3) No more political correctness. Political correctness means operatively “behaving socially right” or “behaving with fairness in societal interactions”. However, the deep sources of political correctness are in fact hypocritical hedonism combined with Western-Christian guilt and remorse that contradict the basic paradigms of Western culture and reflects illusionist and detached ideas about reality.
Like multiculturalism, relativism and other atrocious deluded academic pseudo-scientific ideas, those who use and force us to use political correctness serve in fact, intentionally or unintentionally, as collaborators with the enemies of modernity and freedoms. The problem is that Muslims believe and practice a totally different political culture that takes advantage of the situation to penetrate the inner fabric of modern society, to defeat it from within. They declare and pronounce their targets clearly and openly. The problem is with our own educational ignorance, political inhibitions, and reluctance to view reality truly and to speak out clearly outside of intimidation.
Unfortunately, political correctness has for a long time stripped the US citizens of their First Amendment rights, along with deeply hurting their flow of free ideas. More and more people have recently become victims of this plague, which mostly consists of Muslim organizations and the media outlets, seeking to demonize anyone who utters anything even the slightest bit critically relating to Islam.
The actor Gary Oldman has spoken out against the hypocrisy of political correctness: “I just think political correctness is crap… It is just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone… it means dishonesty and double standards that frustrate me the most.” Indeed, political correctness is the epitome of hypocrisy and double standards behavior. The US Constitution guarantees the right to express one’s ideas and beliefs freely, without fear of being charged by lawsuits and put in prison.
The Western states share a basic important political ethos and they are all liberal democracies. Unfortunately, these countries also recently share a deadly political ideology known as multiculturalism. It sits at the pinnacle of political correctness and moral relativism, and it is promoted with a religious fervor. Multiculturalism has become the driving ideology behind almost everything in Western life: politics, the law, education, and even the current correct thinking.
Those who do not think politically correct are labeled as racists and fascists; and are denounced as supporters of the old imperialist-colonialist world. However, this is not the real issue. The horrific situation is that the multicultural defenders promote knowingly or unknowingly the mono-cultural, mono-religious, racist, fascist, supremacist Islam. The essence of Islam is all what the multiculturalists are supposed to be against: tolerance of the other; equality of all races, religions and women; all the freedoms spectrum and civil rights; tolerance, equality and peace-making to one another.
Why do they do it? It has nothing to do with Islam. They know nothing of Islam and/or the Palestinians. They do not know Arabic and have never read the Qur’an and Islamic scriptures and they have not studied the Palestinians’ Hitleristic-Nazi hatred and incitement towards Israel. They suffer from deep ‘mental blindness’, failing to observe how Islam wreaks havoc in all of what the West loves and cherishes.
In Israel, the multiculturalists’ intentions have become a full-fledged philosophy of anti-Semitism that is transformed into a multi-cultural and a multinational state. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, by claiming that the State of Israel racist and colonialist. From here come the destructive anti-Semite formula that Israel must transform to a “state of all its citizens.” This kind of anti-Semitism negates the right of Jews to exist as a political entity with an independent homeland. The implication of these horrific atrocious ideas will be a Palestinian State from the sea to the desert and the disappearing of Israel as a nation and as a state.
The only reason is that the multiculturalists and politically correctness promoters deeply hate the West. They do not care about Islam and Muslims, but they do care in their deep hatred of the West. They hate its values and its way of life, and Islam has become the mechanism, the tool they employ in their way to bring Stalinism and Bolshevism as the law of the earth.
They are so idiotic and foolish that they do not ask themselves what will happen to them if Islam wins. Their hatred is so deep that they even promote their own extinction in what seems to be a collaboration that leads to their own annihilation. That is why Western peoples find themselves in an ongoing political nightmare, not because of Islam and its primitive barbarian ideology, but because their own political-cultural elites have abandoned them.
In the current tumultuous in fact dying Middle East, Israel is not only innocent of most of the regional and domestic problems, but it has nothing to do with the mired situation of the Islamic Tribal Anarchic Winter (there was never, even for one day “Arab Spring”). The failed states (exactly out of the US policy); the miserable social and economic backwardness; the political violence and extremism of cultural and religious causes; the wretched life of the Arab-Muslim peoples and the oppressive regimes; and the continuing wars permeating so deeply ME. But in the political correctness of Western language, Israel is the source of all troubles, being a colonialist Apartheid state.
