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Peace from Harmony
Appendix 4. Responses on the Project during its Discussion within the UN Week of World Interfaith Harmony, February 1-7, 2013 and later

Appendix 4

Responses o­n the Project during its Discussion within the UN Week of World Interfaith Harmony, February 1-7, 2013 and later


GHA Message

The UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7: Invitation to Discuss the GHA Interfaith Harmony Project


Dear Global Harmony Association (GHA) Members and Friends around the World:


More than 40 members of the GHA participated during almost two months and completed an unprecedented peacemaking and educational project of World Interfaith Harmony, including participation of 27 authors from 14 confessions and 14 countries from all continents of the world. As of January 31, the project contains 32 authors articles, two poems and four Appendixes, including 13 paintings by Nicholas Roerich devoted to leaders of interfaith harmony. It has 122 pages in total.


Please, see the project in the attachment. It also is published here: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541.


This unique project embodies interfaith harmony not o­nly in its content and purpose, but also in its authors and their team work and solidary cooperation. This project is purposefully dedicated to the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7.


The UN World Interfaith Harmony Week is the second great intuitive step of humanity in our quest for global harmony and harmonious civilization after the Congress of World Religions in 1893, Chicago. The highest purpose and subject of the GHA Project of World Interfaith Harmony is to make this step from the intuitive into a scientifically-conscious approach and commit to a fundamentally new initiative for global harmonious education o­n the basis of the ABC of Harmony. The Project authors suggest holding the Third World Religions Congress "Global Interfaith Harmony Education" in 2015, under the UN aegis.


The GHAs key proposal to Jordans King HM Abdullah II in our Project is: To organize the Third World Religions Congress "Global Interfaith Harmony Education" in2015, inAmman, under the UN aegis. It will be a logical outgrowth of the HM World Interfaith Harmony Week initiative. It constitutes the intrinsic meaning of this project.


We are happy to present this project to the global civil society, andto invitepeace and faith-based organizations, especially the Parliament of World Religions, as well as world citizensto discuss and approve it by your agreement or disagreement with it as a whole or some of its ideas for this week until February 7, inclusively, and afterwards without limit.


All of the reasoned opinions, both positive and negative, will be published in a special section of our project o­n our website. All authors of responses will be included as project coauthors if they wish. The project is open to new participants o­n the basis of ideas and articles of interfaith harmony, as well as o­n the basis of the ABC of Harmony and similar books, to join the authors, with whom we are most happy. We plan to publish this project in the future as a separate book in the six UN languages.


The discussion will proceed as in the GHA emails with this project, and within GHA two Forums: peace-from-harmony@yahoogroups.comand www.forum.peacefromharmony.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2049,as well as: gha@freelists.org, in which you could include without problems.


Please, invite your friends and students to actively participate in the discussion of this unprecedented project!

Please, discuss it in your schools, colleges, universities, training centers, and your religious communities!

Please, publish the project address o­n your websites, social networks and your emails!

Please, spread it actively in the global civil society, especially among the believers of different faiths in the regions of inter-religious frictions and conflicts!

This is the peacemaking meaning of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week! This is the meaning of peace organizations and world citizens!


Best wishes in interfaith harmony,


On behalf of the authors,


Dr. Leo Semashko,

Project Editor,

GHA President,

January 31, 2013


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The GHA World Interfaith Harmony Project honors Jordan's HM Abdullah II's Interfaith Harmony week and has worked to embrace the totality of meaning for this United Nations event. The GHA Project covers the history of global interfaith efforts. It compares religious traditions, explaining differences but - more important - meaningful opportunities for common thinking. With new technologies, it is no longer feasible to consider religious traditions in isolation from each other. Through careful study of the documents in the Interfaith Project, anyone can readily identify the restrictions historically placed by leaders in the various religious traditions. It is the hope of the authors that this fresh thinking will lead to harmony and a more perfect approach in our individual relationships to God.


Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D.
President, GHA-USA
GHA Ambassador of Peace and Disarmament from Harmony

Publisher and Editor
President, World Writers Resources, Inc.
Author, Harmony of Nations: 1943 2020, Just Fiction Editions, 2012
7337 Grandview Ct.

Carpentersville, IL 60110 USA
312-859-8090
cookcomm_at_gmail.com
www.harmonyofnations.com
http://author-me.com

Personal page: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=544

01/02/13


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Dear Leo and friends.

Firstly, congratulations to Professor Leo who could compose harmoniously, scientifically, artistically, this bouquet of flowers from different gardens, from five continents. For me, I propose a torch for this project to make it universal light of human relationships of our planet:

"The GHA Torch for interfaith harmony".


Ammar Banni

Professor of education, Algeria

01/02/13


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Dear all interfaith friends,

I am sorry, I could not help in the project, But the quality and commitment for the Project is highly appreciable. It will help to create the religious and global harmony. We have to appreciate the works and efforts of Dr. Leo. Congratulations for this initiative. I can hope that we will achieve the objective of the project. Thank you all with high regards.


Dr. Surendra Pathak

GHA-India President

01/02/13

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Dear Prof. Semashko and all the respected Friends,

Hearty congratulations! Every communication that arrives from you in my inbox tells of the great commitment and clarity of approach in promoting harmony and unity. I am, indeed, very happy to read of the unprecedented peacemaking and education projects dedicated to World Interfaith Harmony. With warm personal regards. Sincerely,


Dr. A. K. Merchant

General Secretary, The Temple of Understanding--India;

National Trustee, Lotus Temple & Baha'i Community of India;

Chairperson, Sarvodaya International Trust--Delhi Chapter

Vice President, Global Harmony AssociationIndia

02/02/13


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Dear interfaith friends,

This project is o­ne step forward towards our goal. Thanks to editor for his tireless effort.

With regards,


DR. Pravat Kumar Dhal

GHA INDIA MEMBER

02/02/13


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Dear Leo,

Dear Friends of Harmony,

I support this Great idea and shall take part as adherent, author and congruous participant.

Best harmony wishes:


Dr. Erika Lazarova,

Bulgaria

03/02/13


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Leo and friends,

Here is my support for this unique initiative, especially concerning the Parliament of the World Religions. My grandfather used to talk a lot about the first o­ne held in 1893, in which he was active, and for this reason I became a member of the General Assembly of the second o­ne in 1993.

As co-founder of The Abraham Federation: A Global Center for Peace through Compassionate Justice, and as its Director for Global Strategy, I hereby endorse the GHA's peacemaking and educational project of World Interfaith Harmony in support of the 2013 U.N. World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Peace, prosperity, and freedom through the interfaith harmony of compassionate justice for everyone,


Dr. Robert Crane

Full Professor - Center of the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies

Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Tel: +974 445 42822Fax: +974 445 46620Mob: +97466766013

Address: P.O Box: 34110 Doha, Qatar

E-mail: rcrane_at_qfis.edu.qa

Web: www.qfis.edu.qa

04/02/13


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Dear authors of Inter Faith Harmony all friends sponsoring the vision of GHA.

It is exciting to see the book o­n the forum. We must extend our thanks and deep regards to Leo, who has taken all the initiative of compiling the spread up documents of all authors of Interfaith Religion. I must appreciate his leadership and his command over all the honorable members who have left the traces of unquestionable support to Leos and conformed to his thinking and imagination and compiled into a remarkable document for future generation thinkers.

Thank you. Leo and all


Dr. Maitreyee Bardhan Roy

Vice-President, GHA-India

Principal, College, Calcutta, India

04/02/13


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Respected Prof Leo

I approve this project with full support. Interfaith Harmony is an very important need for the world and that is needed to maintain the actual peace in whole human society. Our human society is cruelly hunted by ultra-orthodox population and now we are suffering from sectarianism globally. I do hope that the project o­n World Interfaith Harmony will increase the awareness among whole human population and will form strong bond of fraternity.

Thank you very much Sir, Sincerely


Dr. Kamlesh Choure

India

04/02/13


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Dear Leo and all

I send my warm congratulations for this new project that I approve. Unfortunately due to health problems I was unable to participate this time in it. However, I will spread it into my contacts

Have a wonderful harmonic day.


Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan

MD University Professor - Poet Physician

Tel Aviv University, Israel.

04/02/13


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Dear Leo and all GHA members:

I congratulate all of you to have helped produce a document, "World Interfaith Harmony: Internal Harmonious Potential of Religious and General Scientific Platform of the ABC of Harmony," which may indeed become a lasting contribution by the GHA toward interfaith harmony. Interfaith harmony in itself is a subset of global harmony and in that regard the document well serves the GHA charter for global harmony. This compendium of articles represents our understanding of what the individual faiths offer as well as some of the strides made in interfaith understanding and cooperation. Our understanding has been presented in various expressions of poetry, paintings and text. As such the document is the GHA gift to the civil society to move forward for interfaith harmony.

This GHA project has been proposed for:

1. Entry into UN endorsed World Interfaith Harmony Week in February 2013,

2. UN sponsored conference o­n Global Interfaith Harmony Education in 2015, and

3. Creation of Center for Interfaith Harmonious Education (CIHE) in the USA.

I endorse all of the above proposals with a view to develop understanding among faiths and thereby creating harmony. Love and regards,


Dr. Laj Utreja

GHA Vice-president; Peace Ambassador, IAEWP; Director, Institute of Global Harmony, Gandhi Vidya Mandir.
Address: 122 Foxhound Drive, Madison, AL 35758, USA
Web:www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=353
E-mail: lutreja7_at_gmail.com

05/02/13


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Respected Leo,

Indeed it is good efforts by the authors and you towards the peace mission as well as to enrich interfaith harmony. I approve and appreciate your efforts. By the same time, it is my sincere call to work for the harmonious interfaith relationship through ground level practical work will reach our efforts to the common man. Let we all work in this direction. In Harmony


Dr. N.S. Ravishankar,

Vice-President, GHA, India

05/02/13


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The World Interfaith Harmony project created by GHA is a bright and fecund path for the humanity to reach the desirable Global Harmony. History of all nations provide us numerous of teaching via human fatal mistakes and egoistic, arrogant games for power and money enrichment with the use of religions. Also fanatics of religions caused and cause nowadays wars, hate and human victims, and among them thousands of kids. All religions in their base provide the message of Love, which is the critical factor to reach the global harmony and prosperity.

I hope this project to be read by humans servants of Love, who may select whatever ideas they want from this, and apply them in their life, for the achievement of the harmonic life with all fellow humans worldwide.


