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World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims

In its March 2 newsletter, the elite World Security Network Foundation put out a strong call for Muslims and Christians to engage in dialogue. According to the Foundation, there are a lot of well-intentioned Muslim-Christian dialogue initiatives, “but progress is close to zero.” Click below for their reasoning, and for the rest of the message.

The aim of the World Security Network is to rouse people out of their apathy, to raise awareness of trouble spots before wars break out, to outline proposed solutions and to draw media attention to security issues at an early stage. Above all, however, it aims to network the “strategic community” – politicians, journalists, academics and opinion-leaders around the world – and to convey new creative ideas and policy recommendations to decision-makers at lightening speed via the Internet. Their weekly newsletter goes out to over 160,000 members of the global information elite all over the world.

World Security Network Foundation, New York, March 02, 2005

There are a lot of people asking for a dialogue between Christians and Muslims. There is an urgent need for such dialogue. Christians are asked to contact Muslims, visit the mosques and start a “critical” dialogue in their neighborhoods. There are a lot of well-intended initiatives, but progress is close to zero.

There are mainly two reasons for this:

– Christians are quite often weak in presenting their religion to Muslims.
– On the other hand, Muslims are masters at hiding their real views. Deception – taquiya – is considered a Muslim art and virtue.

Therefore – no dialogue? There must be dialogue, but it is necessary to make some serious preparations for this – on both sides. Both sides must learn more about their own religion and about other religions. The following four steps can lead us in the right direction:

One: Educate people to exercise tolerance – starting already in “kindergarten”
Two: Revise the school books – delete all elements of hatred and intolerance
Three: Start an “informed dialogue” at the local level to build confidence
Four: Strengthen the moderates – isolate the views of extremists

No one should be forced to give up his or her beliefs. However, a Christian living in an Islamic or Hindu state has to adjust to the laws and rules of that particular country, just as a Muslim must do the same when living in a country that is primarily Christian. No individual can claim that his own state’s order, laws, justice and rules overrule those of the host country where he/she is residing. Individuals who fight against the laws and rules of the host country should be forced to leave the host country.

The majority of moderate believers should distance themselves from the minority of extremists and terrorists. They should not hide or support the extremists and terrorists.

In his newsletter, Knut Bültemeier offers another attempt to differentiate between the small minority of extremists and terrorists and the majority of moderates. He concludes with some recommendations on how the West should act and react.

Dieter Farwick
Global Editor-in-Chief
Worldsecuritynetwork

Islamic terrorism
written by: Knut Bültemeier

Since the 11th of September 2001 “Islamic” terror attacks have featured prominently in the media. The attacks in Egypt on the 8th of September 2004 provided an example relatively recently . Some analysts, more or less openly, proclaim that the “War on terror” is really a “War on Islam”; a perception that is often based on an interpretation of Huntington’s “bloody borders of Islam” statement that appeared in his article “The clash of Civilizations” . At the same time exponents of moderate tendencies within the Islamic community demand changes in perception and show clearly that only a minute fraction of the Islamic community supports any form of terrorism.

A closer look at the new terror phenomenons shows that their links to orthodox Islam are at best shaky and that they have to be seen as apocalyptic sects, much like the Waco and Aum-Shin Rhy cults. The strategies against terrorists therefore have to take the strategies employed against cults and sects as role models and most importantly Muslims themselves have to defend their religion. After all, the new terrorist phenomenon is based on a limited number of events and ideas that originated in the 1980s.

To read more, you have to register at www.worldsecuritynetwork.com

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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