn't have full access, that's fine because that's not necessay for my curiosity.

    But interestingly the Holy City of Mecca is completely out of the bound of any non islamic people, reason for which is completely unclear to me.

    Islamic people need to be more open. If people can't go near them how they will understand them.
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      May 14 2011: Fascinating observations Salim. Although I don't subscribe to "The Clash of Civilizations" viewpoint, it is at times difficult to totally discount it.

      In the same way that it appeared that communism and capitalism were two world-views that were inherently incompatible, it at times seems that Islamic and non-Islamic peoples have the same type of thing going on. Despite the fact that as individuals we may be able to connect on a personal level, is it possible that these two world-views are incompatible at a societal level?
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        May 14 2011: Hi Tim

        Was just putting the events in to time frame to understand those a bit deep.

        You see until the terrifying monster MINOTAUR (communism) existed there was no threat from Islamism. As that minotaur flew away like PHONEIX through the wide open window of PERESTROIKA we saw the rise of Saddam, Laden etc...

        Still now the whole Middle East (so called Islamic world) is full of medieval tyrants but they were & are very good friends to the power centres.

        Only in recent past as the people over there when trying to fight back & couple of monsters fallen down as a result , good wishes of power centres become visible.

        No media is talking about what happened to Bahrain and some other countries. Libyan gangster was stripped off it's clothes by his own brutality in the face of people's rebellion against decades old brutality, media is focusing only there....and good wish intercepted but things really happening very slow.

        About others the world is quiet now. Defintely it will not remain quiet long..... if the reason of economy press it hard really, you will see things will take a different turn.

        War is really a profitable economic game as it costs few hundred thousand lives only or a bit more !!!

        Thanks for your compliments Tim.
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          May 18 2011: Salim: In your comment on Mecca you bring up a very interesting subject.

          Saudi Arabia is indeed a unique case. Sitting on top of huge oil reserves. Ruled by a monarch. Birthplace of bin Laden and most of the 9/11 terrorists (and their financiers as well). Wealthy yet archaic in their religious fundamentalism which doesn't even allow woman to show their face in public.

          What are your insights on this country? Could the monarch stay in power without religion?
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          May 19 2011: Hey Tim, can we include Yemen in that question for Salim? Indications are that is where the radicals have fled to.
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          May 19 2011: Sure. I didn't know that about Yemen. But it makes sense. That is where bin Laden's father was from. Correct me if you know differently, but it appears that the religious-based oppressive regime of Saudi Arabia allows no possibility for opposition. No means of representation of the people. Has the backing of US military (personnel and equipment). And the result is terrorism. So when they squeeze down on the opposition, where would it flee? Yemen seems like a natural choice.

          edit: Which would also explain the Saudi suppression of the Yemen revolts (again with US military equipment).
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          May 19 2011: The biggest movement was from Afganistan to Yemen.
          There is no opposition for a couple of reasons. One is that oil money goes to every one of the members of the Royal family (and there are lots) and that all business is done by royal grant of an area of business and no one else can be in that business.
          I don't think there is much 'squeezing down' either just a lot of 'speaking with forked tongue" and good advice about when to get out of Dodge!.
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        May 21 2011: Hi Tim
        Saudi is a biazarrely unique case. My observation can turn in to a whole book , but afraid of being off track of the discussion.

        Yes your observation is partially right, religion is one of the protectors of the monarch but equally important is US blessing. Supports from tribal leaders to small extent is also needed. And all these are being bought buy oil money , so what is the biggest protector of monarchy you think now ? Not going other intricate details of my understanding.

        No form organisation / club (other than business or office) is allowed there. Women are not only fully covered but also can't enter in any restaurant if there is no so called family section available. If invited to other house with family , women had to enter that house throug a separate small door and so on...... Lot lot Saudis are in jails of Saudi for decades with out any trial as they expressed a bit differences of opinion some time and could not flee away of the country there after.

        What @ Debra talked about oil money is right.

        Yemen is the poor country has been being under strict control for decades by a recently fallen monster is funded both by US & Saudi. Mountainous tarrain not easy to access made it heaven for extrimists to defiants Saudi rulers. Money from Saudi goes there just to kill mostly the difiants.

        It's really spider net kind of situation in the whole middle east. Wonder who is the biggest friend of US in Middle East though widely believed thought is it's Israel , I am really doubtful.