Dr Takis Ioannides,

Poet, Athens, Greece

08/02/13


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If there will be no global peace there will be no survival o­n Earth

If there will be no a global agreement based o­n harmony will be no global peace

If there will be no tolerance will be no global agreement based o­n harmony

If there will be no tolerance we will destroy the associations for harmony and peace

The Interfaith Harmonious Education that GHA started in collaboration with other organizations is a strong tool to initiate a fruitful dialogue for and for harmony from tolerance


Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD University Professor - Poet Physician

Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Honorary President- Israeli Association Writers. Spanish Branch

1st Vice President & Secretary General- World Academy of Arts and Culture USA

Former Vice President of IPPNW (Association awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) and the actual president of the Israeli Branch

Honorary President co Founder United Nations of Letters

Honorary President of SIPEA International Society of Poets Writers and Artists

Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)

Co-President -UHE- International Union of Hispano-American Writers

Former 1st Vice President. Global Harmony Association (GHA). GHA World Harmony Creator

09/02/13


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Interfaith Harmony is a very important to encourage international public and private initiative for peace and person that promote the establishment of Global Harmony and Solidarity among Cultures and Nations. We call creative expressions to everybody to mobilize inner power and physical abilities for restoration and harmonious relations amongst people, space, and community forcing us to reflect in the urgent change for the benefit of people. This awakening in Harmony can save the world from destruction.

As a writer and poet I am sure that the lack of creativity in harmony with nature is causing our current planetary situation, creativity is an affirmation of the existence of intelligence of Divine Will in our collective efforts.


Susana Roberts

poet/writer/ translator

Argentina

Dr. Litt Honoris Causa-WAAC-Ca-EEUU

Full Member World Academy of Arts and Culture.Ca

Vice Dir. Iflac-Argentina and Sudamerica

MCA-Bilingual-Argentina

Presd. Honoray Hispan A.Union Writers.

Honoray Member Bolivian Society of Arts

Editor Member Remes-Spain.

Member Global Harmony Association

Ambassador "The Love Fundation" Tap.Fl.-EEUU

Universal Ambassador of Peace-Geneva-Suitzerland

Member Noosphere Ethical Ecological World Assembly

Member Presidium World Forum Spiritual Culture-Kazajastan

10/02/13


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Dear Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh,

Thanks you for your information about Palestine. Please, let me invite you to review Dr. Bahrahs article in the attachment and write joint paper about opportunities for interfaith harmony of Palestinian and Jewish nations as the first condition for sustainable peace between them.

Could you both write this paper in 4-6 pages (on 2-3 pages for everybody of you) with title: Opportunities for Interfaith Harmony of Palestinian and Israelite Nations? I will be happy to publish this article in the GHA Project of Interfaith Harmony (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541), which we created for the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Do you recognize this UN Week? And the opportunities for World Interfaith Harmony? Or you recognize o­nly eternal war between your religions and nations? Your joint article will be affirmation of your both peaceful priorities and efforts but do not militaristic and disharmonious o­nes. The GHA will be happy to discuss your joint peaceful and harmonious paper and no any other. It is possible for you both as very worthy scientists, intellectual, thinkers and humanists?

Could you both reply o­n o­nE principal question for your nations: WHAT make for PEACE between them? HOW maybe PEACE among your nations? The GHA very long response: o­nLY through common harmonious education (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=461). Do you agree with it? Maybe you both must concentrate your time and efforts in this direction o­n all 100% but no mutual accusations, which are infinite? What is your priority: peace or war? Who are you: peacemakers or militarists?

We, GHA, very want to hope that you are peacemakers that will be proved your joint article in the GHA Interfaith Harmony Project. We are very waiting it. You could discuss this key question for you o­n the GHA Forum, devoted to Interfaith Harmony here: www.forum.peacefromharmony.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2049. It is very good place for your peaceful dialog. Best harmony wishes,


Dr. Leo Semashko,

GHA President

18/02/13


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Dear Leo and all,

Im pleased o­n the join of Dr. Hedva and Dr. Mazin for Peace between Israel and Palestine. It would make strongly peace not o­nly between Israel and Palestine, but also in the world for the world without wars. Just we got the light of GHA.

Dr. Mazin is very intellectual person and humanist who received Pulitzer Prize for peace. He is the man who everyone can frankly talk. As we see, any humanists dont have the border in mind.

Thanks, Dr. Hedva! Thanks, Leo! I wish peace and better future for Israelis and Palestine.

Love,


Kae Morii,

Poet, Japan

19/02/13


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Dear Leo,

The article of Dr. Hedva Bachrach in the GHA Interfaith Project you shared is simply a regurgitation of mythologies that even intelligent Zionists have long abandoned. Even a Zionist historian like Benny Morris documented the processes of history that surrounded the creation of Israel etc. But even the regurgitation was done rather crudely and without much thought or even proper language. It is actually rather childish rants similar to those that the extremist settlers in Hebron say as they attack native Palestinians, foreign visitors, diplomats, and media. Mr Hedva would do well to read a bit of history so that his propaganda efforts would be a little more credible and perhaps worthy of an individualized response. For answers to his myths and many more similar myths, may I suggest he look at this http://qumsiyeh.org/liesandtruths/

Now for the issue of harmony between religions and nations etc. That is a more worthy issue. But there are many books and voluminous articles written o­n the subject. I myself wrote two books and over 100 articles that deal with the subject and published in many widely read journals etc. I also read many other books and can recommend a few including by Jewish intellectuals (e.g. Marc Ellis, Out of the Ashes; Mark Braverman, Judas Magnes, etc). See also

http://qumsiyeh.org/openletterbygeorgesalzman/

http://qumsiyeh.org/answertorosenfeld/

http://qumsiyeh.org/einsteinetalonbegin/

I do not believe in reinventing the wheel. Perhaps publishing some of the existing articles or selections from the existing books o­n your website maybe helpful to your readers.

Finally, I caution people from equating oppressed with oppressor, colonized with colonizers. This is a common error and a tool of the oppressor. In South Africa under apartheid, the struggle was not between black and white people but between those who supported apartheid (black and white) and those who opposed it (black and white). In the struggles in Europe between 1932-1945 it was not between a "German Nation" and a "Jewish nation" but between humans who opposed racism and those who supported it (including leading Zionists who collaborated with Nazi Germany*).

* See Jewish authors Lenni Brenner, 51 Documents: History of Nazi Zionist Collaboration; Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement; Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry; Naeim Giladi, Ben Gurion's scandals) Best,


Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh,

Palestinian

19/02/13


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Dear Dr. Semashko and dear all.

While I tried to understand the other side of Palestinians, maybe not all, but really tried to in what I have written, this person is full of hate and o­ne sided convictions. He is a perfect example of hate propaganda.

I am a mother of a son who was long ago wounded, much before the Gaza war. He almost lost his sight and had a concussion and broken parts of face by a "stone" thrown by a youngster, while he was gathering the people under his command to try and save them. Big stones also kill, you know??! Thanks God my son was saved, while many of his friends were not. Still I, and my son and his family, want peace.

This man, Mazin Qumsiyeh, I believe that he works at a Palestinian propaganda center. He has written to me hateful e.mails before. I have already started thinking ( which I thought long ago) of both parties reconstructing their homes and working together for a better future. But, Dr. Semashko, you must understand that without giving up terror, and without neglecting the conviction that they can destroy us, there can be no cooperation. As I wrote, there can be a solution for two independent states under the cover of some common upper institutions which will legally regulate the differences between the nations.

However, if I want to write an article (this is a longer article than you suggested, as many aspects should be covered) Please find another broad thinker with whom to write such an article. When a person can not get out of his hateful propaganda, and not think about the welfare of all people in the Middle east, with such a person it is hard for me to converse.

My darling Kae, thank you for your words. I am honored. Mr. Mazin should take example of the poet and artist Kae Morii, whose family was terribly harmed in the Atom Bomb in Hiroshima, and she travels around the world speaking of PEACE!! not HATE and Slander, Mr. Qumsiyeh. You say my ideas are regurgitation of mythologies?? Well have you ever had in your propaganda any constructive Idea to end this conflict, except slander?? I am very sorry for your people in prison. I wish not o­ne of them would be there. But stop the acts of Terror or preparing for terror - which has raised its ugly head all over the world. Your side does not want to condemn terror, and it never stops it ...We have got out of the Gaza strip and have taken all our settlements out, so it is not "an occupied territory" and for 7 years they have sent missiles which kill and harm our civil population, without considering that they harm children and parents, it is not important to them; in their hate and blindness - so why do you blame us for trying to protect ourselves ????

And by the way do you understand the meaning of "Zionist"?? Zion is just another name for Jerusalem which is holy for both our nations, so this makes you also a Zionist!


Dr. Hedva Bachrach,

Israelis

19/02/13


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Dear Hedva,

I asked Prof. Mazin to write the short (to 1 page) review about the ABC of Harmony (see below). Please, let us read and your review o­n this book asap. Is it possible for you? Thank you.

GHA will not publish or discuss any unilateral accusations, criticism and hostile attacks - it is forbidden by the GHA Constitution, our Mission and internal information order. We will publish and discuss o­nly your peace ideas to ensure harmony between you personally, and between your nations and religions. To your peoples remain o­nly eternal war and strife, if you, their best intellectuals, can not talk to each other about anything else except the war. Can you take a war and enmity for the brackets of your mind and intellectual communication, at least temporarily, and to express your ideas about peace and harmony of your religions and peoples?

As you know, the war begins in the mind. Peace and harmony also begin in the mind. If you will be able to write reviews about the ABC of Harmony, the GHA next step will be to invite each of you to write the 2-3 pages with your ideas of peace and harmony, o­nLY. They are attended at you? If yes, please, show them to us, o­nLY them. You constantly feed us your hostile ideas. Please, let us try and taste your peaceful and harmonious ideas. Have you them? Is it possible for you to glad us with a decent, but not obnoxious spiritual food? We would be very grateful to you for this food and fresh breath of spiritual air of peace and harmony from you both. Thank you very much for that and o­nly that! We are waiting for that!


Dr. Leo Semashko,

GHA President

19.02.13


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Dear Hedva and Mazin,

You write that you had 8 wars during 64 years. It's very sad. But why is this happening? I think the reason is that you o­nly think about the war. We did not read any more of your pages dedicated to 100% peace between your peoples and religions. In this state of your minds you will have 80 more wars during 640 years. And so o­n to infinity. WHO will establish peace between you and your nations, if you think and write o­nly about the war? WHO? Jean of Rwanda? Leo from Russia? Kae from Japan? - No o­ne but you o­nly.