Is this the situation? Let me put it bluntly: historically, the Jews have brought to Europe the light and the sciences and culture. However, the Europeans have persecuted and massacred the Jews to the point they become an extinct species. But the Europeans have forgotten two things: first, there is God Almighty, and second, there is no vacuum. The Jews left, and the Muslims entered. Please find the disparities.
Moreover, imagine Israel has vanished from the Middle East. What will happen in fact? The Islamic anarchic quarrels will intensify and would trigger ruinous war; weaken the Arab moderate states and strengthen Arab radicals, with the high-tide of Islam’s onslaught; and generally undermine Western influence to the point of disappearance.
He who think of a peaceful Palestinian state – think again. The territory will be torn out by inter-Arab fights and wars will be the main of regional politics. It is a fact for many years: as long as Israel exist, a Palestinian national political identity continues to exist. The possibility that the surrounding Arab states will let the Palestinians continue their destructive policies is an illusion shared by ignorant Westerners and local leftists, even not by the Palestinians themselves.
Western national identity is based on two dimensions: Cultural, on the heritage of Western civilization; and political, on the principles of freedom, democracy and equality before the law and constitutionality. However, exactly these dimensions are under assault of “post-nationalists,” post-modernists, and relativists. Under the auspices of phony intellectualism of the Academia and the media, these groups constitute a proto-Messianic eschatology of deconstruction of the law and order among humanity. Everything that typifies the Western way of life as a cultural phenomenon will collapse and disappear.
The multiculturalist philosophy including all other “isms” must be totally thrown to the garbage can of history. These deluded ideas must be defeated and eliminated in all Western society. Politically correctness should do the same orbit and must be disintegrated. Those who immigrate to Western society must have the simple choice: either they respect Western laws and way of life with its Jewish-Christian cultural roots or they are free to leave.
It is so simple and totally justified. Imagine you invite out of benevolence a stranger to your home and he tries to take control of your house and impose his way of life and traditions – what would you do? Surely you will find a solution to this issue. Than why it is so difficult on the national level?
Another fact, which we have mentioned time and again: the entire countries around the world have absorbed minorities, ethnic and religious, the US being the best example. All of them have become loyal productive citizens, being proud with their new nationality. Only Muslims are not. Only Muslims resist integration and assimilation, and much more: they try by all means of Jihad and Da’wah to impose their religion and way of life. And they do it persistently and in consistency.
We have to realize that political correctness and moral relativism have become our own worst political enemy. We fail, being optimistic concerning human nature and behavior; we stumble from failure to failure believing there is a solution to every problem and estimating that the reasons for the Muslims’ inhuman behavior are social and economic perspectives and our own history of imperialism and colonialism.
Look what is happening in British educational system. There is a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing British education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law. Muslims demand that Islamic preachers be sent to every school to teach children about Islam. On the other hand, British schools drop the Jewish holocaust from history lessons, with the excuse to avoid offending Muslim pupils. It is not only the Jews: British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies to defend Europe. The pick of these atrocities teachers are required to teach key Muslim contributions to humanity, fake and ridiculous, such as Algebra and the number zero. Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslims, and huge numbers of schools have adopted a “no pork” policy and eating Halal foods.
In Germany, instead of studying the refusal of the Muslims to integrate into German society, and to avoid the emergence of a parallel legal system in Germany based on Islamic Shari’ah, German authorities have officially confirmed that they are monitoring German-language Internet websites that are critical of Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe. Please pay attention: German authorities do not monitor the Muslims use of the internet and other social media in their own many languages. Instead, German authorities monitor citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam on the Internet are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of “breaching” the German constitution.
The guardians of German multiculturalism have been working overtime to accuse the critics of Islam of engaging in hate speech to try to intimidate the so-called “new right” into silence. They accuse that anti-Islam blogs “have promoted “infringements of human rights protected under our constitution.” Criticism of Muslims and Islam constitutes “an attack against the freedom of religion, which is protected by Article 4 of the Basic Law.” They also dare to equate criticism of Islam with anti-Semitism. In sum, those who criticise Islam are undemocratic and pose a threat to the German constitutional order.
Spiegel magazine asserts that those who criticise Islam represent a new form of extremism: “anti-Muslim scene is becoming increasingly dangerous… the question is whether the hatred of Muslims is enough to endanger freedom of religion and international understanding.” They all belong to the “far right.”
However, the TNS Enid political polling shows that the majority of Germans disagree with a statement by German President Christian that Islam “belongs in Germany.” Fewer than 5% of the Germans think Islam is a tolerant religion. Fewer than 10% of the Germans say that Islam is a peaceful religion. More than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted. Only 20% of the Germans believe that Islam is suitable for the Western world. Pew Research Center of 2011, states that 72% of the Germans believe Muslims do not want to integrate; and that 79% of the Germans believe Islam is “the most violent” religion.