        Debra thanks for your comments in your earlier post here , which I took as a compliment that I doubt I deserve though :), I know you know lot about the area from a diplomate viewpoints , mine one is rather superficial observation of people from the street .
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          May 21 2011: Salim, I think that the street view is the one most diplomats wish they could get. As to the complement- any time, my friend when someone deserves it as much as you do.
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          May 21 2011: Yemen was once one of the richest countries on earth- the source of Frankinscence for perfumes and incensce. It was for a long time the most valuable sustance on earth and it was made from the rosin of a pine tree there. When the bottom fell out of that industry, it eventually became what it is today- among the very poorest. It is on no ones map for foreign aid. What a perfect place for bad guys to gather.
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      May 15 2011: Thank you Salim. Framing all these conflicts as between Islamic and non Islamic peoples is missing the underlying actual economic and political causes of the conflicts .Tim, .perhaps unintentionally, the framing of your question implies a fear of Islam, suggests that Islam is a threat to world peace. Imperialism and exploitation are threats to world peace. Domination and exploitation of other nations natural resources are threats to world peace. Islam is not a threat to wolrd peace.
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        May 15 2011: You are welcome Lindsay, it's my pleasure....
        I know your good intension but really there is no concern with title as I feel I know Tim a bit by this time :).
        According rules of communication that's the right title , as it is being perceived by vast majority in that way. Even if someone can prove me it's happening that way I am open to accept :)
        Have a good day
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        May 15 2011: Will really love to cheer up with you someday in real , Richard my friend :)
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        May 15 2011: Lindsay: Totally agree that the framing of my question was meant to be provocative (as in "to provoke response") and is not a complete picture. Does religion cause war? Or are all wars purely economic?

        I would argue that religion enables war. It is not correct to say Islam is unique in this respect. I doubt the invasion of Iraq would have occurred without the Christian mindset in the White House. But Islam does appear to be driving a wedge between people. I think it is valid to address that as an issue.
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          May 15 2011: Hi TimNeither could I completely disagree nor agree full.So far the wars happened I feel because of lust wealth or power with a mask of religion mostly & also some other time with the mask of extreme nationalism or any other ism.

          Can you find out a single war in which the winner had not take control wealth & women were not violated (please don't misunderstand me to be sexist or putting both in parallel, I am just telling the fact and I fully resent that nasty notion towards women) of the losers?
          In old age actually the people were motivated to join the army and war by telling that if they win they will get part of wealth of the enemies.

          The first & foremost thing winners do is rob all the wealth (earlier they used to capture people and sell them as slave as well) they can from the country they won. They don't focus much on establishing their religion or ism of which they used as mask to bring the war in place.

          How many of those warlords / kings / generals are religious really? But yes they have blessings of religious group on them. What I know to a great extent the underlying benefit of Afgan war is the control over highly profitable poppy cultivation & it's trade by the Talibans & other Afgan warlords. So again economics in forefornt , though it's ecomoics drugs !!

          All religions instinctively hold up hatred for others so it definitely can cause itself war theoretically but in practical one can see the economics & lust of power behind.I agree some people with Islamic belief are supplying the basic raw materials to instigate war but for whom they are playing the role not sure really as the meaning of Islam itself is Peace ! !!
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          May 15 2011: Hi Tim. and yes I see and undersatnd more clearly now the intent in your framing and it has brought out a great deal that we need to explore here at Ted Conversations. There is an emerging theme here, at least inmy mind if not directly in the comments , and that is something to do with this idea that church and state can in practice ever be divisible. It's still incubating so I don't have much to say that's useful ..I'm just all of a sudden wrestling with the bold American experiment in governance that tried to protect religios freedoms through a separation of church and state and the reality that for all of humanity, within the tribe church and state are one..the only other is the distant enemy. So I am wrestling with , is whether our experiement is really working as well as t could in a modern pluralistic democracy in a modern pluraistic wolrd community. How do you actually separte church and state and have actually done that here in America. ( half formed..probably shouldn't have put it out buut it is feeling deeply connecetd tot he question here) .
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        May 16 2011: Without a glass of beer , how can we cheer Richard ?