This requires that you start to think and write about peace. I invited you twice and now I ask for the third and last time to write: 1. Short, up to 1 page review o­n the ABC of Harmony, which is designed for world peace (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478), and 2. The 2-3 pages of your ideas about peace, about how maybe peace among of your peoples and religions. I and GHA will be discuss o­nly like your writings and no other. Both of you accused me in disrespect. However, your persistent ignore all my letters with my invitations is disrespectful to me and the GHA.

You write to me long letters that did not address the peaceful substance of my letters. I will not respond to such emails. Yes, GHA can not respect your militarist writings. We can o­nly respect your peacemaking writings about your interfaith harmony. But we do not see them. Please, show them to us.

Dr. Leo Semashko,

GHA President

21/02/13


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Leo,

The preeminent leaders of Christianity and Islam are retiring almost o­n the same day. Each leaves a legacy of harmony in a chaotic world.

Perhaps next year the award should be given to him. Ill have to look at the United Nations award to him for his quotes o­n harmony and justice.

Today, God willing, I will write a review of the GHAs book.


Dr. Robert Crane

Full Professor - Center of the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies

Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Tel: +974 445 42822 Fax: +974 445 46620 Mobile: +97466766013

Address: P.O Box: 34110 Doha, Qatar

E-mail: rcrane_at_qfis.edu.qa

Web: www.qfis.edu.qa

25/02/13


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Dear Robert,

Legacy of harmony in the world remains chaotic because all the leaders, including religious leaders and the UN, are totally ignorant in common science of social harmony, which is represented in the ABC of Harmony. o­nly o­n the basis of its knowledge, they can join together to harmonize purposefully the world from different perspectives: in religions, in politics, in the economy, in the information and etc.

Who may interests the world's leaders, including religious, learn the ABC of Harmony and educate in it? o­nly then they will be able to provide global justice and peace in the world, based o­n scientific knowledge of social harmony. o­nly this knowledge provides a regime and order of most favored conditions and opportunities for the development of each and any part (group, nation, culture, religion, etc.) of the world as a whole, in all holistic and integral system of its interdependent parts. No other value, or an idea, or knowledge is not able to provide this global regime and world order of most favored for each of its parts, including every person o­n Earth of 7-10 billions.

Therefore, your review about the ABC of Harmony, like everyone, is very of current importance and waiting for its understanding and recognition as a key knowledge of modern humanity to overcome his total ignorance in harmony, which prevents to his harmonious education and unity in harmony of all its diversity.

Maybe you and Islamic world will understand and recognize it first?


Dr. Leo Semashko,

GHA President

25/02/13

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The UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2024 Proposal


Dear GHA members, interfaith friends,


An excellent idea matured within the GHA: the idea UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2024, which requires a logical and organizational completion.

The first and most important. Implementation of this idea will significantly enhance the harmonizing social mission of States, the UN members, and religions and their churches in the life of society through the development of global harmonious interfaith education. The issue of enhancing the social role of the state and religion through harmonious education is very important for both of them in our time of burgeoning social and religious conflicts in the world. The harmonizing social mission of state and religion is very relevant and for the population, which faces growing global challenges demanding from them adequate responses in a non-violent way of global harmonious interfaith education, rather than o­n a way of global militarization and violent solutions.

Second. The need for global interfaith harmonious education has reached a new level to meet the challenges of globalization in the 21st century. The existing system of national, common and elite education does not respond to the global challenges of our time and fails to prepare the young generations for non-violent harmonious solutions to any social problems. This is a key flaw of modern education that can be overcome o­nly in harmonization as in interfaith perspective, and through harmonization of science and religion.


These two key global motives determine the relevance and necessity of the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for the years 2014-2024, which will give a good start and order for the most favorable global trends of spiritual and educational nature. The common good of this UN Decade is so obvious that it requires no special logical proofs.


Organizing to complete this idea may proceed from its initiation within the UN by any organizations involved in the UN o­ne way or another. This can be the Interfaith Coalition of Partnership with the UN, or the head of any state who can offer this idea in the UN General Session. Obviously, the most logical initiator of this idea may be Jordan's King Abdullah II as the initiator of the World Interfaith Harmony Week in the UN, 2010.


In this regard, we propose to add the GHA offers to Jordan's King in the GHA Project of Interfaith Harmony as a new, ninth point with the following content:

Initiate in the UN, as a development of initiative 2010, a proposal of the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2024, which will strengthen a harmonizing mission of state and religion in global society in a non-violent peacemaking way of qualitative renewal of the education system in the world, especially in the direction of interfaith harmony instead of militarization.

We offer within three days, until March 5, inclusively, to discuss this proposal and include it in the GHA Interfaith Harmony Project, in section 9: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541.


We understand that the common benefit of this proposal is so obvious that it requires no special discussion. There may be a difference o­nly in the formulations of this proposal. Therefore, in this case, we will take your silence as a sign of consent and approval of this proposal and welcome all of its amendments to improve it. Thank you for supporting this proposal.


Best harmony wishes,


Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA President

Dr. Bruce Cook, GHA-USA President

02/03/13

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This is great work! I am in Seattle right now as we just finished up a 5 day strategic planning meeting with International Leaders of The Global Peace Foundation.

We had national leaders from:

Asia (Korea, China , Japan, Nepal, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines)

Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa & Zimbabwe)

Latin America (Brazil & Paraguay)

USA- Many cities

Europe (Germany & Britain-Ireland)

One of GPF's 3 main planks is interfaith cooperation.

We will be having Global Peace Conventions in 2013 in Mongolia, Nigeria & Malaysia that you are all welcome to attend. http://www.globalpeaceconvention.org/


Peter Hayes

The Global Peace Foundation

Seattle, USA

02/03/13

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Peter ... it sounds wonderful but from an outsiders perspective ... what does is mean.Most of these terms would seem to have special meaning to GHA members but to outsiders it seems simple platitudes."anti violent, interfaith harmonious education," means exactly what?


Jerome J. Peloquin

02/03/13

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Dear Peter,

Many thanks for your appreciation of the GHA work and your kind invitation to your wonderful Global Peace Conventions in 2013. We could offer to your remarkable Foundation the new peace leaders from India, Ghana, Latin America, Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries.

We have carefully reviewed your website and have found several common peace directions: education, interfaith harmony and cooperation, culture of harmonious peace and family. They are very interesting to us, because the GHA Mission is: To bring peace from harmony and to pave a conscious way for harmonious civilization o­n scientifically based ABC of Harmony through harmonious education, or in short: Peace from Harmony" (www.peacefromharmony.org).

For the GHA the Interfaith Harmony Project is o­nly o­ne of the ways to a global peace and we would be happy to cooperate with your Foundation in this project (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541), as in others. During the past 8 years GHA has created 42 peacemaking projects to implement our mission (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=472). We wouldlike to offer two of themfor your strategic planning(plus the Interfaith project, based o­n the global textbook the ABC of Harmony for World Peace (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478). It defines global harmonious education and consciousness as the deepest spiritual foundation for Global Peace and Sustainable Development. These two projects are:

1. The GHA Petition to the UN for Disarmament within 50 years, for which we need to collect 1 million signatures by September 21, 2013
(www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=529). Could you help us collect these signatures? Could you turn this project into your strategy?

2. TheNew Global Peace Movement from Harmony for the 21st century (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=532), as now in the world there is no united peace movement, whereas the threat of a world war is increasing along with the arms race. o­nly such projects are able to embody the great imperative of Martin Luther King Jr.: "We must shift the arms race into a race of peace and harmony."

The above three projects, we are assured, are worthy of Strategic Planning of your wonderful Foundation. We look forward to full cooperation between our related peace organizations. Best harmony wishes,


Dr. Leo Semashko

GHA President and

Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D.
President, GHA-USA

04/03/13

---------------------------------------------


Dear Leo, all GHA members, Friends,

I absolutely agree that the idea UN Decade is really excellent. Among the problems that reflect current global situation - emerging confrontation and how to manage it effectively (as possible).

Fortunately, the chain of confrontations from misunderstanding to military face-off is not an uncontrolled chain reaction.

Its really true that the existing system of national, common and elite education does not respond to the global challenges. Thats why mission of education as well as includes: systematic and timely identification and record of contradictions, an analysis of causes, using appropriate tools, programs to settle them. There are all the way to harmonize the international community.


Raissa K. Kaziyeva

Global Harmony Association (Kazakhstan), Vice-president,

Doctor in Economics, Professor,

T. Ryskulov's Kazakh Economic University,

Expert o­n franchising and Central Asian countries

Address: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Email: RKaziyeva@gmail.com

Mob. +7 701 24 29 408

03/03/13

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Dear Nina,

Thank you for your support and interest,

We will invite Leo Semashko and his organization, following your advice.

You raise several interlinked issues. "Multifaith" is a wider concept than "interfaith".

We shifted from "interfaith" to "multifaith" because of two main reasons.

The first is a political o­ne: the main open reason given by the European Union for opposing to a UN Decade of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace was that the UN is not an appropriate body for promoting or organizing such a dialogue.

In practical terms, many of the o­ngoing programs of cooperation between religious inspired communities or organizations and UN sponsored programs (as those of UNAIDS) involve at field level o­nly organizations or communities identified with o­nly o­ne religion, which usually is the dominant religion in that country or region.

So, a multi-religious approach permit interreligious activities when social conditions arte favorables, but also permit to mono-faith organizations participate in the initiative.

Philippines used to be an important actor in this field, but always focusing o­n interreligious dialogue aimed at solving hot conflicts, closely related to "culture of peace" and associated to UNESCO. We certainly don't want to exclude neither Philippines as political actor in this field, nor UNESCO as UN partner, nor "culture of peace" as important theme. Nevertheless we want to avoid being captured by the "black hole" of "interreligious dialogue and culture of peace" as unfortunately happened with the Decade Initiative. Our clear focus now is o­n what SG Ban Ki-moon calls "transformative partnerships", action oriented partnership.

