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Peace & Life Connections #287
November 20, 2015

Paris and Lebanon: Another Time to Mourn and be Outraged
        How can nonviolence deal with the attacks in Paris that killed well over a hundred people, and another 43 people the previous day in Lebanon? Nonviolence concepts offer quite practical advice:
One Nonviolence Rule: Don’t cooperate with those committing violence.
        That means different things for different kinds of violence – not selling the drugs needed for lethal injections, refusing the draft, refusing to provide services to abortion clinics, etc. In this case, it means refusing to follow the script of the perpetrators.
        “Terrorism” means the strategy is to instill fear, so the response should include no fear. When their strategy is to provoke a violent response, take firm action but don’t take the bait for the kind of violent reaction the terrorists are hoping for. Certainly don’t go along with their grandiose ideas of what’s happening. An honest and realistic understanding doesn’t give them as much prestige in their own minds.
Another Nonviolence Rule: Be in solidarity with the victims.
        All the victims. Millions of refugees are also victims of the same people. Any hard-heartedness against them is collaborating with the actions of the terrorists.
        The proposal that banning refugees from the U.S. is needed for security is an emotional appeal not based on reason. Individuals who wish to get into the country for a short-term terrorist project will simply use a tourist visa; gaining refugee status is far too cumbersome.
        Fortunately, several commentaries even from people inclined toward militarist solutions are indicating they understand these two points.
Readings on Nonviolence in Islam
Hundreds of Muslim scholars and leaders have signed a 2014 Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi explaining in detail why the “Islamic State” actions are anti-Islam.  
Most of Chapter 7 covering Islam from the book Religions and Nonviolence: The Rise of Effective Advocacy for Peace is available on-line in the google-books version. 
Books from Muslim writers:
Islam and Nonviolence is on-line and based on a conference held on the theme;
Islam Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today, written in journalistic style;
Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam: Theory and Practice, a scholarly study;
Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era.

 287 Bismallah
Graphic: Calligraphy of first verse of all but one chapter in the Qur’an: “In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.” (Transliteration: Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim, audio)   
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International Human Rights Day -- December 10
        Human Rights for All Ages organizes every year for a pro-life presence and to raise awareness that the killing of unborn children is a human rights issue during the annual International Human Rights Day. They encourage people to visit their website for ways to participate.  

287 Human Rights
Quotations of the Week
(see The Qur’an Arabic Corpus for seven English translations, the original Arabic, and an audio recitation of the Arabic for each verse)
Qur’an 25:63
The servants of the Compassionate are those who walk upon the earth in humility and when the ignorant address them, answer “Peace.”
Qur’an 2:256
There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.
A famous Hadith, often hung in calligraphic adornment in Muslim homes:
Whenever violence enters into something, it disgraces it, and whenever gentle-civility enters into something it graces it. Truly, God bestows on account of gentle conduct what he does not bestow on account of violent conduct.
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