Between friends: World peace, how? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 October 2014 11:43

Erlinda Cababa-Espinosa, Ed. D.

 

We live in a world today where understanding, flexibility and ready acceptance of others’ differences in culture and religion are necessary in order to achieve peace and tranquility among peoples.

However, in a rapidly changing world where arrogance and violence are easily resorted to as solutions to problems that arise between people of different cultures and religions, it has not been easy to exercise humble acceptance, sympathy and compassion for cultural and religious differences because so much progress and change in the way we live has also resulted in so much blame and indifference for the plight of others.

Anyone who keeps in touch with the news around the world cannot help but notice the kind and amount of attention which the terrorist group, ISIS, has been demanding in the Middle East – which definitely is not the kind of attention they deserve.  While the peaceful world denounces the terror and violence the group exerts on the rest of mankind, the group thinks it has a very noble objective, one that the world should appreciate, recognize and agree to participate in.

And yet, we have learned from reports that their objective in establishing a global adherence to Islam endangers anyone within their reach who resists and professes a different religion and worship a different God.  The horrors they commit on those who differ from them religiously vary from ritual beheading to crucifixion.

It is comforting at least to know that some open-minded Muslim leaders of high rank have already come out openly to denounce their extremist ideology saying that they are giving Islam a bad name, that Islam is actually a religion of peace and that even the Quran says there is no compulsion in religion.  Very simply, it means that no one can be forced to accept a religion he does not like and that everyone is free to choose the religion they wish to follow.  I hope these respected Muslim leaders will be able to exert more influence than that.  I don’t know how exactly, but I am hoping for something that can enlighten and convert the members of this extremist group and other terror groups toward a better understanding and acceptance of the world’s other cultures and religions thru example and dialogue for the purpose of global solidarity.

Accepting the other cultures and religions as having legitimate rights to be also practiced in this world is imperative for the attainment of world peace which, in turn, is imperative for a peaceful and happy co-existence.

I do realize that this is easier said than done and therefore it will require a lot of will and determination to pursue this effort to realization.  Also, this realization will take time.  One generation will not be enough.  And so, we must begin NOW because it seems to be the only way, before we run out of time…