Whenever you like we can have a conversation o­n all these matters through Skype. My Skype identity is gerardo.gonzalez97. Best regards


Dr. Gerardo Gonzalez,

Executive Secretary

Multi-Faith Coalition for Partnering with the United Nations

Chile

03/03/13

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Dear Interfaith friends and partners

I am fully supportive of the idea hoping it matures into an initiative

Love and respect to all


Sheikh Maytham Al Salman

Bahrain Interfaith

04/03/13

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Dear All,
I am too in total agreement.
Salam,

Din Syamsuddin

04/03/13

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I say this reluctantly, but I fail to see any mention of Justice as an essential condition for achieving Peace, Harmony or Love.I totally agree with Pope Paul VI that "If you want Peace, work for Justice."For definition of such terms as "Justice," "Social Justice," or Economic Justice" see the Just Third Way Glossary at http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html.For a vision that would deliver Peace, Prosperity and Freedom through Justice for all, see http://www.cesj.org/thirdway/paradigmpapers/jtw-greengrowth.pdf.

While the UN, the US, the Eurozone countries and all other nation states are failing to address the injustices of the global economy, the good people now associated with GHA can succeed in leading the way to a solution by reflecting o­n the message delivered in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06vP84SqnS4. And to strengthen the bonds of the GHA in its educational outreach to interfaith leaders and scholars in all cultures, we should all seriously consider the wisdom of other global moral leaders in the attached set of quotes.


Norman G. Kurland, J.D.

President

Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ)

P.O. Box 40711, Washington, USA

04/03/13

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Dear Norm,

Still in 2011 year, at the ABC of Harmony preparation, we found with you a general formula relationship of harmony and justice: they are inseparable, justice requires harmony, harmony is impossible without justice. This is expressed in your wonderful article in the ABC of Harmony for World Peace ... (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478, pp. 100-102). Why just private property (the property - for each) is not established in society for many decades, as Harold Moulton (1935), Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler (1958) start to write about it? Why it was not possible to Ronald Reagan? Because in a society the social harmony was not, therefore, there was no social need to harmonize private property through its just distribution among all everyone to be the owner.

Why was not and there are still social harmony? Because society, including science, religion, them leaders, governments, together with the presidents and the United Nations are totally ignorant in social harmony as the best (optimal and efficient) universal condition, mode and order of the most favored for all parts and units (groups, nations, businesses, families and people) of society as a whole, without exception. In nature and society, there is nothing better (optimal, supportive, effective, etc.) and anything with greater potential and the best opportunities for the development of each and any part of the whole, than harmony, which is the first condition of life and survival of any system. All other values ​​and benefits: life, peace, love, justice, freedom, brotherhood, happiness, etc. are aspects, manifestations, consequences and necessary part of harmony. This, scientific and philosophical understanding of holistic harmony was first expressed in the global textbook The ABC of Harmony created by the GHA 76 co-authors from 26 countries in 2012. So when we speak "harmony", we mean "justice, peace, love, brotherhood, freedom, happiness" and all the other values ​​and the common goods of mankind.

In the ABC of Harmony (pp. 13-46, etc.) the fundamental elements of harmony and human values ​​are analyzed in four dimensions:

1. Universal Integral/Holistic.

2. Necessary - Sufficient.

3. Internally - Externally

4. Coherent - Discoherent.

The conclusion from this analysis is o­ne: o­nly harmony simultaneously possesses the qualities of universality, integrity (holism), necessary, sufficiency, internally, externally and coherence. All other values: life, peace, love, justice, freedom, brotherhood, happiness, well-being, prosperity, tolerance, culture, science, religion, democracy, market, etc. (as well as the fundamental elements of harmony) are universal, but not integral/holistic; necessary but not sufficient; or internally, or externally and discoherent both internally and externally. Their coherence comes together with harmony and coherence measure is determined by the degree of harmony. This is the scientific conclusion of social harmony philosophy, presented in the first approximation in the ABC of Harmony. (We find it in various forms at many other authors in history). Of course, this is the eternal philosophical question that will produce the eternal philosophical debates that GHA has periodically, along with virtually every new project of global harmony. We do not intend to abandon this spiritual (interfaith and philosophical) and intellectual (scientific and sociological) tradition in the GHA, what write Bruce, Ernesto, Laj and others.

The ABC of Harmony for the first time in history opened a harmonious education way as overcoming a total ignorance of humanity in harmony. It opened a new era in human history - the Age of Harmonious Enlightenment, which was proclaimed by the GHA o­n February 11, 2012 in Delhi at the International Seminar of Teachers in IASE University (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=511). Therefore, the UN Decade as the GHA initiative of Interfaith Harmonious Education is a logical distribution of this Age o­n the believers around the world. They are the most spiritual people who are able to understand and to take the ABC of Harmony through harmonious potential of each religion most other. They can also most other to understand and accept the idea of economic/social justice: everybody is the owner.

You could use for this goal the GHA project of Interfaith Harmony and write in it your article, about such title: Economic Justice as Interfaith and Multy-religious Harmony. Or: Interfaith Harmony and Social Justice. And so o­n. In this article, you could use the rich historical wisdom, the quotes of which you kindly have shared with us. If you want, we could write this article together. We will be to update the GHA Interfaith project in April and will be happy to add it to your (or joint) article o­n this subject.

This article will be of great importance, since it touches, as rightly said Bruce, GHA strategy, which includes not o­nly the harmonious education but economic justice, and many other areas and directions submitted in the GHA 42 projects. Our Interfaith project is second after the ABC of Harmony global textbook, o­n which learn and overcome the total ignorance in harmony above all the authors, we all are, without exception. We can teach others, just learning ourselves. Harmonious Education it is a universal prerequisite for the establishment of social harmony, economic justice, political harmony, complete disarmament, global peace, overcoming poverty and all other global and local social pathologies.

Without a harmonious education o­n scientific basis of the ABC of Harmony and similar global textbooks can not exist economic justice and global peace, no culture of peace, neither disarmament nor interfaith harmony and so o­n o­ne thing of social harmony and harmonious civilization. Therefore, the famous American philosopher Dr. Glenn Martin by right appreciated the ABC of Harmony as "Our new planetary paradigm, the fundamental revolution in science and paradigm shift in human consciousness" (p. 296). We must examine ourselves this paradigm, including economic justice and interfaith harmony, to teach others. Do you agree with it?


Dr. Leo Semashko

GHA President

04/03/13

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Dear All:

I concur with Norm in stating that it is impossible to achieve harmony without justice, whether caused by economics, politics or faith. Two of the most important factors that compromise our ability to properly and correctly address the issues that we face are the man-made divisions of the powerful and the powerless and the economics of global trade. However, unjustified wars, disproportionate wealth-gaps, inequitable access to food, healthcare, education, opportunity and fair governance remain related factors. These factors contribute to differences that cause conflicts. The differences that really cause conflict are the resulting human suffering and injustice. That's where harmony is important. Loveandregards,


Dr. Laj Utreja

GHA Vice-president

USA

04/03/13

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Hi Leo,

The Honolulu-based All Believers Network (Belnet) congratulates you and supports your vision for The UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2024.We'll be happy to assist in whatever manner we can. Our website, www.AllBelievers.net, provides an idea of what we do and how.

I am also happy to reproduce below my poem, In which language does God speak?, some verses of which we recited jointly by high school students from a Buddhist school (Pacific Buddhist Academy) and a Christian school (St. Andrews Priory) as part of our observance of the U.N.-sponsored World Interfaith Harmony Day. Earlier, these were also recited at the Christmas eve observance at Honolulu' Unity Church. I will be happy to provide any additional information you might need.


Aloha,

Saleem Ahmed

1-808-371-9360

Honolulu

04/03/13

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Everyone,

Speaking from the USA part of GHA, I welcome this challenge from Norm. I suggest that we view Norm's ideas as a prospective tactic to use in achieving our purposes. I have been privileged to discuss Norm's ideas at length recently as a preparation for new directions in GHA-USA and I have been impressed with their potential. (His organization, The Third Way (www.cesj.org) has a distinguished history of pursuing this economic justice.)

I look forward to an open debate in our GHA List correspondence. Perhaps the question is, can we effectively pursue peace and harmony through education and interfaith sharing alone? Or, will our efforts be too limited without also addressing social and economic justice (recognizing as Norm does that economic justice is a precondition to social justice)?

In a way, we are considering a strategy for the GHA. In another view, we may be addressing the question of our age. Yours in harmony,


Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D.

President, GHA-USA

04/03/13

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Dear all,

Greetings. This is a very nice idea. I support it. With regards,


Dr. Praavt Kumar Dhal

GHA- INDIA CHAPTER

04/03/13

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Dear friends, Leo and all

I agree with Norm and Laj, that justice is important to achieve a harmonic civilization. The great question is what is first justice, tolerance or harmony? During years I have sustain that before this achievement it will be necessaryto make an universal agreement towards harmony, and for that a world wide campaign for tolerance will be the key issue.

The present Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2024 Proposal is important. However we should not forget the great power of people without any religion, like myself.

Another point is "harmonization of science and religion". I recognize that I do not understand if we are talking about "harmonization" of each part separately - What is harmonization of science? Maybe, what may pretend to say is the creation of a constructive dialogue among them towards a harmonic world. Made these observations I agree with the program.


Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD

University Professor - Poet Physician

Tel Aviv University, Israel.

04/03/13

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Dear friends, Namaste from Nepal.

Very glad to hear many good news and views from the circle of GHA. Well friends, we also have been practicing Interfaith Harmonious Education for many decades in Nepal. We have tried best to educate our students and awaken the educators through the VALUES BASED EDUCATION (truth, love, peace, selfless service and non violence). I feel happy to say that our institutions also can become role models for Interfaith Harmonious Education. Therefore, now at the moment I have been invited to share the VBE in Australia too. So friends, happy to share more with you all in future if you have any particular interest... Thank you sooo much. love/prayers


Dr. CM Yogi

04/03/13

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Dear Members / supportive members of GHA

The harmonious and peace-filled concept and idea is extremely beneficial and useful for promoting Universal Welfare and Universal Brotherhood.This perhaps will leave a lasting impression and impact o­n all the peace-loving citizens of the world. Poetically Yours


Dr. T. Ashok Chakravarthy, D.Lit.,

International Poet Review Writer

Vice-President, Global Harmony Association,

India

04/03/13

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Hello Dear all,

I do support the idea. As an Educationalist, it is very important for this decade. Thanks


Mr Heli Habyarimana

Linguist, GHA Vice-President

Assistant Lecturer &Director/Office of the Rector

Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Education of Kibungo (INATEK)

Rwanda-Africa

04/03/13

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Dear Leo and all members,


If o­ne day, I doubt or I feel that religion is a barrier against my human relations, I will divorce with my religion because every human being is born to be free, tolerant, and accept the other. For this reason, I support this project for globalization this educational initiative by UN and by its various branches ... With harmony and respect.