Yet, Western political leaders, assisted with the heavy artillery of the Media and the academia continue their stupid-ignorant, in fact criminal policy of denying, appeasing and subduing Western civilization to the barbarity of Islam. They continue not to internalize that this deadly combination of the religious commandments of Islam and the cultural behavior of the Arabs and Muslims is the issue. Our greatest liability is the politically correct climate endorsed by Western leadership with the stormy support of the media and the academia which is negligently blind to the threat of Islam.
According to Yves Mamou, the horrific reality in Europe is that the state, the one that has the monopoly on violence, does not want to be at war with its Islamic residents, and in fact expresses the policy that it is afraid of its Muslim citizens. The rule of law has become protecting the violators of the law, the terrorists, are protected above all. Mamou details the crimes of the media, being in fact the Islamic terrorists’ best friend, the detached from reality excuses relating the Muslims atrocities in Germany and France of June-July, 2016:
The real victim is the terrorist. He was not a Muslim, Just a Lunatic. The problem is not Islam, but too many guns on the black market. The victims are responsible for their own murders. The attacker “self-radicalized” rapidly. ISIS is not Islamic, it is a right-wing organization.
The U.S. is mired in Political correctness, and this fact is indisputable. In a nutshell, it means not upsetting anyone due to their race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability, appearance, accent or anything else that might somehow cause psychological discomfort and sensibilities. Yet, this has become a mental disease, into a deadly plague.
For example, political correctness has claimed the 13 lives at Fort Hood massacre by not preventing and neutralizing Nidal Hasan Ali. Why? There was an elephant in the room, yet the culture of political correctness kept the concerned officers from reporting the behavior of Nidal Hasan Ali. This horrendous approach has caused the Fort Hood headquarters to “understand” the Islamic brutal way of life and behavior: “it is in their belief system, so it must be ok.” No. It is absolutely not ok. Muslims must adhere to the US belief system and way of life. That is why political correctness has become a deadly infection, and still the American people is not aware of the depths to which it has permeated Western culture and become a sickening situation.
Take the horrific frightening situation of the US Department of Homeland Security. On the managerial advisory level it is being run by Muslims sent by Muslim organizations like CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations; by MPAC, Muslim Public Affair Council,; and by ISNA, Islamic Society of North America. They sit in on brainstorming about investigative techniques that US agents are using in the field. Indeed, this is the pure situation of the cat guards the milk. That is nothing short of outrageous.
The horrific situation is that we do not behave and speak freely in front of the Muslims or when relating to Islam. We are so deeply intimidated, that there is no longer even politically correct, but Islamically correct. Avoidance of ‘insulting Islam’ has become a code word to our horrendous nightmares, a lethal weapon we impose on ourselves in capitulation and submission. We censor ourselves and our free speech at our own decision out of the deadly combination of intimidation, ignorance and Bolshevik slogans promoted by our own cultural elites and the media.
Muslims are fanatic and primitives. But in fact Western elites are the delusionists, the messianic and the dreamers. Muslims understand Western situation much better than we understand them or even ourselves. Muslims know Western elite is so infected with political correctness that it is more afraid of offending them than fighting them. In fact, in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” one could conceivably be charged with a hate crime for expressing opinions. Indeed, politically incorrect opinions and writings have become hate crime, and soon hate-speech police will be established to silence all criticism of Islam. Relativism and moral equivalence dominate the social sciences and humanities of the academia. Both stem from political correctness and strengthen it at the same time. This situation has stultified generations of students who become our politicians, diplomats, judges, and journalists.
Allan Bloom wrote of The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. Melanie Phillips has published The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. She blames relativism as the root cause of the Western decadence. So does Ralph Peters in his Endless War: Middle Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization: “… one of the greatest obstacles we have to understanding our enemies is that our officer corps is too well educated in a formal sense. Officers with master’s degrees in international relations and Ph.D.s in government have become prisoners of the outdated theories…” The problem is these sciences ignore, in fact do not understand the reality of evil displayed by Muslims and motivated by Islam.
As the actor and comedian, John Cleese, says: political correctness has gone too far, especially on America’s college campuses, where he will no longer go to perform. There may even be something more sinister behind the insistence to be always be politically correct. “If you start to say we must not, we must not criticize or offend them then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. Political correctness will lead to an Orwellian nightmare. Indeed, President Teddy Roosevelt put it: “to anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth”.
