In the fall of 2014, ToU collaborated with our United Methodist Women colleagues on a conference entitled “What Makes for Peace”, which identified three constituent elements of peace: food, water and health. From the overwhelmingly positive response to the three themes and the conference as a whole, we know how strategic it is to continue to unpack and focus concretely on what makes for peace.
Our work with the Mining Working Group at the UN (a civil society advocacy group) and the Women’s Major Group (one of the avenues for civil society voice in some United Nations processes) are some of the ways the Temple of Understanding currently addresses root causes and promotes root solutions for peace. Our educational efforts are aimed at peace through interfaith understanding and through developing leadership in our youth. Our environmental advocacy is directed towards sustainability, justice, and working toward a peaceful world.
Religious understanding is clearly one crucial aspect of peace building. In 2016, we are unfortunately seeing an increase in tension, fear and misunderstanding about Islam. Here are some important resources:
- Imam Malik Mujahid has laid out 8 ways interfaith partners can fight islamophobia.
- If people you know ask, “Where are the Muslim voices against extremism and terrorism?”, we recommend this article from The American Muslim.
- Think Muslims Haven’t Condemned Isis? Think Again.
- The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ispu.org) hosts essays on how anti-Islamophobia activism has united American Muslims, the issue of adult bullying of Muslim kids, inclusive Islam, and more.
Below are a few of ToU’s colleagues in peacemaking.
- Marta Benavides of El Salvador works for a culture of peace in her country and the world. We work with her regularly at the United Nations.
- Ela Gandhi of South Africa is a life-long peace activist, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, and a 2015 Hollister Award recipient.
- Dr. Ephraim Isaac of Ethiopia serves on our board and has been recognized as a Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action. Tanenbaum writes, “Today, Ephraim’s expanding network of elders and their ability to draw on indigenous cultural resources may well represent Ethiopia’s best hope for a peaceful future.”
Peacemaking Responses to Violence
After a series of car bombs killed 20, this Iraqi musician’s reaction stunned Baghdad. (video).