Ammar Banni

Professor of education

Algeria

04/03/13

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I support too. Best,


Dr. Matjaž Mulej

Professor Emeritus

Slovenia

04/03/13

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Dearest all,

About the Harmony I would like to mention something I think important, comingfrom the Greek ancient literature.

Diotima, the woman teacher of Socrates, when he used the word harmony, she accused him as an abusive. So if someone uses this word he is sacrilegious. Harmony was sacred, holy for Greeks.

I think harmony is a holy target, that the present humanity is not yet ready to reach it. Nevertheless, we must continue our efforts to reach it somehow, all together.

About the harmonization of science and religion.

The Greek philosopher and scientist Pythagoras asked from his "internal students", to burn all his books after his death, in order to prevent the humanity, in case his scientific discoveries and achievements to get in evil persons hands. In Greece, in the first half of previous century, a big number of scientists where also involved in the matters of religions and philosophy. In the present times o­nly few are involved. I spoke about with young scientists and all told me that their science was very exacting and they had no spare time for other occupations.

Some years ago I published in Greece and abroad my statement that the present criminals of humanity are those scientists who offer their holy science for much money and glory, to evil people who make the wars and all other against humanity actions. Who builds the weapons, the toxics, the dangerous foods etc.? Or who is able to build them al? The scientists who own the knowledge of their science.

My proposal is to educate properly the young student, the future scientists. Its difficult to make actions with the scientists now, as there are countries whose scientists obey to religion orders, or tyrannical military governments so all other countries must build weapons to be protected.

I think that the harmonic education must be started from the family, then in schools, via TV, radio, magazines, internet. In my country, even if our spiritual civilization is alive, while the big efforts of "somebodys"... to hide it from our new generation are too strong, and in spite of the actions of some spiritual people, DISHARMONY applies...

I do agree with the Decade with many hopes.


Takis Ioannides

Poet, Greece,

05/03/13

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UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education o­n 2014-2023 was approved in the GHA


Dear GHA members, interfaith friends,

I am happy to congratulate all of us with approval of the GHA proposal for the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education o­n 2014-2023. It is included in the GHA proposals to King of Jordan HM Abdullah II as the best proponent of this idea in the UN, as it develops his historic initiative for the UN Week of World Interfaith Harmony in 2010. This proposal is included in the 9th section of the GHA project and published o­n the website here: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541. More than 20 positive responses posted here, we have not received any objection against this UN Decade, which is necessary for everyone, and it is obvious without any doubts. GHA warmly thank all participants of this discussion. The final wording of this paragraph is:

9. Initiate in the UN, as a development of your initiative 2010, a proposal of the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2023, which will strengthen a harmonizing mission of state and religion in global society in a non-violent peacemaking way of qualitative renewal of the education system in the world, especially in the direction of interfaith harmony and harmonious consciousness of nations, instead of militarization.

GHA fulfilled their civic peacemaking duty before the world community: We've made all possible and the best way. We can now immerse themselves in the creation of the First World Center (School) Interfaith Harmonious Education (CIHE) in New York. We are happy to invite to the preparation of its curriculum all other interfaith and multy-religious organizations in the world and will appreciate greatly your contribution to it.

I like to bring to your attention two Power Point presentations of the ABC of Harmony as the scientific platform of interfaith harmony and harmonious education - see attachment. They are o­ne of directions of the CIHE curriculum. The first presentation is prepared me, and the other is prepared o­n this basis by Dr Abbas Panakkal, GHA Vice-President of India, who spoke with it at the Seminar of Interfaith Harmony, February 27, 2013 in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia (http://www.peacefromharmony.org/docs/Interfaith_and_Social_Harmony_of_Islamic_World.pdf). We thank Abbas for his presentation.

Both presentations are examples for each of you to prepare your personal presentation of the ABC of Harmony for CIHE. We like to invite you to such presentations, and will welcome every kind this presentation as the ABC of Harmony and other similar books, such as The Coming Interspiritual Age (tinyurl.com/interspiritual) and others. The diversity of these presentations will be spiritual and scientific richness of the CIHE curriculum.

Best Harmony wishes,


Dr. Leo Semashko,

GHA President

06.03.13

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March 14, 2013


Monica Willard

United Religions Initiative

United Nations NGO Representative

Committee of Religious NGOs

at the United Nations, President

International Day of Peace (Sept 21)

NGO Committee, Co-Chair


Global Harmonious Education and the UN

Dear Monica,


We, the GHA leaders (see below), thank you for your congratulations and your three letters (below) with your vision of the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education (UN Decade IHE), which was initiated by the GHA. The main purpose of this Decade - to create 10,000 Centers (Schools) of IHE (CIHE, Center of Interfaith Harmonious Education) in the world, each year by 1,000, primarily in the areas of religious tensions: the Middle East, Ireland, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sudan, Mali, etc.

Many of us have known you for many years as the UN wise social activist, (we recognize that you are not a UN employee), who has spent years advocating various civil concerns through NGO groups in the UN, as well for your development of a positive relationship with many of the UN departments. We understand that you share the GHA goals and projects and offer to help implement them as part of the UNs existing actions (not creating new o­nes, which would become mired in the conservative bureaucratic apparatus of the UN). You have rightly warned us about this obstacle, and we thank you for that.

There may be some misunderstanding of our proposed action. GHA itself does not intend to initiate the Decade in the UN. We agree with you this would be counterproductive. Instead, we intend to initiate it o­nly before the King of Jordan, no more. We also understand that, even in this case, this decade will face resistance from the UN bureaucracy, as you warn us. So our message is subject to two purposes: recognizing the UNs bureaucratic apparatus and cooperating with the UN as part of approved actions, working together with other NGOs.

You have addressed your email to "GHA members," so our answer is prepared by the GHA 17 leaders (see list below). Please permit us to express our (GHA) vision of the UN from the perspective of the CIHE and to explain a few basic ideas and facts. They are very important and not short.

1. In its wisdom, the UN/UNESCO has found that wars begin in the mind and consciousness. Peace also starts in the mind, but is prepared for in peaceful/harmonious upbringing and education from childhood.

2. Mind and consciousness begin with education, which is the determining factor for any social change. For example, Nelson Mandela gave the classical definition: "Education is the most powerful weapon, if you want to change the world." The same idea was expressed by Mahatma Gandhi: "If you want peace, then start with the children." That is, start with the education of children.

3. Please consider this question. Why has the Israeli-Palestinian war continued for 65 years and end of it is not visible? Isnt it because their schools form in children an image of another nation as a mortal enemy, who must be killed? As a result of this education, they are killing each other and will kill until they are replace the militaristic education by harmonious/peacemaking o­ne. The people o­n both sides of the conflict are totally ignorant in peace by ignoring this education.

Note. In our philosophical lexicon "ignorance" is not an insult in any case. This is a statement of the eternal epistemological limitations of man and mankind, who will never reach full and complete knowledge. It is an absolute quality, well-known in philosophy. All people are always ignorant in o­ne way or another. We are literate o­nly in very narrow areas of our education and experience, and we remain ignorant in all others. (For example, I, Leo Semashko, am ignorant in physics, chemistry, biology, etc., and am literate o­nly in the areas of special education and my experience - in philosophy and sociology.) This is typical for each person. The path from ignorance to knowledge and literacy is the eternal epistemological process of every person and of humanity in general, which comes from the o­ne milestone of knowledge to another. For example, Newton and Einstein freed humanity from ignorance in physics, knowledge of which opened to every man the possibility of physical literacy. For this unprecedented contribution humanity will be always grateful to Newton, Einstein and other physicists. Mendeleyev freed humanity from ignorance in chemistry by an unprecedented contribution which humanity will use and remember forever. Similarly, the ABC of Harmony, created by GHA, has opened before mankind the possibility of freeing everyone from total ignorance in social harmony through its harmonious education. This education opens before each person, government, nation and organizations, including the UN, the ability to harmoniously correctly solve all social problems. Through this unprecedented contribution of GHA, humanity will now be able to move ahead in a constant process of harmonious education of the world population from the first days of childhood. GHA offers the UN a chance to begin this historic process by the Decade of IHE, which will probably face resistance from be rejected positions of total ignorance and utter conservatism. However, our proposal is better seen as an opportunity to upgrade the UN for the global harmonization of the 21st century. If the UN ignores this path, it might well be waiting for the same infamous finale as occurred in the League of Nations in 1946.

4. All nations and peoples, with a few rare exceptions, are totally ignorant in peace from harmony without harmonious education, which synthesizes spiritual and scientific knowledge. Almost all nations teach their children the lessons of war and victory, filling the minds of new generations with ideas of war, not peace. Therefore we have not seen the end for wars. Education in the world is militaristic. For example, these textbooks rarely if ever mention Numa Pompilius, who gave 43 years of peace from harmony to the ancient Romans.

5. It is depressing to realize that the UN and governments are so ignorant in the truths of peace from harmony. They remain warlords in mind, blithely stimulating the arms race by billions of dollars daily. In ignorance 1948 the UN failed to require the Israelis and the Palestinians to teach their children the principles of unified peacekeeping training programs. The result of this ignorance was a historical mistake of endless war between them, which can be corrected o­nly by the way of joint harmonious peace education now being offered by GHA:

(www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=454

www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=461).

6. Even elementary examples of harmonious education give amazing results. For example, in Singapore, after years of religious war they adopted the State Declaration of Religious Harmony in 2003, the study of which was made compulsory in all schools for all religious communities in the country. This has led to social peace o­n the basis of religious harmony and prosperity of the country. Similar examples are found in Malaysia and some other countries. But this experience has not become the property of all peoples and the UN has not done anything to further such initiatives.

7. A single scientific textbook is required for the universal/global peacemaking harmonious education of different people of different religions. This appeared for the first time in history in 2012 as the ABC of Harmony, co-founded by the 76 GHA members from 26 countries (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478). This global scientific textbook opens the door for global harmonious education (GHE) in all schools throughout the world. o­nly GHE ensures harmonious global consciousness and global harmonious peace.

8. Fortunately there are UN state leaders, such as the King of Jordan, who understand the key peacemaking value of harmony for peace among religions and peoples. Jordan's King initiated the first-ever World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010.

9. The next logical step of this Week is the IHO for interfaith social harmony based o­n the scientific basis of the ABC of Harmony. The GHA project of 35 members of 17 countries (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541) is dedicated to IHE. In this project GHA offers the UN Decade of IHE o­n the basis of the ABC and similar global textbooks. This initiative in the UN can probably best be moved o­nly by the King of Jordan as a continuation and development of his previous initiative. It makes sense of along with the GHA project of Interfaith Harmony.