To show how ridiculous and detached this slogan of political correctness has become, the following lines written by an unknown person are important:
I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends, but it is so difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone, especially with the current demands of political correctness afflicting us all. So I met with my attorney, and on his advice I wish to say the following:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for a socially responsible, environmentally conscious, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions. I also wish you a fiscally successful, medically uncomplicated recognition, and personally fulfilling, without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: this greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. Disclaimer: no trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.
The world has truly been turned upside down and inside out. It is a world in total chaos. Evil is being called good and good is thought to be evil. In a quest to be politically correct, which is really just a euphemism for willful ignorance and self-deception, and bears death wish, we are giving Islam a wide open door to control and subdue. It means in fact that Shari’ah become the law of the land.
Dismantling the nation-state will necessarily lead not only to acute instability but also to the formation of the ‘big brother’ state of Islam, a trend that will lead to the demise and fall of Western liberal democracy. Indeed, political correctness has become a deadly infection that influences us all and if we continue behaving accordingly, it will bring us into our demise.
4) No more appeasement. Western society and leaders have never learned the lessons of the history of appeasement. Defeatism was one of the main causes of military catastrophes. Dark evil regimes are never satisfied with the Rhineland and the Sudeten regions, and the Anschluss of Austria and seizure of Czechoslovakia, but work relentlessly to achieve world hegemony. For hundreds of years, the attempt at appeasement is a recurring factor in the fall of civilizations. While apocalyptic Islam poses a lethal threat to the Free World, we, from many reasons, try to cure the situation by appeasing, believing that it will suffice in calming the wolf.
Western leaders go out of their way to appease, to capitulate, and to give the Muslims more “protection money” and special treatment, the more the Muslims threaten us. But no less frightening is that they actively silence those among their own people who oppose the continued Islamic colonization of the Free World. The basic values of enlightenment are in danger, not only because of the emerging fanatic beliefs, but because too many people are trying to compromise the madness. When our leaders call Islam a great religion, they are appeasing, running away, if not lying outright. To call a most deadly threat to everything we cherish a great religion, legitimizes evil on the one hand and infuses the rest of us with a false belief. The Islamists have infiltrated our fortresses, our system of government and intend to ruin them from within.
It is a well-known lesson of history: more appeasement from the bullied always brings about more demands from the bully. Appeasement is disastrous and leads to annihilation. One must learn the dark lesson of the 1930s. Europe continued its appeasement policies the more Nazi Germany demanded concessions. Again and again Europe gave up and gave in, and again and again the Nazi aggressor demanded more and more. What was the result? Germany itself opened the Second World War by attacking and occupying Poland, on September 1, 1939. The appeasers continued with their run away policy, and the aggressor, never satisfied, continued with his occupation. Was the lesson learned? Not at all. Appeasement is never a safe policy nor an option; it is disastrous and it leads to catastrophes.
Let us look at the scene from another angle, put by Victor Davis Hanson: Hitler started World War II after he already remilitarized the Rhineland, absorbed Austria and dismantled Czechoslovakia. By doing all that he had created the largest German-speaking nation in European history. Imperial Japan had redrawn the map of Asia and the Pacific by occupying or annexing Indochina, Korea, Manchuria and Taiwan, to the swaths of coastal China. Therefore, attacking Hawaii, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia in 1941 was logical in a decade of Japanese aggression. Fascist Italy had already been remaking the map of the Mediterranean region. Benito Mussolini had annexed what is now Ethiopia, Albania and most of Libya. He promised Italians that the Mediterranean would soon be “mare nostrum,” our sea (again). Had Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese just been satisfied and consolidated their winnings, there was no evidence that the tired Western democracies would ever have stopped them.
But these leaders never stopped. After the end of the war and about 60 million people had perished and Europe was totally destroyed, the Western democracies blamed themselves for having appeased and empowered fascist empires. Well, what is happening today? The contemporary world amazingly resembles so much the late 1930s, so that even maps are again being redrawn.
The Islamic State wishes to bring the Islamic Sunni Caliphate borders back, from Andalusia to India. Shiite Iran wishes to bring its political hegemony over the entire Middle East, by proxies and by military successes: Continental (Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon) and maritime (Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb straits). At the same time, and more than ever, it wishes to destroy the Sunni version of Islam and to occupy the holy shrines of Islam in Saudi-Arabia. Here is the logical basis for Iran to have the bomb. The Middle East melts down to its gravest situation, with failed states (Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria); frightened states (Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia), and defensive powers (Egypt, Saudi-Arabia). All the while Israel is shamelessly accused by the corrupt, impotent useless United Nations organization, shamelessly led by the OIC, the Organization of the Islamic Countries’ cartel that behaves like a Mafia. The UN’s treatment towards Israel has become an obsession, an incurable malaise.
