- 12 February 2014
- Amnesty International
International peacekeepers have failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Muslim civilians in the western part of the Central African Republic, Amnesty International said in a report issued today.
To protect the country’s remaining Muslim communities, international peacekeeping forces must break the control of anti-balaka militias and station sufficient troops in towns where Muslims are threatened.
“Anti-balaka militias are carrying out violent attacks in an effort to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the Central African Republic,” said Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International.
“The result is a Muslim exodus of historic proportions.”
Amnesty International criticized the international community’s tepid response to the crisis, noting that international peacekeeping troops have been reluctant to challenge anti-balaka militias, and slow to protect the threatened Muslim minority.
- 17 January 2014
- By Rebecca Onion
This document, drafted by the Montgomery Improvement Association, advised victorious bus boycotters on best practices for riding the newly integrated city bus system.
When the document was distributed on Dec. 19, 1956, the bus boycott had been going on for nearly 12 months. The MIA, headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., coordinated the boycott throughout.
- 24 December 2013
- Boston Globe
- By Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A Palestinian college student is one of the last keepers of a fading tradition: ringing the bells of Bethlehem.
Twice a week, Khadir Jaraiseh climbs to the roof of the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. He pulls the ropes of four bells in a rooftop tower a total of 33 times, the number of years Jesus was believed to have lived…
His rooftop perch offers a view of old stone houses and cobblestone alleys in the center of Bethlehem.
On Sunday, patches of snow were left on rooftops, remnants of a rare storm that hit earlier this month. Much of the church was covered in scaffolding, as part of urgent repairs of a leaking roof — the first facelift in 600 years. Below, Manger Square was filled with tour groups, including visitors from India and Africa.
But the postcard-like vista is disrupted by Israel’s West Bank separation barrier in the background.
- The National
- By Roderick Macdonell
Last December, Edgar Schmidt, the general counsel in the Legislative Services Branch of the federal Department of Justice, personally served the Office of the Attorney-General with a statement of claim, alleging that his own ministry had acted unlawfully by failing to properly review the constitutionality of draft legislation.
The next day, Schmidt’s immediate superior, Philippe Hallée, advised him by phone that he was suspended without pay for filing the action. Later, he sent Schmidt an email adding that he was denied access to his office.
The soft-spoken lawyer is now embroiled in a court case that not only goes to the heart of the federal legislative process, but also raises issues about the ethical duties of government lawyers and the tension between whistleblowing legislation and rules of professional conduct. The matter is expected to go to trial in the next six months.
- 13 December 2013
- Jerusalem Post
- By DANIEL K. EISENBUD
Aglow in an incandescent white sheen, the Old City became perhaps the most unlikely and historic playground in the world on Thursday, uniting Arab and Jewish children and adults of all streams with a shared sense of awe and adventure.
- 8 October 2013
- Christian Post
- By Morgan Lee
Between 200-300 Pakistani Muslims and Christians united and gathered to make a human chain around a church in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city on Sunday.
Held on Oct. 6, just two weeks after a church bombing killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, the human chain, organized by the citizen group “Pakistan for All,” is part of the movement’s goal to raise awareness about minority rights and concerns.
“Well, the terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite,” Pakistan for All organizer, Mohammad Jibran Nasir told The Express Tribune.
Mufti Mohammed Farooq opened the event by reading several passages from the Quran that called for tolerance of other beliefs, while Father Nasir Gulfam, who had just preached the church’s Sunday service, stood by his side before they took hold of each other’s hands, modeling their message.
- 4 October 2013
- Christian Science Monitor
- By Margarida Santos Lopes
Shaul David Judelman is an Israeli rabbi who moved from Seattle to Bat Ayin, a religious community in the occupied West Bank.
Ziad Abed Sabateen is a Palestinian farmer who endured imprisonment during the first intifada against the Israelis more than 20 years ago and whose family was dispossessed of most of its land to accommodate Jewish settlers.
The two men are good neighbors, friends, and business partners – not enemies.
- 26 September 2013
- By Suluck Lamubol
Named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2007 by Time magazine, Youk Chhang turned the misfortune and suffering of his childhood under the Khmer Rouge into a documentation centre detailing genocide under the Pol Pot regime which took around 2 million lives.