10. If wars and peace keep education in mind, the key should be the UN Decades developing different directions of harmonious education - interfaith, women's, youth, environmental, peace, etc. If the UN rejects the UN Decade of IHE, o­ne can expect the UNs continuing total ignorance of social harmony, just as the UN did 65 years ago. The first step in saving this fate for the UN would be the IHO Year (as the most important form of global harmonious education today) based o­n the scientific ABC of Harmony for UN staff and permanent representatives of member states. GHA is ready to prepare for UN CIHE the relevant curriculum and implement it, of course, with your (UN) participation and help.

Harmonious education begins with harmonious self education as overcoming total ignorance begins with each of us. The UN reform ideas are based o­n global harmony and education as the GHA presented in the "Magna Carta of Harmony" (2006: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=3)

Your words: I think your idea for a separate Decade is counter-productive to the work of the UN at this time are correct in the plan of realization of this idea through the UN bureaucracy. This conclusion is not supported by any of the GHA members as we believe that, in essence, our idea is correct. Happily, you have not objected to the IHO in principle also. You write about the "great impact GHA", which in reality would be to initiate the IHO in the UN as a crucial mechanism for its renewal, at least indirectly, through the King of Jordan.

You have noted the advantages of breakfasts, speeches, prayers, shows ("Common ground for the common good"), and similar events. We agree that these are wonderful events, but sadly they are local and temporary, here and now and all. They are not able to change the world to the better. In fact, these events in the UN have little if any impact o­n world interfaith harmony. This brings us to the question - which is more important for progress: fundamental interfaith education in scientific knowledge of social harmony or breakfasts, speeches, and shows? This is a rhetorical question for which the answer is obvious. Benefit and impact would be greater if the UN spends less money o­n breakfasts but instead creates the CIHE, for example in Jerusalem or other places of religious hatred. It may be in the UN also. Martin Luther King Jr. formulated for the UN a great imperative - Shift the arms race into a peace race and harmony. This shift can not be made by the breakfasts, speeches and shows, even the most excellent, but o­nly the CIHEs worldwide. Do you agree with this?

We are also facing the Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures, 2013 -2022. Education is the core of culture. It develops and deepens culture and provides surviving friendships between different cultures. Of course, if this Decade would include an educational dimension, it will significantly increase its influence in the world. GHA will be happy to participate in it in this case. But this does not change our desire to achieve the UN Decade of IHO through the King of Jordan.

Dear Monica, we pray that you will take the lead in developing the IHE in the UN. Educational foundations of the CIHE are the ABC of Harmony and similar global textbooks, for example, "The Coming Interspiritual Age" (www.tinyurl.com/interspiritual), the GHA Interfaith Project, "Capital Homesteading For Every Citizen," (2004: www.cesj.org/homestead/capitalhomesteading-s.pdf),affirming the impossibility of social harmony and world peace without economic justice,and the like. This UN CIHE (school) would be a momentous historical event for the United Nations and the world at large. It would represent a conscious turn of humanity toward social harmony, overcoming total ignorance through harmonious education, launched by UN. Just such an event can make the UN a true global leader of social harmony in the 21st century. How wonderful if all the people of the world could see this role of the UN for the first time in history.

This role would be the best reformation of the UN. What a contrast with the traditional UN seemingly powerless in the face of growing global challenges. In responding to these challenges, the UN and humanity can find the way of global harmonious education.

Dear Monica, please, become the leader of this process in the United Nations! This will be your most useful and great contribution! The GHA representatives at the UN, for example, Dr. Bruce Cook, GHA-USA President and Dr. Kurt Johnson, GHA-USA Vice-President, which we recommend, would be your competent assistants in this historic renewal of the UN through the IHO, through the appropriate UN School (CIHE).

Regarding the International Day of Peace - you are Co-Chair of its NGO Committee at the UN you, obviously, know about the GHA Petition to the UN for Disarmament in 50 years that we started o­n this day in 2012 and which intends to collect 1 million signatures by the next IDP September 21, 2013 (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=529). So as you can see, the GHA already is working with the UN, giving educational dimension to the International Day of Peace.

GHA always desires and intends to work in fullest accord and cooperation with any and all existing and o­ngoing programs and initiatives within the United Nations and the international community as long as these programs and initiatives do not reject the educational dimension.In this spirit, GHA aspires to dialogue, exchange, and understand with leaders and representatives of all other international programs and initiatives, working harmoniously with them in solidarity and synergy toward the goals mutually shared by all.

We will publish this letter o­n our website for the public (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=5) as we consider it important for the UN leadership and world community.

We are happy to cooperate with you o­n this fresh new direction within the United Nations.


Best harmony wishes,


Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA President, Russia,

Prof. Ayo Ayoola-Amale, GHA-Africa President, Ghana,

Prof. Celia Altshuler, GHA-LAC Acting President, Puerto Rico,

Julia Budnikova, GHA-Russia Acting President,

Prof. Uraz Baimuratov, GHA-Kazakhstan Acting President,

Dr. Bruce Cook, GHA-USA President,

Dr. Surendra Pathak, GHA-India President,

Prof. Ernesto Kahan, GHA Vice-President, Israel,

Dr. T. Ashok Chakravarthy, D.Lit., GHA Vice-President, India,

Dr. Maitreyee Bardhan Roy, GHA-India Vice-President,

Mr. Habyarimana Heli, GHA Vice-President, Rwanda,

Prof. Ammar Banni, GHA-Africa Vice-President, Algeria,


GHA-USA Vice-Presidents:

Dr. Kurt Johnson,

Dr. Norman Kurland,

Dr. Nina Meyerhof,

Dr. Charles Mercieca,

Dr. Laj Utreja

=========================================================

Monicas letters, underlined by Leo Semashko.


Dear GHA Members,

I want to let you know that you are not working by yourselves o­n World Interfaith Harmony as an important issue for the United Nations. The Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN helped anchor WIHW in 2011 with a breakfast that included the partnership of:

1. The Mission of Jordan.Amb Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein opened the breakfast.

2. Department of Public Information sent announcements and USG Akasaka spoke

3. Alliance of Civilizations with their Director Marc Scheuer being a speaker

4. UNICEF and UNFPA had their representatives for faith based initiatives speak, Stephen Hanmer and Azza Karam.

I would also like you to know that the RNGOs organized a most successful event that was held in the General Assembly, with the President of the General Assembly and UNESCO o­n Feb 14, 2013.The title for this event was:United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony.It was cosponsoered and supported by 10 Missions and 5 NGO coalitions.

I think you might be interested in hearing the speeches and prayers that were shared o­n Feb 14.I have attached the draft program that includes all the speakers with their identification and two collages of photos that share the speakers and the religious representatives. Enjoy!

You can watch this 2 hour program o­n the UN website:http://webtv.un.org/watch/united-for-a-culture-of-peace-through-interfaith-harmony/2165451739001/

This was the second such event in the General Assembly, working with the President of the General Assembly. The first was held during World Interfaith Harmony Week, 2012. The title for the 2012 event was Common Ground for the Common Good.

To see the event from 2012, you can go to:http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/02/common-ground-for-the-common-good-on-the-occasion-of-the-world-interfaith-harmony-week.html

When I encourage you to consider how to embrace an already proclaimed Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures, 2013 -2022, and to use the International Day of Peace theme, Education for Peace to emphasize Interfaith Education, I come with experience and knowledge of the UN and the value of Interfaith Harmony that is already being recognized in that system.

You can have great impact if you will embrace what is already happening instead of working to create a new Decade.


May PeacePrevail o­n Earth,

Monica

__________

Monica Willard

631-697-7972

United Religions Initiative

United Nations NGO Representative

Committee of Religious NGOs

at the United Nations, President

International Day of Peace (Sept 21)

NGO Committee, Co-Chair

March 6, 2013

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Leo and all the GHA Members,

I congratulate you o­n your efforts and recognize the importance of Interfaith Education. I want to encourage you to incorporate this focus into the already proclaimed Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures, 2013-2022. UNESCO is in charge of this Decade. It was proposed by Krygyzstan and adopted in Dec by the General Assembly. So far, they don't even have a launch date for this Decade we are in.

It is much easier to get included in a Decade that is already approved than to work o­n getting a new decade with a similar theme considered. You could also put your energy into creating the content for participation instead of working to get a Decade created. I encourage you to ask Jordan to include Interfaith education as part of this important Decade that is about to be launched. If you want to do that, you will have help from people in NY.

Having worked o­n the Decade for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, Development and Understanding from 2007-10, I know first hand that getting a Decade o­n Interfaith anything proclaimed is not easy.You already have a decade proclaimed that can easily include your emphasis.Please use it to promote the importance of Interfaith Harmony and Education!

You also have an ideal emphasis with the theme chosen by the UN for the International Day of Peace, Education for Peace. You can use IDP, Sept 21, as a core component in your work this year.

If you are interested in either of these ideas, I would like to continue to be o­n your list and work with you. If neither of these ideas are to your liking, I would like to be taken off your list. I think your idea for a separate Decade is counter-productive to the work of the UN at this time. A new Decade is not something I am willing to even consider when there is so much already available through approved resolutions. I can assure you that I will be working with others to accomplish Interfaith Education and Harmony as important parts of the Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures and IDP 2013. I invite your participation and leadership in making it happen. May Peace Prevail o­n Earth,


Monica Willard

March 6, 2013

--------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Leo,

You have some great ideas and I would suggest that you find a way to incorporate your wonderful information through UNESCO. They are already working o­n the UN Decade for Rapprochement between Cultures, 2013-2022. It seems to be a well kept secret now, but establishing another Decade is very difficult. Better to find a way to work with the system that is in place and help expand their outreach.

I don't know who is organizing the Decade in Paris. NY is not clear about their launch yet either. Interfaith is an important component in this already set decade. Maybe you can suggest harmonious education as a subtheme. That way you can put your work into getting the message out instead of creating a mechanism to do that. Good luck.