        By the way if you have any travel plan in my part of the world (I am in Sri lanka now will be here for sometime) just let me know, local beers here are great as well :)
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    May 13 2011: In my opinion, (as a muslim) i think that the non-muslim people should really know what Islam truly means.Islam is a religion of peace.Maybe you guys will say the opposite because of the existence of religious fanatics.But they don't represent Islam at all.As for muslims, I would really like to tell them that not all people of the West are bad.If everyone understands each other, I am sure that we can get along well.Take Malaysia for example, muslims and non-muslims live side by side but nothing bad happened.As a conclusion , i will like to say that peace will exist if you promote it. =)
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      May 15 2011: Muhammad: Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your insights.

      I know very little about Malaysia, but it sounds like a fascinating place. It does appear that there is a great deal of religious diversity there and that people manage to live in relative peace. In reading up on your country I discovered that although 60% of the people there are Muslim, only the Sunni branch is allowed.

      How do you explain that although the constitution allows freedom of religion, it does no permit non-Sunni Islam to be practiced? What are people afraid of?
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        May 19 2011: Dear Tim, its a good question there.The law was created in order to retain the harmony of the country.Did you know that according to the shiah view of Islam, they believe they can kill anyone who does not follow the sect ,even sunni muslims. But we do respect anyone who follows the sect but in one condition, they do it peacefully and they don't intend to threaten anyone who does not follow their sect.This is what you don't find in the news,Tim.You may say that you don't need a holy book to be a good person.But with a holy book,it helps a lot.
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          May 19 2011: Dear Zainal
          l disagree with you ,what you said about Shithis (Shias) as it's not exclusive to them only. Most of the Islamic extrimists now a days creating havoc are sunnis.

          Actually to understand better the conflict of Shithis & Sunnis we need to go back to the history & look in to just after the assassination of 4th Khalifa of Islam. (I don't understand why out of 4 Khalifas, three were assassinated when the meaning of Islam is peace).

          Besides other than Shithi & Sunni there are lot more sects and sub sects in Muslim world. With in sunnis also there are numbers of sub sects and each is hostile to others. I can't understand why one Islam has so many sects with such a high degree of intolerance ?

          Your way of defending that law is not an comfortable one, it's clear violation of human rights. Definitely law of the soil can protect any of it's citizens through proper enforcement of criminal law , does not really need to ban any group unless they are dreadly to other citizen which Sithis are not. In many countries these two sects are co-existing. Even Sunni dominated Saudi ruled by archaic law did not ban them ever.

          Like many I am also amazed with economic development & beauty of Malaysia. However the leadership of Malaysia headed Dr. Mahathir didn't only focus to religion to bring stability to the country to drive development. It's a country of multi ethnicity , multi culture & multi language. Even 60% muslims are not from single ethnic group. So what I feel religion was only a small block of the whole puzzle that leadership solved to a great extent. Just an example , Malaysian's use English alphabets to write , thats the way the language issue was solved.

          I agree with you about apparent religious harmony in Malaysia but you can't disagree existance of extrimists group though they are small and govt is very careful about them.

          Sad to say in my many short travels to Malaysia I observed lot of racist behaviour from people in general of such a developed economy !!!
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        May 20 2011: Dear Salim, I am sorry if your visit to my country was not pleasant to you.But frankly speaking, being a citizen of this country, I don't see any racist behaviour at all of these years! In fact, we embrace diversity. I do agree with you that sunni muslims also cause havoc but you have to agree with me that most of them are not Malaysians.About the shiah group here, you really have to know the case first before accusing the government of being intolerant.The group wanted to disrupt the harmony of the country.That is what they say in the news.Find the meaning of the sentence.
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          May 20 2011: Dear Zainal

          Sorry for my ignorance about a Al Qaida kind of Shiah group in your country , as Al Qaida is banned in most countries so your country can also ban that specific Shia group. However I disagree about your comment on overall Shia community with in Muslim world.

          Well that's inherent characteristic of religious groups where each thinks other is dead wrong.

          Don't want to take the discussion off track, just to ensure you ,I myself never faced any racist behavior , what I told is my observation of wide spread racist behavior to the immigrant workers in your country.

          These workers went your country becasue your country need them to keep your economy moving , so they desreve better treatment.

          By the way I last visited your country in Feb'10.
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    May 15 2011: "Hurt no one that no one may hurt you" Muhammad, Last Sermon
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    May 13 2011: You know, I have been thinking about this issue some more and I have begun to think that many of our problems are in the way we personally view the roles of groups in history. If you are holding me accountable for something you believe my ancestors did- that means that you are prejudiced against me for things I cannot and never did control.

