by Liban A Bule, M.A.
“Peace is the Principle of LivingThe philosopher-Sultan Khalid-Fakhi- Hassan once said, “War is an ugly out come of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace.” The question is “How/when?”
- Chief- Afey-Ergal
How can we use our resources, our time, our energy, our common visions, and moreover, our will to invent peace during a time when our country/Our Blood people is totally chaos, or stands on the brink of war? By peace I don’t mean pacifism or turning the other cheek. What I’m talking about is a dynamic, pro-active process wherein we address the conditions that lead to war early enough to prevent future wars from happening. Did you know that as you read these words there are More than 5 wars being waged in Somalia/ and 53 wars around the world?
War goes against the one of the most fundamental tenets of the Islamic Shari’s out-coding and other world religions: “Thou shall not kill.” Again In Islam states: (those who believe in Allah and his Messenger (SCW) should not take deliberately for an innocent life”) The most important question facing humanity today is, how do we transform the conditions and beliefs that have us choose to kill?
The next critical question is: How can I be a part of this -- what role can I play in inventing peace? It is time for each of us to seek the answer.
We must assert the same diligence in preventing war as we have in preparing for it. This is so for regular people and those at the helms of power. We must seek viable alternatives to violence so that the use of force becomes our last option, not our first. This is not to suggest that we should leave ourselves unprotected. Even Gandhi didn’t recommend doing that. But there is a mid-point we are not using, a place between over-arming ourselves -- as we are now, and pacifism. It is a place of balance where we keep ourselves protected, and at the same time, pursue the ways of peace. 22 % of our Asset dollars, whether collected from welfare/Taxi tips go to war and the Tribal-Militia Build ups, Why not split this figure, so half can go to the Somali Orphanage/info-structure donations to our torn country. Perhaps if we allowed more of our resources to go toward “inventing peace,” we would cease to see war as the only option in the face of conflict.
Unfortunately, when we speak of nonviolence we imagine people throwing down their arms and turning the other cheek.
This is a fallacy. Non-violence is a dynamic process that employs effective pro-active alternatives. It is daring and courageous, not weak and capitulating. This is illustrated brilliantly in a book called A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, by Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall. The authors describe numerous situations throughout history where nonviolent options were successfully employed to combat conflict and oppression. "To succeed, a nonviolent movement cannot simply take a principled stand for “nonviolence.” It has to devise a strategy for action. In turn, this strategy must broadly communicate goals, mobilize people and select sanctions to punish opponents; Does this apply to our pride and arrogant people? To shift the momentum of conflict in their favor, nonviolent resisters must diversify the scope and variety of these sanctions, defend their popular base against repression and exploit their opponents’ weaknesses and concessions.”
These were the living embodiment of Abu Taqi Al-MAnsood’s eloquent words: “Where there is darkness, let me lighten with faith. Where there is despair, let me feed hope”. This literally became instruments of God’s peace, and because of this, we can accomplished what others believed to be impossible. May we allow their bravery and faith to be guideposts for us in the 21st century? Let us follow in the righteous/believers’ footsteps, even if it means going against the tide.
Martin Luther King once said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal” This is such a time. We must raise our voices in a rousing call for peace, and we must speak loud enough to be heard beyond the rumblings of nay Sayers who want us to believe that war is the only option. We owe this to our children and to all the children in our world whose voices fall silent beneath the thunderclap of weapons.
Committed individuals working toward a common goal do have the power to re-shape the world. This has happened over and over again throughout history - the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the dismantling of Apartheid, the Fall of The Holly city. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the civil rights movement -- all of these massive changes came from people, not governments, and now is the time for the biggest change ever: moving beyond war toward a culture of peace.
For this reason we must embark on a new race -- one far more important than the race to space, and far more impact than anything our species has ever before accomplished -- the Race to Peace.
It’s a common theme, the purpose of which is to unite organizations and people all over the world committed to making this vision a reality. It’s also a way of connecting to each other through the internet. You might be working on root causes of violence like poverty, hunger, homelessness, and intolerance, or more direct issues like gun control, UN Sanctions/ Economic-Socio Crime consequences, nuclear arms reduction, or conflict resolution. In any event, the Race to Peace applies to our people (Somalis) more than ever today let us all unite and find a dialogue to help all of us find each other, communicate, collaborate, and empower each other.
What we need more than ever is a sense of cohesion. Many wonderful groups are already doing important work in creating peace nationally, locally or globally, but everyone is working separately. The Race to Peace can potentially be the glue that pulls us all together resulting in a social epidemic where massive numbers of people take action to make peace happen.
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." -- Maya Angelou
Liban A Bule, M.A.
E-mail: [email protected]
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