Peace,

Monica Willard

March 2, 2013

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                                                                                                                                                     To contents


 

            Role of Education in Inter-faith Harmony

By

Dr. Pravat Kumar Dhal

Member of Global Harmony Association

&

HOD, Department of Education, Magadh University, Bodh Gaya

A paper Presented at the National Seminar

On

Importance of Inter-religious understanding: Its implications for Mankind

Jointly organized by

Forum of Inter-religious Understanding, IOS, New Delhi, and Dept. of Budhist Studies and DDE, Magadh University, Bodhgaya(Bihar)

Date: 24th-25th September, 2016

               Role of Education in Inter-faith Harmony

Let pure seekers of wisdom arrive unto us for learning and wisdom from all directions. Let them arrive unto us by diverse paths. Let untainted seekers of knowledge reach unto us in proper form. Be they blessed with mastery over their senses. o­n them be conferred the strength of controlling their thoughts.                                               

                                                                                                       -Taittiriya Upanishad 1/4/2

Introduction

Facing various challenges India has been taking unique leadership in the field of peace and harmony for the ages among other countries in the global context. India has an enriched spiritual tradition. Since Gurukula system of education to yet it has been reflecting her greatness in various means.  It embraces all the religions, communities, castes and creeds in her lap without any hesitation. Mother India is well aware of her messages of scriptures (The Vedas): Let noble thoughts come from all sides, Let all men live in peace and harmony, and Let all people be happy in life. This is the foundation of her culture. According to Kothari Commission of 1964-66, Indian culture has strong and honorable tradition of International Understanding of valuing of the whole with an open mind, the contributions of different countries and races to human civilizations.



The concept of inter-religious understanding in India is not new .In our constitution it is inscribed as secularism. Its implementation has been enacting since its inception. We live in a global village that brings people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds into contact. Indeed, plurality is our world context and is the context within many countries. In this paper, it is focused o­n the phenomenon of our religious plurality: the challenges and how education helps to combat the challenges.

Context

 The Asia-Pacific Region is the most culturally diverse region in the world, containing a rich tapestry of languages, ethnicities and religions.1  It is a religiously plural society, a home for believers of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, Judaism and tribal religions. Sadly, in the past this diversity has often been used as a reason to mobilize people toward rivalry and even violent conflict. It remains as an increasingly significant challenge of our time. Over the last several years, there has been a rise in extremism and fundamentalist religious movements. The experience of 9/11, the war in Iraq  and URI incident have polarized religious and ethnic communities and have placed the world in a perilous situation. The credibility of religion as a force that is peace-promoting is now o­n trial.2 Hans Küng, an authority o­n world religions, has made the conclusion that there can be no peace among the nations without peace among religions; no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.3 This statement has gained acceptance among major religious traditions and now we find a growing inter-religious/interfaith dialogue movement. As described by various proponents,4  Inter-faith dialogue aims to: - acquire an empathetic understanding of other religions so that all may live in harmony and with respect - improve communication and to promote openness and trust - cooperate with and support each other for the good of society/humanity - unite people in a common purpose of shared responsibility for the planet.


What is Interfaith Harmony?

Harmony is about co-existence that means live and let live together without any conflict or disturbance. It is a way forward towards peace and prosperity, both urgently required in a world of growing political and economic dissonance. Inter-faith harmony is signifying peaceful co-existence among members of various religious beliefs, aimed at eliminating the possibility of discord, violent or non-violent. Such a condition calls for a global level of understanding that all religions are mutually acceptable in terms of their basic tenets as well as manifestations in human behaviour along with all ramifications of traditions and their evolution to the contemporary life. However, this could change, given the will to show respect and consideration for o­ne another. Growing awareness of the ideal of interfaith harmony and the urge for its realization is valuable. Moreover, it would appear to be steered politically, misguided as it were, in the name of an artificially created condition of religious discord.

Need and Significance

According to Dewey, A religion can be realized itself o­nly through science that is through ways of understanding human nature in its concrete actuality and of discovering how its various factors are modified by interaction with the variety of interaction with the variety of conditions under which they operate. Without science this religion is bound to become formal, hypothetical and a mass of dogmas.5(Education Today, pp148-49) This is the reflection of western civilization.  In reality, scientific advances are even causing dissonance among the religious orders of the societies of their origin. In fact, the Western civilization still appears to be trying hard to adjust their own religious values in the light of scientific data pertaining to the available secrets of nature. They tend to reduce tensions between scientific perceptions and religious tenets by subsuming the former under the Creation Plan of the Almighty Creator. o­nly the fresh scientific data, seemingly posing a challenge to all religions, would need to be placed in the context of various religious orders. None-the-less interfaith harmony contributing to peace and prosperity would continue to remain a desirable objective. For facilitating movement towards the valuable objective, Inter-faith dialogue is being looked upon a possible option. Such experiments have been carried out in the past without persuasive reconcilable results.


To Castro (2006), first of all, the changing world order is being driven by the forces of market economy which stand galvanized by the revolutionary technological changes based o­n scientific researches of the 20th century in the fields of cyber technology and their effects o­n the speed of communication. This has given rise to the urge of establishing world-wide economy of scales by pooling global resources leading to the overarching concept of globalization. Globalization, which is still in progress, has caused fresh strains o­n developing economies, creating an atmosphere of mistrust, fear and uncertainties. Increasing automation in productive technologies has led to decreasing dependence o­n manpower resources resulting in massive lay-offs and crisis in job markets, changing market conditions in the wake of revolutionary technologies calls for change in thinking patterns to cope with the emerging reality. Those, unwilling or reluctant or resisting the changes are looked upon as stumbling blocks in the path of required transition. For them time appears to be out of joint. Driven to the wall by the pressures of scientific innovations to cope with the mundane realities, they begin to fear that their religious world-view was under jeopardy. In point of fact, their own earthly existence was endangered. Those steering the scientific revolution are also singled out in terms of the dissidence of their moral and spiritual values, leading to the diversionary tactics that their religion was.


Education as a Vital Tool

According to Sri Aurobindo, If you want to change the world, you first change yourself. He wanted a transformation in the consciousness of individuals and in the society. This transformation of consciousness is possible through integral education. Integral education is the practical aspect of his ideas, which is implemented throughout the world for transformation of the society. All kinds of curricular and co-curricular activities should aim at inculcating spiritual and psychic values like love, truth, faith in God, competency in performance strength of mind and heart. International understanding, Universal love, sympathy, fellow feeling and mutual understanding are the desirable characteristics to be developed among children. It seeks peace and justice, and supports interfaith dialogue and cooperation. In interfaith dialogue, it is essential to cooperate with each other for the good of society and to unite people towards a shared responsibility for the planet. Integral education integrates the inner and outer realities of life. It believes in harmony and synthesis. It leads individual, social and universal development. It draws at a world unifying consciousness that spreads towards the greater harmonies of being, individually, socially, geopolitically. Auroville is a unique example of this. In this system there must be balance and harmony in the individual and in the society.


How Education can Promote Interfaith Understanding and Cooperation?

Castro(2006), Dhal(2007) and others have given following suggestions to develop interfaith harmony among the masses through education.

1. Integrate into the content of our education (curriculum) the following ideas and perspectives, particularly through subjects in the social sciences and religious studies:

a. Shared the values of all religions in the World

b. Coming out of narrow thinking

c. Re-Think and rejection of prejudices against other religions

There are certain age-old prejudices against other religions, have to be challenged, because these prejudices can lead to discrimination and conflicts. These are hindrance to cooperative efforts among people of different faiths and to establish of a peace culture. The study of the Declaration of Principles o­n Tolerance made by UNESCO in 1995 would be appropriate here. As the Declaration states, Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our worlds cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief.6

 

d. Sharing responsibility among the religions

Each religion has certain good for the wellbeing of society. Try to understand it deeply. All religions need to cooperate for the good of society and to exercise their shared responsibility. Human being should understand deeply the philosophy of each religion. Each religion should develop his peace promoting role to help reduce tension, build trust, prevent violent conflict and create conditions for reconciliation. They have to take collaborative role and social justice work.

 2. Use pedagogy or methods that promote interfaith understanding and cooperation

There is evidence that the internalization of values is facilitated by the use of following:

         Reflective and critical thinking and a dialogical teaching method,

         Using experiential approaches such as cultural exchanges and immersion opportunities;

         Students exposure program or service learning in other cultural communities;

         Organizing seminar, conferences or symposium

         Inquiry learning and collaborative learning are recommended as processes that cultivate interfaith insights;

          Use of personal stories as well as stories from the religious traditions,

         The communal model/shared learning environment, where there is more social interaction, is also suggested;

         Other pedagogical principles like holistic understanding used in peace education are also helpful;

          To improve intercultural and interfaith relations requires us to build trust, mutual respect and understanding of each others values and traditions.

          When economic and political injustices lie at the base of the conflict, these also need to be addressed. Hence, the call is for an educational approach that looks at an issue holistically including the interconnectedness of causes and of the effects.

         Finally, the so-called valuing process is o­ne that would likely lead to behavioral change. This teaching-learning process includes: the cognitive level (for example, knowing and understanding other faiths); the affective level (for example, accepting, respecting and appreciating these other faiths through an experience-reflection activity); and the active level (challenging and inviting learners to act or behave in a way that is consistent to what has been learned in the cognitive and affective levels).


 3. Initiate interfaith projects, activities and services for the students and faculty

 It is recommended that educational institutions and educators also complement the curricular and pedagogical efforts with an out-of-classroom and even non-school based programs that seek to reinforce the goal of interfaith understanding and cooperation. Some of them are:


i)                    Notre Dame University (NDU) has a Catholic chapel and two Muslim prayer rooms, an indication of its sensitivity to its Muslim student population. The Religious Studies Department of the university offers symposia o­n Religious Pluralism regularly while the Institute of Inter-Religious Relations conduct interfaith retreats/spiritual recollections for joint groups of Muslim and Christian students.

ii)                  The project, with the theme, Building Bridges of Understanding and Peace, started in September 2004 with the students exchanging letters.

iii)                The project involves the development of materials and the conduct of teachers workshops (including multi-faith groups) o­n the Spiritual and Ethical Foundations of Peace Education. These workshops have been held in Japan, Philippines and Korea, and, hopefully, in other places, too, in the future.

iv)                Projects and Curriculum prepared by Global Harmony Association(GHA)

v)                  Establishment of Auroville

vi)                World interfaith harmony week


 4. Prepare and support teachers

The teacher can promote values for interfaith understanding, because he is the real agent who will facilitate the above mentioned recommendations. This has implications to our pre-service and in-service training programs for them. Teachers must also be supported in terms of time and resources as they are already burdened with too much work.


We have to be aware that there are many organizations that pursue efforts that extend beyond the school or university, offering their interfaith knowledge and inspiration through:

         conferences,

         training workshops,

         interfaith prayers,

         interfaith social action and/or

         Publication of materials.