    For example - if a black person holds a white person responsible for the injustices of slavery- they are more like the slavers than the person they hold responsible! They are thinking like the slaver while I only look like them. This hypothetical black person is now makinig an assumption of my being 'less than' based on my race just as the slavers did to justify their actions. If I am just me and you are just you- we live in the exchanges and experiences of this lifetime- not of generations we never lived. Science has proven that we are all one human family decended genetically from a particualar woman of history. She must be looking down on us and wishing to yell "Don't make me come down there!"
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      May 14 2011: That's a fascinating observation Debra. Correlates with the fact that there are ongoing wars in places where people have lived for centuries without moving around much.

      Perhaps continual migration is the solution. What do you think?
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        May 14 2011: Hi Tim, The new world has much to recommend it. The people of German descent who live in the Americas were just our neighbours even though we fought against that nation in the World Wars. Many Vietnamese live peaceful lives in the USA without carrying forward the attributions of the past. In my country many previously combatant people live and work side by side and see that no one is interested in perpetuating old grudges. The North American countries are by no means perfect but we have a fairly good track record of people living side by side in peace.Perhaps though, the very best course of action is for all of us to 'migrate' in our thinking to accept that the person before us is not their ancestor - and might even be a victim of those persons too.
    • May 14 2011: Hi Debra. I am afraid I must disagree with some of your comments, specifically - "if a black person holds a white person responsible for the injustices of slavery- they are more like the slavers than the person they hold responsible!" Africans in the US and other colonies were enslaved by forcibly removing them from their countries, separated from families, confined in holding areas under the most horrific conditions, chained and shackled and piled into ships, again in the most horrific conditions under which many died, on a journey that took many weeks. They were sold like cattle, abused, overworked, beaten, murdered - treated less than modern cattle doomed to the slaughter house. You suggest that the descendants of these slaves should feel no resentment towards the descendants of people who treated their ancestors like this, and if they feel resentment, they are no better than the enslavers themselves. I think if they were all Vulcans like Spock they could rationalize away the resentments. However, being humans, it is difficult to think of the suffering that their ancestors endured and not be upset. I suspect that some might look at the average person today and think " your wealth was gained from the blood, sweat, tears and humanity of my ancestors".

      Let me put this another way, suppose you are the mother of Eman al Obeidy, the Libyan woman who has been in the news recently. You carried her, nurtured her as a child, sacrificed to send her to law school. then she is captured, imprisoned, bound, gang raped, sodomised, beaten, maligned. Let's say the rapists have sons. If Eiman al Obeidy was your daughter, would you be able to see the sons of those rapists and rationalise " these are just the sons, they were not the savages who brutalised my daughter. I see them as any other human and I feel compassion for them". I could not.
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        May 14 2011: I could have written these words myself awhile ago, Julie Ann,
        But where does the hatred get any of us?
        I am actually not a bad example of the issues. I am 'white' but I have the blood of a Native Canadian women in my viens and although I have not yet found the actual proof, I beleive that I have the blood of an East Indian woman in me too. My grandmother, an orphan of a British India soldier and a woman from India came to Canada from England as a 'bonded servant' at 13 - having been told that that she was 18 (she did not discover her real age until she thought she was 65 and was denied her pension. She worked as a virtual slave for 10 years 'to pay off her passage', The women in my ancestry were treated very badly. Where would it get me to hold anyones' ancestors responsible? I was the first woman to take a skilled trade at General Motors in Canada. What good would it do for me to hold the children of the men who did horrible things to me at that time responsible? I long ago realized that those kids lived with those men and they might have- possibly- lived under that cruelty in their own homes. Maybe not- but if not that is a good thing.

        Julie Ann- racism, sexism, and all other violations of human rights need to be credited to the people who were definately responsible- the actors themselves. I struggled to learn this. As the first person in my family to go on to higher education, then to get an MA and an MBA everything I have learned makes the idea of generational blame untenable.