The following conclusions should be taken from the history of the game of appeasement. It brings short-term glories of peace to the appeasers at the price of long-term military defeats to their allies. Appeasers consistently reiterate that the only alternative to their march of folly of appeasement is war. However, just the opposite is true: the price of appeasement is assured war. The appeasement of dictators by democratic regimes is a long steady road of failure, while the price of deterring balancing policy is successful containment of the aggressor. Appeasement is never an option; it is always a catastrophe.
5) No more ignorance. We must thoroughly read the Qur’an and other Islamic scriptures; we should learn about the Islamic religion and its culture; we should critically understand what Islamic aims and targets are; we must call a spade, a spade; we must stop explaining and rationalizing Muslims’ behavior, and start to believe in what they say. Western civilization cannot effectively combat the root causes of Islamic civilizational war by ignoring its nature and motives. That is we have to internalize Thomas Jefferson’s declaration: If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
However, it is much more. Ralph Peters in Endless War, focuses on the ideological nonsense perverting discussion of war, peace, and terrorism. Western civilization pays a horrific price for allowing the Muslims to take over the whole educational system, and to mold public opinion’s behavior and attitudes through controlling the media. Their aim is to eliminate our common sense, and the product is people, who are susceptible to wild lies and distortions; people that cannot put what they witness into context; and this vacuum brings capitulation and submission.
Oriana Fallaci has so correctly and succinctly remarked:
Wake up people, wake up. Paralyzed by the fear of appearing racist, you do not want to understand that the Muslim invasion has commenced. Drugged by the stupidity or shortsightedness of political correctness, you do not internalize that a religious war is transpiring here. A war, whose objective is to conquer our souls and rob us of our freedoms; a war conducted with the goal of destroying our civilization and our way of life. Stunned by the preponderance of false propaganda, you do not want to absorb that if we do not defend ourselves, if we do not battle, Jihad will win. It will win and destroy the world which we have built and ruin our culture and identity. Debating them is pointless; conducting a dialogue with them is useless; and demonstrating tolerance towards them is suicide. How is it that leftists never open their mouths against the Muslim world’s primitive, theocratic regimes, which have no democracy, no freedoms and no individual rights? Why were we killed in wars declared against the enemies of freedom and civilization? Are these principles invalid for the Islamic regimes? Enough of your double standards of morality; enough of your opacity and your hypocrisy. Crickets of all countries and languages stop the confusion and take sobriety. The mountain of Islam has not moved for 1400 years; that consciously opts for primitiveness and ignorance. Europe is becoming a province of Islam.
Fostering Inclusivity: Spiritual Discovery in International Ethics and Diplomacy
The concept of inclusion and understanding is not a new-age phenomenon but an essential aspect of any discussion and dialogue that aims to unite diversified perspectives. In the international sphere, especially diplomacy, this inclusivity and understanding take a prime role in fostering meaningful conversations, leading to significant breakthroughs in relations.
Spirituality significantly influences diplomatic interactions. Intrinsically human, spirituality shapes our values, beliefs, and visions. In diplomacy, this force becomes influential as countries shape their national ethos influenced by dominant spiritual or religious sentiments. And the teachings of TheosU about inclusivity and multi-religious dialogues may lead to increased harmony.
Spirituality varies across cultures and nations, shaping unique patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Understanding these dynamics aids in comprehending international ethics and its application in diplomatic scenarios.
Here’s where we delve into the realm of spiritual diplomacy. This involves integrating an understanding of various religious sentiments into diplomatic practices.
Essential aspects of spiritual diplomacy involve fostering cross-cultural dialogue and creating relationships through mutual respect for religious beliefs.
As a proponent of spiritual diplomacy, one key goal is to maintain harmony amidst what is known as heterogeneity – keeping peace in the face of conflicting religious or spiritual views requires careful negotiation within ethical boundaries.
A good negotiator understands meeting ethical implications involves grasping unspoken norms that are part and parcel of societal standards formed by dominant religions.
Technology will play a big part in ethical considerations also. There are now online Bible lessons and lectures on religious scriptres. However, care must be taken to foster inclusivity and non-religious spirituality.
