Deep cracks have formed in our beautiful world. Blood streams from its gaping wounds.
We endure the horror of inhumanity every day. Videos, photos, murder, and propaganda corrode our global village like poison.
Radicals sow hate and try to turn us against each other. They darken the sun and silence the happy laughter of children.
- Some promote hatred through words while others are ready to kill. These people act out against different religions, ethnic minorities, and races. Citizens who embrace such intolerance smash our globe into broken pieces. It often seems as if we are not one world, but polarized groups fighting each other. Such people who are filled with prejudice endanger love and peace. And what about Donald Trump and hate in America?
- Our whole world suffers, particularly the Islamic countries, in a wave of violence and terror.
- A self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (IS, ISIS, ISIL or in Arabic “Daesh”) exiles, enslaves, and kills the Christian and Shiite minorities in Syria and Iraq. Copt Christians are killed in Egypt during Palm Sunday in a church. A terrorist attacks peaceful people in a shopping street in Stockholm. A Christmas market is attacked in the heart of Berlin. They force Christians to become Muslims and burn down churches as well as Shiite mosques. In Nigeria hundreds of schoolgirls are kidnapped, raped, and coerced into Islam by Boko Haram. Assassins kill students in the name of Allah in Kenya. Extremists slay an old priest during a Sunday mass in a church in Normandy. We have also seen peaceful people mercilessly killed at the Promenade des Anglais at the seaside of Nice, and at the Atatürk airport or in a club in Istanbul. Terrorists shoot caricaturists, Jewish shoppers, and civilians in restaurants and at a concert hall in Paris. Travellers are bombed at the airport and in a subway in Brussels. Violent extremists execute inno- cent people at the beach in Tunisia, in San Bernardino in California or in Jakarta. Shiites and Sunnites kill each other in Pakistan and Libya solely because they do not share the same exact beliefs regarding the Holy Qur’an.
This brutal killing ‘in the name of Allah’ shocks us all and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the violence. These acts promote hate against Islam and every one of the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims, and they have propelled Shiites and Sunnis against one another.
How can we, as normal citizens, contain or end this killing as well as the hate of those who are intolerant? What are we to do and where do we start?
What kind of world are we living in today and what kind of world do we want to live in with our children tomorrow? 193 countries are growing ever closer together into a global village.
Although we perceive distances to be shrinking and although we exchange information via the internet within seconds and travel easily to foreign countries, we have largely remained strangers to each other. We focus exclusively on the underlying differences of our unique faith traditions and cultures instead of actually living with each other and embracing diversity within our countries.
Dynamic globalization focuses on progress in economics, technology and communication. We must continue to develop an interpersonal globalization comprised of greater tolerance, respect and love of humanity in the twenty-first century.
Only then can we soon nine billion human beings – regardless of all national, cultural and religious roots – live happily and more peacefully together on our shrinking globe. It’s imperative that we adopt the mindset, “No longer everyone for himself, but all of us together.” In our narrow, yet so different, world we urgently need the humanization of globalization and a world ethos in practice. We need the Codes of Tolerance.
My book „Love is Tolerance – Tolerance is Love“ (buy at amazon) is a plea to the reader, and especially to the passive and silent majority, to actively promote more tolerance and respect for other religions, ethnic minorities and races.
Regardless of our locations we are all invited to become members of a new and responsible global world elite, in order to spread kindness with small gestures and moral courage. The is a plea for greater warmth, kindness and love of humanity in our common global village.
At the same time this analysis is a rejection of any kind of religious and political extremism. There cannot be any tolerance for intolerance!
We have to contain the forces of evil and the preachers of hate by using a clever grand strategy comprised of both hard and soft elements of peacemaking. Promoting active tolerance is an essential element of this strategy.
Each of us can place a piece into the jigsaw puzzle of tolerance. In all parts of the world, made up of numerous diverse cultures and religions, we can easily find countless small and large examples of best practices regarding how we can better live together. In this book I have started to collect and present 80 of these global best practices of tolerance, which show us that tolerance is feasible. Through actively participating on local, national and international levels, together we can strengthen love and peace. Let us follow these best practices to diminish evil.
The first part of the book analyzes the Golden Fruits of Tolerance in the great world religions, particularly in Islam. The first chapter of the book brings out the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad with regard to those of different religions. The chapter also outlines the Ten Golden Nuggets of Tolerance in Islam which is followed by a brief description of the development of tolerance in other religions, as well as a common world ethos and an analysis of moral relativism. The limits and the psychology of tolerance are also discussed.
Coming to the final section, Codes of Tolerance show us how we can all work together to create a better world. There are specific rules for parents, educators and schools, religious leaders, the media and journalists, political decision-makers, in sports and culture and for all of us. The implementation of the Codes can effectively improve the coexistence of differ- ent religions, ethnic minorities and races while stopping the destruction by the extremists.
