Interreligious Wisdom in the British House of Lords
Written by UPF-International
Monday, May 21, 2007
|"Collective problems need collective solutions," said H.E. Kamalesh Sharma, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, in addressing an International Leadership Conference on May 21, 2007, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation in the House of Lords in London. He referred to the globalization of technology, economy and trade, along with the globalization of disease, crime and narcotics. He lamented that "only wisdom is not globalized!"
Concerns were raised about religion as an aggressive force. "Why has religion become militant?" asked Lord Bhikku Parekh, Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics. Observing that religious people feel mocked and rejected, he said, "We must find a proper and respectable place for religion in public life. Once religion enters the public space to speak, it also has to accept certain norms around respect for others and working together. The religious voice should not be monopolized by the militants or the conservatives; we should restore the voice of religion to its original values."
The potential of religious people to speak with a unified voice about common values encouraged the British audience. Rob Morris, a member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South-west said, "I learned from today's dialogue that as a politician I need to be more relaxed about religion. Religion is precious to me and many of my constituents."
At the conclusion of the session, Lord Khaled Hameed was awarded a certificate as Ambassador for Peace. He is Executive Director of the Cromwell Hospital, Chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, and of the Asian Policy Group, which advises ethnic minorities.
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