The Documentation Centre of Cambodia houses over 500,000 documents and 6,000 photographs, making it the largest archive of its kind. According to Chhang, it was an important source of evidence contributing to the establishment of the Cambodia Tribunal in 1997.
During his brief visit to Bangkok, Prachatai talked to Youk Chhang, Director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia and a genocide survivor about reconciliation, forgiveness and the future of Cambodia.
- 30 August 2013
- Toronto Star
- Hind Aboud Kabawat is a Syrian lawyer and founder of the Syrian Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
- By Hind Aboud Kabawat
“Osama bin Laden is my leader!”
When Kamal, a young man from Aleppo in Syria, uttered these words on my first day there, I almost fainted. Feelings of humiliation and disbelief choked me. As a Christian Arab who considers Islam to be part of my culture and who has been enriched by the beautiful Islamic heritage of my city Damascus, it was distressing to hear a Muslim straying so far from the wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad, who taught that killing another human is equivalent to killing all of humanity.
I suddenly doubted myself, my revolution, my struggle, and my mission to Aleppo. Kamal was one of 40 participants in a conflict-resolution workshop in Aleppo I organized for my NGO, the Toronto-based Syrian Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. We aim to reach every Syrian and empower them to work together toward building a new liberal and democratic Syria.
- 13 August 2013
- Ethics Daily
- By Rupen Das
The Lebanese interior minister stated recently that, at the current rate of Syrian refugees crossing the border into Lebanon, by the end of the year Lebanon would be host to 2 million Syrian refugees.
The latest U.N. statistics indicate that close to 700,000 refugees have officially registered with the U.N. There are at least another 100,000 who refuse to register out of fear.
- 12 august 2013
- Washington Post
- By Max Fisher
Watch a video of the author discussing these maps and what they say
Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. So when we saw a post sweeping the Web titled “are original to this blog (see our full maps coverage here), with others from a variety of sources.
- 6 August 2013
- Common Ground News Service
- By Rabia Chaudry
Washington, DC – It’s rare to open a paper these days without seeing stories about violence across religious and ethnic lines. Many scholars spend their careers asking why people become susceptible to such hatred. But maybe the real question we should be asking ourselves is why so many of us are not?
Dates: 9-14th March 2014
Location: Birmingham, UK
Course fee: £1100 (includes full board accommodation from the evening of 9th – afternoon of 14th March)
Strengthening Policy and Practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political contexts.
The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.
- deepen their understanding of their work, from a conflict transformation perspective
- apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational contexts
- explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
- examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
- consider the key policy and practice issues relating to the prevention of violent conflict and of building peace
- strengthen their competence to contribute pro-actively to the development of appropriate policies and best practices in their organisation/ institution for working in environments affected by conflict or violence
This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for emergency, relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex political emergencies.
2013 participant feedback
“The structure was very interactive with joint task exercises, team work and opportunity for self reflection, critical learning and experience sharing.”
“Both facilitators made the learning fun and reflective. We are taking away not only the knowledge and skills but also the approach of delivering this knowledge and skill.”
“I have learned too many things to choose just one. What I think will be the most valuable in my work are practical tools for conflict analysis and transformation.”
For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website www.respond.org or contact us at email@example.com.
- 1 August 2013
- Wall Street Journal
- He worked to bring faiths together in a land where that can be fatal.
- By STEPHANIE SALDANA
On Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order to which he belongs. The pope paused to remember those Jesuit priests who had given their lives in service of their faith. “I’m thinking of Padre Paolo,” he said.
At the moment, no one in the room knew if Father Paolo Dall’Oglio was still alive.
Two days before the pope’s prayer, Father Paolo, an Italian Jesuit priest associated with the Syrian opposition, had been seen walking the streets of Raqqa, a rebel-controlled area in northern Syria. Then he disappeared. Activists reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a militant group affiliated with al Qaeda, had kidnapped him. Contradicting reports soon emerged. Had Father Paolo been kidnapped, or had he purposefully met with the group to negotiate the release of hostages and to broker a truce between Kurds and Islamic extremists fighting in the north?
