"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iran - Promoting Nonviolence and Peace


With all the rhetoric and concerns being voiced by world leaders about the situation in Iran, it is refreshing and reassuring to read the letter to the Iranian leadership signed by 35 U.S. national organizations. It is a direct, yet humble plea to use nonviolent methods in dealing with the conflict that has arisen surrounding the recent elections.

You can read the full text of the letter at Pax Christi USA.

I would have added one more thing to the letter - a poem by Abū Muṣliḥ bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, also known as Saadi, a prominent Persian poet of the medieval period. This particular poem (which can be found at the entrance to the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations) is said to be an exact translation of one of the prophet Mohammed's Hadiths - a Hadith is a saying of Mohammed or a report of something he did - from Arabic to Farsi.

"Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain."

Compassion and nonviolence are found at the heart of the worlds religious traditions if we are able to cut through the false layers of hatred that we have created over the centuries. May we bear witness to that which connects us in our humanity in a time of such violence and hatred.

You can still sign the petition at Just Foreign Policy urging President Obama to continue a cautious approach with Iran and to continue efforts to engage Iran diplomatically. We must pursue peaceful resolutions to conflict at every step.



Photo by Leslie Angeline and Martha Hubert. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/codepinkalert/2924454809/

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