Marriage and Family


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Marriage and Family

Advocating Global Peace and the Family in Dhaka

Dhaka, Bangladesh - Straight talk about the sacredness of human sexuality: “This is exactly what we should be telling our students,” declared Dr. Eva Saadia Saad, Chairman, Department of World Religions, Dhaka University who chaired the one-day seminar on “The Family as the Foundation for World Peace.”

Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Chairman for the Universal Peace Federation of Asia, opened the seminar on April 4 by telling Dhaka University students, “More than the worldwide financial chaos, we face a growing moral and spiritual crisis.”

As evidence he pointed out the breakdown of family, the rising divorce rates, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the growing number of young people prone to violence.

With a mixture of science, religion, sociology, logic, common sense and humor, students were taught two basic, complementary and universal principles of life. First, the need for mind-body alignment where they prioritize their lives by putting public concerns above private matters and, secondly, the holiness and necessity of marriage as a key institution for social development.

Questions and answers followed the hour-long discourse and showed that indeed this topic was on the minds of students. One student asked why we needed to be married to have sex. To make his point, he said that one teacher at the university had advocated in her class that students should sleep together without being married. The student wondered what was wrong with this.

Students were told the truth: that non-marital relationships are unstable and in such relationships it is more likely partners cheat on each other, more likely the relationships will be easily dissolved and more likely that children born from such unions will face emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Also, this free sex lifestyle means that love is no longer subjective, i.e., unique and therefore beyond comparison. With a history of multiple partners, love becomes objective. We start to compare the memory of past lovers with our current mate, something psychologists call “mental flashbacks.”

Another student asked about same-sex relationships. It was explained that life, like science, should be based on principles that are eternal. Same-sex unions cannot be eternal simply because if everyone practiced this lifestyle, then the human race would be extinct within a generation.

One of the most compelling reasons for gay people to become straight, it was explained, is the desire for offspring and a lineage. In others words, there is an innate craving to leave behind a legacy of love which cannot be fulfilled in same-sex relationships.

One woman student asked about gender equality. In reply another question was posed, “Where can we find precise, mathematical equality: In size or strength? In a paycheck? Even under the law?”

Actually, gender equality can be found in love — especially in the conception of children. The husband and wife each contribute equally to create a new life; children receive 23 chromosomes from both their father and mother. In this way, true love creates the possibility for absolute gender equality.

The program was co-sponsored by: Centre for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, the Department for World Religions (both of Dhaka University) and Universal Peace Federation.

Seminar organizer, Tetsuya Amano, the Director of the International Relief and Friendship Foundation of Bangladesh, said faculty and students thanked him for the program. “Everyone was so inspired,” he said, adding “They want to have more programs like this in the future.” Organizers were expecting 80 students but over 150 attended.

Prof. Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam, Founder-Chairman of the Dept. of World Religions and Director of Centre for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, promised to have more programs where important, topical issues are discussed in an open and honest environment centered on universal religious and family values.

In the afternoon a similar program for 30 Ambassadors for Peace was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka.

UPF has five core principles; one of these is the support of inter-religious, inter-racial and inter-caste marriages as a means to effectively address social divisions and inter-racial conflicts. On this point a question was posed to UPF-Bangladesh Chairman, Dr. Shamsher Ali, “What does Islam say about mixed marriages?”

Ali is the Vice-Chancellor of Southeast University, President of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences and a devout Muslim. According to his understanding of Islam, it allows interfaith marriages among People of the Book, meaning Jews, Christians and Muslims.

He went even further by noting that each of these religions already has a common lineage. Abraham is the forefather of these three monotheistic traditions and if people from these religions intermarried then there might be peace in the Middle East.

Bangladesh has a population of over 150 million people where 87 percent are Muslim and 12 percent Hindu. After Indonesia it is the second most populous Muslim state. The annual per capita income of Bangladesh is US$463, and the literacy rate is 43 percent.


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