The Codes of Tolerance are our humanistic answer as world citizens struggling to end the violence of the preachers of hatred. Let us not complain that there are radicals who seek to demolish those of other religious traditions, minorities, for- eigners and other races as these intolerant practices occur at all times and in all places around the world. We should be ashamed of our passivity which grants the extremists space to nurture evil.
Reconciliation with ethnic minorities is an important aspect of active tolerance to which this book is committed. It is important for internal peace to be the main focus in countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Mali or Nigeria. The focus must be centered on the small examples of reconciliation between one human being and another.
The search for the Golden Nuggets of Tolerance leads us to many countries with different cultures. For example, embattled Afghanistan, the mountains of the Pakistan tribal areas, war-torn Iraq, the promised and feuding Holy Land, the colorful streets of diversity in India, reconciled South Africa, cheerful Brazil, the now peaceful Balkans, the Vatican and Catholic Poland, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo as well as Brussels-Molenbeek where a major- ity of ISIL terrorists from the deadly Paris and Brussels attacks lived. The Minister of Higher Education and Science of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak al Nahayan, inspired this book on March 10, 2008 with his invitation to lecture on The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect. The lecture took place in front of 1800 women, Jane Fonda among them, at the “Women as Global Leaders Conference” of the Zayed University in Dubai.
The Dalai Lama was available for two discussions centered around tolerance and Buddhism. During the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, I spoke with the brave 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai as well as Kailash Satyarthi, the Indian activist for children’s rights, about their ideas for encouraging tolerance and respect. In Krakow I had dinner with Lech Wałe ̧sa, the head of the Solidarnos ́c ́ trade union, Polish presi- dent and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1983. In Jerusalem, Shimon Peres, the Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, welcomed me in his residence. I also had the wonderful opportunity to discuss Islam and tolerance with singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). I have had enlightening dialogues with imams and grand muftis, Shiite ayatollahs, gurus, cardinals and bishops, Arab princes, scholars and scientists, as well as committed politicians from all around the world; all of whom have contributed their ideas to this book.
The book is part my my Global Tolerance Initiative (www.loveistoleranmce.com) as a priority project focusing on the soft aspects of peacemaking. This foundation advocates a new, fresh and active foreign policy; a World 3.0 which is comprised of a double strategy of power and reconciliation, including the Codes of Tolerance (www.worldsecuritynetwork.com; www.codesoftolerance.com).
In numerous conversations we returned to several central questions.
- Will the few radicals dominate our world because the majority of our global population remains silent and looks away?
- Which moral values should we teach our children and how can we leave them a better world with more tolerance, respect and love?
- Is it possible to find a common basis, a world ethos, for Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Shiites and Sunnis?
- How can we avoid a clash of the different religions and cultures?
- How can minorities be reconciled and integrated?
- What should individual citizens do and how?
On closer inspection, we can already see the traces of Codes of Tolerance in all world religions and in the most diverse global cultures.
We seem to have forgotten these golden nuggets of world culture which have been forced into the background by the vociferous radicals. We find these gems in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism along with the appeal to respect, love, and protect the inner and inalienable dignity of all human beings created by God. As Pope John Paul II preached, “The shortest way to God for a human being is another human being.”
With a global grassroots movement we should now boldly and openly work for a better world order of tolerance. Thus, we can also overcome moral relativism, leave behind the vacuum of indifference and neutralize the poison of hatred. Whether one is an optimist, a pessimist, a believing Christian, a Muslim or a free spirit is irrelevant. Only if we advocate for the improvement of our world, by making many small and pro- gressive steps, will we bring about the positive changes necessary to put the minority of radicals in their place.
- Let us not wait for the United Nations (UN) or our politicians. Let us, as global citizens, start making the difference we truly need in this world.
- Let us show our children that a better world is possible through our immediate efforts.
- Let us learn the Golden Rules of Tolerance from the world religions.
- Let us build, from this book of tolerance, a new and personal chapter with more respect and love for humanity.
Love is tolerance – tolerance is love.
Let us re-conquer the world so we can rid it of radicals and impeach the hate mongers for when we do our global village will once again be brimming with love, respect and tolerance.
Join in and put your piece of the jigsaw puzzle into the world mosaic of tolerance.
Practice the Codes of Tolerance and propagate them.
Let us work together to create a better World 3.0 for our chil- dren and for ourselves. Let us contain hate and killings by adopting a new global policy regarding the active and imme- diate promotion of tolerance.
Please mail your thoughts, ideas, and practices to me at [email protected] The best comments will be posted on our website www.loveistolerance.com and on our Facebook page Love is Tolerance. To advocate for global toler- ance join our campaign with a Like.
Photo: Globalo founder Dr Hubertus Hoffmann presents his Arab book “Codes of Tolerance” to the Minister for Tolerance of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimin, in her office in Abu Dhabi. The first Minister of Tolerance in the world is: A woman, an Arab, a Muslima.