Mindfulness techniques can be your aids to provide balanced judgments while facilitating negotiations between contrasting faiths. Developing compassionate awareness helps you form an enlightened understanding essential for meaningful interfaith encounters.
Walking the tightrope between various faiths requires careful, respectful navigation to avoid discord or antagonism. Migration is a hot topic. And making a plan for inclusion for all regardless of nationality or religion is a worthy goal.
Understand the need to unpack biases posing as significant hurdles to foster unbiased dialogues while at the same time planting seeds of empathy over intolerance.
Understanding how different religious practices can affect daily political affairs is integral to handle international relations effectively. Promoting balance within global interactions infuses inclusivity into standard diplomatic routines ensuring valuable room for diverse perspectives.
Spirituality may not strike as a critical aspect when one thinks about diplomacy; however, it plays a crucial role in bridging gaps that ideological differences may bring. The aim of diplomacy is to further one’s goals.
With nations often defined by their unique spiritual and cultural ethos, failing to incorporate these valuable insights can run the risk of misinterpretation and conflicts.
Therefore, spiritual diplomacy emerges as a bridge that connects these different ideologies through a common route of mutual respect.
Inclusion starts with acknowledging diversity. Recognising that religious beliefs are deeply personal yet universally present in various forms provides individuals the strength to appreciate diversity. Religious diplomacy has come to the forefront in recent times.
While discussions can reinforce stereotypes or misunderstandings about other faiths, they also have the potential to be valuable tools in debunking these biases and promoting an inclusive environment where diverse religious outlooks can coexist.
Emphasising inclusivity goes hand-in-hand with ensuring equality across all faiths amidst diplomatic relations. It helps condition the diplomatic realm into more than merely a negotiation table but transforms it into an arena where sacred values are exchanged and appreciated.
This advocacy sets a precedent in international relations valuing human dignity over regional divisions.
Understanding one’s biases is the first step towards cultivating inclusive dialogues based on empathy rather than contention in today’s interconnected world.
Familiarising oneself with mindfulness techniques can aid diplomats in maintaining equanimity while navigating sensitive interfaith discussions. Inculcating compassion even beyond personal beliefs fosters an atmosphere of dialogue rooted in tolerance, leading towards prosperous international ties.
The initiative towards promoting inclusive spirituality is not free from obstacles. Culture resistance, societal prejudices, and stereotypes serve as formidable challenges to implementing inclusive spirituality in diplomacy.
These factors require persistent efforts to dismantle. It involves replacing age-old misconceptions with facts and maintaining open-mindedness for welcoming wisdom from all religious circles.
In conclusion, nurturing the harmony between spirituality, ethics, and diplomacy emerges as a potent tool in international relations. It attests to the power of collaboration and mutual respect in an increasingly diverse world.
By embracing this inclusive spiritual diplomacy, countries can create spaces for genuine dialogue and understanding among different faiths, encouraging peaceful collaborations and productive resolutions.
Congeniality Between Islam and Democracy
In the contemporary era, compatibility between Islam and democracy is one of the most recent and controversial debate. Diverse opinions are found but to effectively compare the congeniality between the two, one should first understand democracy and its features then compare this political system with Islamic governance. Democracy as a model of self-government can co-exist with Islam because they have principles like separation of powers, checks and balance, legitimacy, constitution, accountability and protection of human rights in common.
About half of the states today have democratic form of government. Starting as Athenian form of direct democracy in 15th century to today’s representative and liberal forms of democracy (indirect democracies), a number of states have gone through democratization. It has spread beyond Western Europe to Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, (most) Asia and Africa. When Soviet Union collapsed, democracy trampled communism. The soviet allies, that practiced communism, adopted democracy as solution for modernity and freedom. Democracy also advanced to Middle East in the hopes of end of dictatorship, but there, it got rejected. It led to the idea that Islam can never be compatible with democracy. However, recent happenings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have raised this question once again. This leads to the assumption that democracy is static and cannot adopt other cultures, which is not true because we see evolution in west which embraced of democratic principles.
In theoretical application of Islam, Middle Eastern Countries do understand and appreciate democratic process and its meaning in their own unique way. Then why Muslims Countries have not been democratized? This leads to question of the compatibility between Islam and democracy. West believes that attachment of religious values to democratic government is contagious but there are a number of values common in Islam and democracy which make them compatible. For this reason first we should understand what is democracy and its features and then what similarities exist between Islam and Democracy.
