Peace and Security

UPF-Toronto Hosts Col. Akanni of the ISR

Canada-2009-11-14-UPF-Toronto Hosts Col. Akanni of the ISR

Toronto, Canada - UPF Central District welcomed Col. Akanni B. Ola – Adé Adéogba of International Strategic Relations in Benin, who has been on a long visit to Canada to seek support for peace in Africa. Col. Akanni was pleased to attend the November 14 meeting of UPF Ambassadors for Peace in Canada's Central District chapter. He has been in Canada almost three months, and has also been on peace missions to Liberia, Congo, Chad, and many other parts of Africa.

Col. Akanni is of the opinion that talking peace is good, but implementing it requires understanding diverse people and their cultures. It is a challenging task especially in Africa, where people are deprived of basic amenities of life such as food, shelter, and security. Besides, wherever he has had an opportunity to bring peace, the people have wanted to learn so that ignorance would not stand in the way of peace. He met a person who at the age of 33 wanted to attend school so that he could raise himself up and be a source of solace to others. In Liberia, there are many people like him who are hungry to learn.

Of course people also need food in order to learn. It is my understanding that the international community should consider feeding and educating the needy people of Africa so that they can learn the meaning of peace and develop self reliance. Good governance is also vital for the nations in Africa.

Col. Akanni said that he has been on a peace mission since 2002 and would like to enhance his mission by inviting Ambassadors or Peace to visit Benin and observe what is needed in the countries of Africa. Dr. Hoossen Auckberaullee applauded the suggestion and recommended that a UPF delegation from Canada visit Benin and see how we could contribute to peacebuilding in Africa. Col. Akanni added that medical supplies, computer equipment, and food could be sent to Africa; Benin would gratefully accept such assistance. Even student exchanges would enhance understanding and open venues of learning and cooperation if it could be arranged between Benin and Canada. After completing his visit to Canada, he will go back to Benin and then move to Chad to continue his peace mission.

Author Qamrul Khanson then addressed the second topic of the day, the Hajj pilgrimage in Islam. The first principle of Hajj is to value and commemorate the devotion of Patriarch Abraham towards Almighty God when he endured sorrow and difficulty in order to fulfill the command of Almighty God to leave his first born-son Ishmael (peace be upon him) and his wife Hagar (peace be upon her) to live in the valley of Mecca around the Ka'bah, the House of God.

The second principle of Hajj is to commemorate the devotion of Patriarch Abraham towards Almighty God by his willingness to sacrifice his first-born son Ishmael (peace be upon him) to fulfill the will of Almighty God. In return, Almighty God blessed and spared Ishmael (peace be upon him), and a lamb was sacrificed instead. When they sacrifice a lamb on Eid Al Ad'ha or during the Hajj, Muslims commemorate the pain and emotional loss of dear ones and devotion to Almighty God.

The third principle is to encourage and obligate Muslims from all around the world, of different colors, languages, races, and ethnicities, both rich and poor, to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood with dignity, equality, respect, and devotion to worship One God collectively in the language of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Arabic of the Qur'an. Almighty God commands the believers in Islam to believe and proclaim: "He is God, the just One, the Absolute God... Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten ... and none could ever be like Him" {The Qur'an 112: 1-4}.

Qamrul A. Khanson highly praised the leadership of Rev. Moon in promoting interreligious understanding and calling all humankind to unite based on religious commonalities as one family under Almighty God.

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