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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June 2018
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Speeches

Since the end of the colonial era, when the Muslim nation-states emerged on the scene, we have had nation-states with flags but without any values or a political culture, a political ideology based on Islam.

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Four major revolutions have taken place in the world, and they affect the discussion of human rights. The American Revolution was based on the idea that human beings will no longer be ruled by a king or a queen. The second was the French Revolution, against monarchy and the Church. The third was the Russian Revolution, which overthrew the czar, abolished the Church, and raised the fundamental issue of property. The fourth was the Chinese Revolution, which overthrew a dynasty.

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One of the biggest misunderstandings in the matter of human rights is that the “common rights” concept was shaped in Europe, specifically in Britain by the Magna Carta, which is, in fact, six or seven centuries after the establishment of Islam. In the Qur’an and in the hadith human rights are based on the principle of the dignity of human beings. The Qur’an says, “Surely we have honored the human beings.” And human rights in Islam, as far as the Qur’an and the hadiths are concerned, cover all areas of life.

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We have the opportunity to reflect on the importance of dialogue among civilizations to world peace and the contributions of the family and universal values to that process.

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The very name of Islam means peace. According to the modern Egyptian scholar Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah, peace and not war should be Muslim society’s starting point in international relations. Muslims, he says, should look at peace not only in the general sense but also in the narrow political sense, because that is the implication of the Arabic word silm in the applied area of international matters. Second, neither Islamic political theory nor Muslim historical con duct exclude completely the possibility of war.

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The 20th century was probably the most disastrous century for Islam. It began with the defeat of the Caliphate in the First World War, with Islam losing in the process its territory and its control of the three holy places: Jerusalem to the Europeans or to the English, and the two holy places to the Wahhabis, who were supposed to be enemies of the Caliph. The cancellation of the Caliphate left the Muslim world without reference, without a direction at all. The entire Muslim world became colonized, became part directly controlled from the West or indirectly so controlled.

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Each year, hundreds of thousands of Muslims throughout the world come to Western civilization and learn from it. And I feel that Western civilization also learns many things from Islam. So, this mutual learning should be emphasized.

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When the opportunity for peace arises, Muslims are encouraged to be forgiving and to seek reconciliation, for mercy and compassion are God’s chief attributes: “Whoever pardons [his foe] and makes peace, his reward rests with God” (42:40). This is why Muslims are taught to dedicate themselves constantly to God’s service with the words, “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” Since the word Islam means “submission,” from the same root as salam, “peace,” a Muslim is simply a person who attempts to find inner peace by submitting to God’s will: “He guides to Himself all those who turn to Him—those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of God—for, truly, in the remembrance of God hearts do find their rest” (13:27–28).

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When we talk about peace and the situation in the Middle East, remember that the Lord, or God, or Allah created man to be really brothers, to live in this world under real peace. If we lose true peace in the Middle East, we will lose peace in most of the world, and if we keep peace in the Middle East, we will keep peace in the entire world.

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The central concerns of Ambassadors for Peace in many African countries are the human beings who are left after the bombs have exploded, the warriors have marched off, the rivers polluted, and the farmlands wasted. Invariably they are widows and orphans, while among the male adults who still breathe, many are blind, limbless, or living with multiple other incapacities. These conditions, which are prevalent in many African countries, have engaged the attention of the volunteers of the African Refugees Foundation.

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Declaring the world to be at a pivotal "historic turning point," Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon asked an international peace gathering to consider, "Can everlasting world peace take root, or are we doomed to repeat the 20th century's dark and oppressive history of war and conflict?" Addressing a standing-room-only house in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Father Moon spoke on the topic, "God's Ideal Family: The Model for World Peace." The address marked the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation. Read on to find the address.

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Reconciliation is a subject we can talk easily about, but is very difficult to carry out. It demands deep personal work to be able to bring about reconciliation through words or through deeds. Total honesty and integrity is vital. No matter how beautiful the words we say or how great the deed, if it does not come from a place of integrity and honesty it is not better than no action.

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