- 11 June 2013
- Wataway News
- By Rick Garrick
Grassy Narrows’ Judy Da Silva has been honoured with a German peace prize for her grassroots activism…
The German Mennonite Peace Committee presented Da Silva with the Michael Sattler Peace Prize for her leadership on Grassy Narrows’ decade-long blockade against unwanted logging during a May 20 ceremony at the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter’s in the Black Forest near Freiburg, Germany.
“We want to award the prize to Judy Da Silva in order to honour the nonviolent resistance of the Grassy Narrows First Nation against the destruction of nature and for the preservation of their Indigenous culture,” said Lorens Theissen van Esch, a member of the German Mennonite Peace Committee.
- 12 June 2013
- Daily Trust | AllAfrica
- By Ben Atonko
This is an experiment. The Interreligious Dialogue and Peace Network (IDPN) based in Nigeria felt that it is high time to give a novel approach to search for peace in Nigeria. This resulted in a youth summit.
For Nigeria to enjoy peaceful and harmonious living, adherents of diverse faiths in the country particularly Islam and Christianity must learn to appreciate one another’s religious teachings and practices and show love. These issues reverberated in nearly all speeches made last Thursday at the IDPN summit held in Abuja. IDPN in conjunction with Dan Etete Foundation, all non government organisations brought youths across diverse religious divides from across the country to talk on the theme Religion as an Instrument for Youth Empowerment and Constructive Change.
What was interesting about this gathering was it went beyond the common way–every religious group was invited. Prior to this time, whenever there was interreligious or interfaith meeting, it was always for Christianity and Islam.
- 14 May 2013
- Compassionate Judaism
- By Marc Gopin
This amazing portrait of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah, painted by William Blake in 1795, captures perhaps the most dramatic women’s story in the entire Hebrew Bible. It is a story that is associated with the holiday of Shavuot because of the mention of the importance of the harvest for the story and for this ancient holiday. This is a book I urge everyone to read, and read about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Ruth
This is a tale the tragedy of drought, loss, death and homelessness, in other words the most common tale of forced emigration. But the story is unique in its description of undying devotion and selflessness and the unforgettable bond between two women suffering, and the heroic determination of Ruth to rebuild their lives.
What strikes me as important about their behavior and their relationship is how completely bereft it is of anger and violence toward others.
- 10 May 2013
- Irish Times
- By Gerry Moriarty
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have set a target of 2023 to bring down all of Northern Ireland’s 60 so-called peace walls.
At Stormont yesterday the First Minister and Deputy First Minister outlined a range of measures to tackle sectarianism and division including toppling the North’s interface structures within 10 years.
Some peace walls of brick and steel stand up to 18ft high and may be miles long through housing areas. They were intended to protect people from violence during the troubles but remain in place 15 years after the Belfast Agreement. They were built in areas of sectarian tension in Belfast, Derry and Portadown, as well as through the playground of one primary school in north Belfast.
- 1 May 2013
- By Olga Khazan
We often talk about “the Islamic world,” or the “Muslim community,” but sometimes it takes being smacked with an enormous, amazing data dump to remind us that Muslims are actually an incredibly diverse group — if you can call them a group — who adhere to views that are informed by their cultural and political context as much as their religion.
For their mammoth new study about the world’s Muslims, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life interviewed more than 38,000 Muslims in 39 countries on topics ranging from morality, to politics and justice, and the relationships between the sexes.
- 16 April 2013
- Four stone benches quietly pay tribute to the service of conscientious objectors in the second world war
- By Martin Wainwright
In the first year of the second world war a tribunal heard evidence about a “fine young man”, a Methodist Sunday school teacher and Cambridge graduate, whose conscience forbade him to take up arms.
He was my father, Richard Wainwright, and the hearing’s ruling in his favour led to six years’ work with the Quaker-run Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU), from cleaning hospital bedpans in Gloucester to saving German families and refugees from reprisals after the allied victory.
His pacifist war service will be recognised this weekend with that of more than 1,300 colleagues in the FAU, 17 of them killed in action, and their counterparts in the Friends Relief Service (FRS) which helped civilian victims of war, first in the 1940-41 blitz and then overseas in the wake of the fighting.