According to President Abraham Lincoln, in his famed 1863 Gettysburg Address may have best-defined democracy as a “…government of the people, by the people, for the people…”.The core principle of democracy is self-rule. The basic features of democracy are separation of powers, checks and balances, existence of constitution, periodic elections and protection of fundamental rights.
There are a number of Muslim like Ahmad Moussalli and Muhammad Asad and Non-Muslim scholars who talk about compatibility of the two. They give importance to the principles of consultation, people’s will, transparency, and Accountability. For example, Robin Wright, a well-known American expert on the Middle East and the Muslim world writes: “neither Islam nor its culture is the major obstacle to political modernity”. John O. Voll and John L. Esposito, two bridge-builders between Islam and the West articulate: “The Islamic heritage, in fact, contains concepts that provide a foundation for contemporary Muslims to develop authentically Islamic programs of democracy.”
Below are the similarities between Islam and Democracy.
Constitutional Government: Like democracy, Islamic governance is fundamentally a “constitutional” government, in which the constitution reflects the agreement of the governed to govern according to a specified and agreed-upon framework of rights and duties. For Muslims, the constitution is based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. No authority, other than the governed, has the authority to repeal or amend such a constitution. As a result, Islamic administration cannot be despotic, hereditary, or militaristic in nature. Such a government structure is egalitarian in nature, and egalitarianism is one of Islam’s defining characteristics. It is also commonly agreed that the Islamic republic in Medina was founded on a constitutional foundation and a pluralistic framework that included non-Muslims.
Participatory: An Islamic political system is participative. The system is participatory from the establishment of the institutional structure of governance to its operation. It means that leadership and policies will be implemented with complete, gender-neutral participation of the governed through a popular electoral process. Muslims can use their ingenuity to institute and continuously enhance their systems, based on Islamic precepts and human experience to date. This participation feature is actually Islamic Shura (consultation).
Accountability: This is a necessary corollary to a democratic system. Within an Islamic system, leaders and those in positions of responsibility are held accountable to the people. According to the Islamic framework, all Muslims are answerable to Allah and his divine guidance. However, this is more in a theological sense. People are the focus of practical accountability. Thus, the Khulafa ar-Rashidoon were both Khalifat-ur-Rasool (representative of the Messenger) and Khalifat-ul- Muslimeen (representative of the Muslims)
Legitimacy: Just like in democracy, the people are allowed to select who to govern them i.e. give legitimacy to administer their affairs, in Islam, Jurists have the authority to approve any political decision made by the monarch and the power to protest to the ruler’s decision if it is contradictory to Shariah. As a result, the political elite required the legitimacy of legal professors. Thus, in the ancient past, we can observe how jurists and kings work together constantly. That close historical relationship between religious interpretations and the political arena explains why Islam attempts to establish norms and laws that govern not only the personal life of the believer but also the public domain.
Separation of powers: Islamic constitutions, like the one Iran uses, establish the executive and the legislature branches of government. Legislature functions under the sole supervision of the Imam and Muslim jurists of the Ummah in accordance with new legal provisions. This demonstrates that all three institutions of government are free to carry out their respective duties without outside intervention and practice effective decision making among them without victimization of any individual or organization.
Protection of fundamental rights: Islam and democracy are also compatible because both promote and protect fundamental rights of individuals. Islam, as a welfare state, stresses on provision of basic human rights (food, shelter, security) with equality, justice, freedom, self-determination for all. It also provides rights of private ownership. It creates laws and principles for assurance of these rights. Civil rights movements are permitted in both Islam and democracy hence ensuring that these rights are promoted in an effective and clear manner.
In conclusion, by comparing the basic values of democracy and Islam, it is evident that there is congeniality between the two. Understanding this compatibility can help Muslim states better grasp the purpose of democracy and work towards the welfare of their citizens. The common principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, legitimacy, constitution, accountability and protection of separation of human rights provide a foundation of a harmonious coexistence between Islam and democracy.
Shiites, not Jews, emerge as a touchstone of Saudi moderation
Saudi Arabia has removed anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli references from Islamic studies schoolbooks, according to an Israeli textbook watchdog.
The watchdog, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), said the deletions were part of a broader textbook revision that also eliminated anti-Christian references and toned-down negative portrayals of infidels and polytheists.
Instead of explicitly referring to infidels and hypocrites, the revised textbooks asserted that on the Day of Judgement. Hell, “the home of painful punishment,” would be reserved for “deniers,” rejecting Mohammed’s prophecy. Deniers replaced the term infidel or hypocrite.
In its 203-page report, Impact-se further noted that problematic concepts of jihad and martyrdom were also deleted, while two newly released ‘Critical Thinking’ textbooks stressed notions of peace and tolerance.