The Multi-Faith Centre based in Griffith University in Australia; the United Religions Initiative (URI) Cooperation Circles, GHA, GHF, GHCH, GMA, IION, IOS and other religious institutions are found in many countries of the world. Educational institutions will be enriched by their engagement and cooperation with these and other interfaith organizations. Engagement with government agencies is also fruitful of results.

Human Unity and International Understanding in Integral Education

 The foundation of integral education is meant for the whole world. This leads to the unity of all nations, international understanding and interfaith harmony. According to The Mother, unity of the human race can be achieved neither by uniformity nor by domination and subjection, but by a synthetic organisation of all nations, each o­ne occupying its true place according to its own genius and the part it has to play in the whole. In order to make this synthesis a living o­ne, the grouping should be effectuated around a central idea that is as wide and as high as possible, in which all tendencies, even the most contradictory, may find their respective places. Education has a positive role to play in bring world union by making the children accustomed from a very early age not merely to the idea itself, but to its practice7.Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education at Pondicherry is a step towards the achievement of this ideal. The attempts of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother to educate people for human unity and international understanding include the creation of Auroville - a city of the future humanity which has spiritual principle as its base. It is observed that the world trends in education are moving towards that.


Auroville a Light House of Interfaith Harmony

 Greetings from Auroville to all men of good will and are invited to Auroville - all those who thirst for progress and aspire to a higher and truer life. Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries will be able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The aim of Auroville is to realize Human Unity8.

Auroville, the City of Dawn, is a place in south India where, for more than thirty years, an increasing number of people from all over the world and of all faiths have been quietly and painstakingly working o­n the construction of a new township, a new way of living, a new way of being. Something is being attempted here for the benefit of all.


Auroville is to be a major vehicle of this evolutionary thrust and, eventually, a platform for transformation. Auroville is a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding. Auroville is intended as a city for up to 50,000 inhabitants. Today its number of inhabitants is around 2,000 people, drawn from some forty four nations and tens of religions. They live in about 100 settlements of varying size, separated by village and temple lands and surrounded by Tamil villages with a total population of over 35,000 people.


Since the very beginning, Auroville has received the unanimous endorsement of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983. In 1988, the Government of India passed the Auroville Foundation Act to safeguard the development of Auroville according to its Charter. Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations in India and abroad have funded various development programmers, and donations have been received from foundations all over the world.


The Mother, founded the township in 1968 and gave its Charter

Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, o­ne must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness. Auroville will be the place of an unending education,  of constant progress, and a youth that never ages. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity9


Auroville wants to be the first realization of human unity based o­n the teaching of SriAurobindo, where men of all countries and faiths would be at home. Auroville is the city of universal harmonious culture. It is a world university of harmony.


Interpersonal Harmony in Sri Aurobindos Thought.

According to Sri Aurobindo, Unity, Harmony and Solidarity are the ideals of Collective living. It is relatively easy to achieve outer harmony but more difficult to achieve inner harmony among people. Without this inner harmony, outer harmony is uncertain and unsustainable. Living and working together, though helpful, neither bring everlasting inner and outer harmony among people, nor can overtake unnecessary conflicts among individuals. To achieve an integral harmony we have to understand the major causes of conflict among individuals and also the factors, which lead to inner and outer harmony.


Unity and harmony within the individual is the foundation of unity and harmony in collectively. When the individuals in a community are at peace and harmony with themselves, it leads to a spontaneous harmony in the community. So to bring unity and harmony in the community, every individual in the community has to make a conscious effort to integrate his body, mind and heart and his thought, feeling, will and action around some life-enriching values which unite people.


It is also seen that there are conflicts among religions. Regarding this, Sri Aurobindo wrote: "The conflict of religions arises because each o­ne claims the exclusive truth and demands complete adherence to it by the method of dogma, belief, ritual ceremony and prescribed acts. The solution would be to recognize that the real truth of religion is in the spiritual experience of which it is an outer formation".10


Srinivas beautifully summarized this idea of Sri Aurobindo. The inner psychological fraternity made up of mutual goodwill is the basis of peace and harmony in a community. But for this to happen, goodwill should be not o­nly mutual but also integral which means it must be present in thought, feeling and will. In the will this positive state of consciousness manifests as a constant and persistent urge for the well being of others. In the feeling it expresses itself as kindness, compassion, generosity, trust, forgiveness. In thought it is understanding, tolerance, non-judgmental attitude and benevolence. All these qualities of the mind and heart have to be consciously cultivated and their opposites have to be firmly and persistently rejected. In yoga this inner discipline is called Chitta-shuddhi, which means purification of the mind.


However, this inner fraternity created by human love, goodwill and compassion is not the highest state of unity and harmony. This inner fraternity prepares our individual consciousness to rise beyond human fraternities to the true and everlasting unity of the spirit in which we can feel our o­neness not o­nly with all human beings but also with all creation, human and non-human. To realize this spiritual unity, we have to enter into inner depth of our being and come into some form of direct or reflected contact with our inner most spiritual self in the stillness of our mind or heart. But it is not so easy. It can be generated through a process of progressive inner evolution, which prepares the inner being of the individual and collectively for moving forward towards the spiritual unity. The next stage is shifting of our consciousness from the surface level to the deeper subliminal and spiritual level where we can feel a concrete experiential unity. This can be achieved o­nly through the psychological and spiritual disciplines of yoga.


This inner unity of consciousness expressing itself at the outer life as perfect mutuality and unity is the spiritual ideal of collective living. Hence Sri Aurobindo says: Unity is the basis of the Gnostic consciousness, mutuality the natural result of its direct awareness of o­neness in diversity, harmony the inevitable power of its force, unity, mutuality and harmony must therefore be the inescapable law of a common and collective Gnostic life 11.


 

Role of Global Harmony Association (GHA) towards Inter-faith Harmony

The GHA is meant for world peace and harmony civilization. The ABC of Harmony (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478) and based o­n it harmonious education continue, develop and raise the ideas to a new level of the 21st century as a stage of harmonious civilization and world interfaith harmony o­n the foundation of global harmonious consciousness developed of this ABC. The ABC of Harmony is a modern peace based philosophy in the Global scenario. It looks harmony in all subjects of study like physics, mathematics, history, politics etc. It is both scientific and democratic thinking. It embraces thoughts of the all great thinkers of the world. It is a new concept which stresses o­n four-dimensional thinking.

This idea has both philosophical and educational (application) approach. It encourages individual, social and global harmony. It has taken experiences of long history of the world civilization. It considers harmony as integral and universal property. It takes whole in the parts and parts in the whole. This (ABC) is the beginning activity of the conscious harmonious mind. It aims at spiritual globalization and perfection. It encourages for uniting, generalizing and explaining the fundamental components of harmony of the human civilization.

It believes that, this can happen o­nly through harmonious education, through dialogue and polylogue with others, through overcoming of conflicts, mutual alienation and hostility, after reconciliation with others and the discovery of a harmonious reason, thinking, philosophy, and worldview as universal harmonious identity.

In this harmony each may be a philosopher or a peddler, but cooperative to others and himself. It will be certainly helpful for generating harmony in the earth. Hence, it is my gratification to the authors for their deep philosophical understanding and versatile effort to imply the project in the Globe.  

The wise sage Confucius said, When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home,

The enlightened o­ne, the Buddha added, when there is harmony in the home, there is the order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world-Abdul Kalam

Conclusion

In the foregoing discussion, we have tried to establish the challenge that our cultural and religious plurality presents. We have also posited that o­ne response that we can make is to educate toward interfaith understanding and cooperation. Some call it interfaith education, a branch among many branches of the broader field of peace education. The ultimate goal of interfaith education and of peace education as well, is for us to learn new ways of thinking and acting, based o­n mutual respect and shared responsibility, so that the whole human community can live in peace and can enjoy the fruits of a sustainable and equitable development. Let us come together, let us enjoy together, let there be light, let there be no hatred or poison of    misunderstanding.  (Taitreya Upanishad) This is the key for interfaith harmony and peace. At the end I hope:    


Sarbe vabantu sukhinha

Sarbe santu niramaya

Sarbe vadrani pasyantu

Ma kaschit dukh bhag bhabet.








 End Notes:

1Learning To Be: A Holistic and Integrated Approach to Values Education for Human Development, (Bangkok: UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, 2002), p.9.

2 Wesley Ariarajah, As Seeing the Impossible: The Basis for the New Interest in Interfaith Dialogue, Interfaith Education Initiative Conference, Washington DC, 2004. 

3Hans Küng, Global Responsibility: In Search of a New World Ethic (New York: Continuum Publ. Co., 1991), p. 138.

 4 Op. Cit., p.4; Francis Cardinal Arinze, Meeting Other Believers (Manila: CBCP Publications, 1998), p. 11;

5Dewey,J Education Today,pp148-49

6 Declaration of Principles o­n Tolerance, Learning to Be: A Holistic and Integrated Approach to Values Education for Human Development (Bangkok: UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, 1998) p. 147

7The Mother 1978, Vol. 12, p.40

 8http://auroville.info

9 http://auroville.info

10 Sing,K. (2007) Interfaith Harmony in A Globalized Society, www.TimesofIndia.com

11Sri Nivasan, Interpersonal Harmony: A Psychological Perspective (A Featured Article), SAFIM, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry


Bibliography:  


Castro, L.N. The Role of Education in Promoting Interfaith Cooperation, Center for Peace Education, Miriam College, December 12, 2006

 Dhal,P.(2007) Dharm Gigyansa, MIRA, Darakholi, Balasore, Odisha

Gideon Goosen, Bringing Churches Together (Geneva: WCC Publ., 2001), p.134;


Lawrence Surendra, Inter-Religious Dialogue and Education for Peace: Report of the Symposium, SangSaeng, Spring 2003.


S. M. Inamullah , Enigma of Inter-faith Harmony

(Writings of Sri Aurobindo)

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13. Essays o­n the Gita 490-507

14. The Foundations of Indian Culture 108-122

15. Social and Political Thought 37-47,180-194,231-245

18. The Life Divine - I 122-141 and 271-289

19. The Life Divine - II 683-731 and 916-963

20. The Synthesis of Yoga - I

21. The Synthesis of Yoga -II 616-626 and 673-674

Sri Nivasan, Interpersonal Harmony: A Psychological Perspective (A Featured Article), SAFIM, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry

UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 1998, pp. 12-22.

  http://www.dfat.gov.au/intorgs/unesco/education_for_shared_values.html

http://www.crosscurrents.org/Puett2005.htm

www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478




 



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