        In addition, I have a son who has worked at the Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia. My duaghter-in-law is a diplomat in her own right. While in Saudi her rights were reduced to the level of all Saudi women except when at the Canadian Embassy- and she can have compassion while not condone the way women are treated there.
        • May 14 2011: Hi Debra - totally get it. But I do think it is unreasonable to say that they are more like the slavers than the person they hold responsible. Slavery was a horrible, horrible thing. I have Irish friends who tell me stories similar to yours. I think they have every right to feel pangs of resentment, but it does not mean that they are like the perpetrators. That's my only concern with the statement.
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        May 14 2011: PS Thinking shapes all our actions and I may look white but I do not want to ever think like those slavers- or the people who did what they did to my ancestors- because that opens up the possiblity that I would someday act like them.
        We live in a system that intentionally does not hold "the sins of the fathers against the children unto the 3rd or 4th generation" which is a quote from the scriptures that all of the Abrahamic relgions share.
        • May 15 2011: I understand and I have great respect for your outlook. But I think when there is legitimate pain it has to be acknowledged, because these emotions allow us to say - no more, never again. Injustice happens on so many levels - on the basis of religion, race, gender. Within a single race, there is discrimination on the basis of tribes, class, caste, colour. It seems there is always some reason to look down on someone else - some sick human need. The question is - how do we get past this? I personally do not think it lies simply in empathy or the third side or other such ideas. I think it lies in an understanding of a much more complex nature - an understanding which encompasses many of the questions posed here - who are we, what is our purpose, do we have free will, did we evolve or were we created, is there a hell, what happens when we die, do we have a soul, is there a God etc etc- all of these are valid questions.

          I think we need a unified theory of existence, not unlike the theory of everything in physics, that will provide the single elusive answer to these many questions. Perhaps then we will understand our place, the reason for being, how we are related to each other. Perhaps then we will realize that whether we are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, white, black, man, woman - whatever we are, we are all the same. We are a far way from this, but it is encouraging to see the questions being asked because only by asking will we find answers. Cheers :-)
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        May 15 2011: Julie Ann, your posts always impress me with your intellect and your heart. You are so right. Pain should be acknowledged. It is an important part of any healing process. Pain always means something so we must learn to listen to its messages. I am happy to dialogue with you any day. Cheers to you too!
        • May 15 2011: and thank you for your grace :-)
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    May 12 2011: trade
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      May 13 2011: that is so true
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      May 15 2011: Krisztian: Agreed that any form of interaction is bound to increase understanding and tolerance between people. And that trade is essential.

      But Saudi Arabia has a great deal of trade with the west. You could say that their economy is based on international trade. Yet it has become the core of Islamic terrorism. What more is needed?
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    May 12 2011: Education would be my answer, but even that has been acutely politicized. Imagine, even in the U.S., there are pockets or resistance to evolution.

    Perhaps if Woody Allen's mother from RADIO DAYS chastized us from the heavens.
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      May 15 2011: Lynn: Education is definitely an essential for human progress. But how do you educate people to be tolerant when their culture educates them with a religious perspective which is inherently intolerant?
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    May 13 2011: Peace is such an elusive thing. I like the way you reduced the task to simply getting along better. What if everyone just got busy taking care of their own business, kept their eyes on their own behaviour and tried to live up to their own highest ideals without expecting others to do as you do? The Islamic nations of the past did a pretty good job of inclusion, repect and of courtesy for other points of view. It is my impression that Moorish Spain was quite a cooperative place. It would be nice if we could- from which ever perspective we take- go back to the idea of live and let live.
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    May 12 2011: I think a lot of it has to do with tolerance. People need to learn to be less afraid of others who are "different" and instead choose to love all humans equally. I think that breaking away from nation-states and accepting a more global citizen attitude will also encourage others to connect on a deeper level.

    However, I doubt that the idea of tolerance/acceptance will be used by military forces, and it is hard to believe that we will ever see peace in the near future.
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      May 12 2011: Hi Paige, I loved a recent post on another thread that reminded all of us that tolerance has the sense of 'putting up with' while respect might be the term we are searching for.
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        May 13 2011: I really like that idea! I definitely agree that respect is probably the best term for this situation!
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        May 13 2011: yes, great point Debra..respect is what we are striving for..very very different from tolerance
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      May 15 2011: Hi Paige. Looks like you kicked off an interesting discussion. My question is - how do we become tolerant/respectful of people who are acting in ways that we can't tolerate (discriminating against women, corporal punishment, etc)?

      aside: I'm sure others find things they can't tolerate in us - our military domination, deterioration of family, pornography, etc.