The report acknowledged an improved approach to gender issues, including removing “a significant amount of homophobic content.“ Nevertheless, the textbooks maintained a traditional approach to gender, the report said.
However, the review suggested that progress was limited in altering attitudes towards Shiite and Sufi Muslims, considered heretics by Wahhabism, the austere ultra-conservative strand of Islam that was dominant in the kingdom until the rise in 2015 of King Salman, and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Some problematic examples remain…in the approach to perceived heretical practices associated with the Shi‘a and Sufism,” the report said.
The report will likely be read against the backdrop of US efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia to follow the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco in formalising relations with Israel and the recent Chinese-mediated Saudi-Iranian agreement to restore ties broken off in 2016.
In contrast with the three Arab states that unconditionally established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, Saudi Arabia has made formal relations dependent on Israeli moves to solve its conflict with the Palestinians.
Israeli media reported that Bahrain had mediated a recent telephone conversation between Mr. Bin Salman, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
Mr. Netanyahu has made diplomatic relations with the kingdom a priority. He has pressed Mr. Bin Salman to allow direct flights between Israel and Jeddah, the Saudi Red Sea gateway to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, during next month’s annual pilgrimage. Without direct flights, Palestinian pilgrims have to transit through a third country to reach the kingdom.
Prospects for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are dim, with Mr. Netanyahu heading the most religiously ultra-conservative and nationalist government in Israeli history.
Israeli-Palestinian tensions have significantly increased since the government took office in December. Earlier this month, they led to five days of Israeli airstrikes against targets in Gaza and Palestinians firing rockets into Israel in response.
Complicating matters, Saudi Arabia wants the United States to offer the kingdom more binding security guarantees, grant it unrestricted access to US weaponry, and assist in developing a peaceful nuclear program as part of any agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
Long in the making, the revision of Saudi textbooks constitutes a gesture towards the United States and Israel.
However it is, first and foremost, designed to counter the ultra-conservative, supremacist, and intolerant religious concepts that have shaped the education system since the kingdom was founded.
The revisions are also crucial to Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its oil export-dependent economy, prepare its youth for competition in the labour market, and project the one-time secretive kingdom that banned women from driving as an open, forward-looking 21st-century middle power.
Furthermore, the revisions bolster Saudi Arabia’s quest for religious soft power as the custodian of Islam’s holiest cities and a beacon of a socially liberal moderate Islam.
Getting Saudi Arabia revamping its textbooks has been a long, drawn-out process. The United States and others have pushed for changes since the September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. Most of the perpetrators were Saudi nationals.
The more limited progress in redressing prejudiced attitudes towards Shiite and Sufi Muslims compared to Jews and Christians suggests the continued influence of ultra-conservative religious thought in Saudi Arabia despite Mr. Bin Salman’s social reforms.
It also puts into perspective the kingdom’s reluctance to anchor the reforms in religious as well as civil law, an approach propagated by Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s Indonesia-based largest and most moderate civil society movement.
On the plus side, Saudi Arabia’s revised textbooks no longer describe visitors to sacred figures’ tombs, a widespread Shiite practice, as “evil” and “cursed” by the Prophet Mohammed.
Nevertheless, textbooks still condemn such visits as innovations banned by Wahhabism. For example, one revised textbook implicitly described tomb visits to supplicate the deceased rather than God as a polytheistic practice to be punished in Hell.
“Students learn that polytheism is dangerous, as it is the ‘most heinous’ of sins. However, while the 2021 edition also taught that those who practice it will be punished with eternity in Hell, this was removed in 2022,” the report said.
At times, the Impact-se report conflated thinking among some Arab and Sunni Muslims with Islam in general, particularly regarding Shiite-majority Iran.
In one instance, the report noted that in the textbooks, “Islamic historical animus toward Persia is maintained through claims that the assassination of the second caliph was a Persian conspiracy.”
The animus is maintained by some Sunni Muslims rather than Muslims as such. It relates to the killing by an enslaved Persian of Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second of the first four 7th-century caliphs to succeed Prophet Mohamed.
On an optimistic note, the report concluded, “Saudi efforts to reform the curriculum reveal a reasonably consistent step-by-step approach…and one…hopes that the approach will be applied to the handful of problematic content remaining in some textbooks.”
The report did not say that tackling problematic attitudes towards Shiites and Sufis would constitute one indication of how far Saudi rulers are willing to venture in challenging ultra-conservative Muslim precepts.
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