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Saturday, March 22

  1. msg Discussion Board message posted Discussion Board Africa is a huge continent. It is not one country, but about sixty, all of them with their own prob…
    Discussion Board
    Africa is a huge continent. It is not one country, but about sixty, all of them with their own problems, even if there are some issues they have in common. Looking from Europe, having hardly any experience in Africa, I think it is impossible to write here what Africans should do. In a rather unsystematic way I would like to share some thougts.
    - It might be helpful to look at some things that occurred in 20th century Europe. The European Union started after more than a millennium of warfare between France and Germany (and some other empires). Now we have so much to lose that we prefer to cooperate instead of trying to destroy the other. Creating mutual dependance greatly discourages warfare.
    - I do not believe that situations of poverty or violence can be solved by good intentions. It is a good thing if a country, or an group of people, or a group of companies show their strength and stop to accept that they are being robbed. I believe in building counterveiling power rather than in waiting for the European countries to be willing to share their riches with the poor.
    - In the meantime I think we can see some good developments. People stay in touch with each other more easily by using cell phones and computers. This makes it harder for dictators to stay in power, and for exploiters to go unnoticed.
    - Modern age has crushed much of the old societies. The fact alone that the contact between populations living at a distance from each other, has become more intense, means that old ways of doing things have to be changed. People in African countries have to re-invent their own culture.
    - There is no blueprint for what Africa should be like in twenty years. The only thing we know is that there is a great human potential, that must be able to change things for the better.
    3:36 am

Saturday, November 2

  1. msg Discussion Board 2 - Essay message posted Discussion Board 2 - Essay The paradpx of globalisation is that at the same time that the world becomes a 'global village' som…
    Discussion Board 2 - Essay
    The paradpx of globalisation is that at the same time that the world becomes a 'global village' some react to it by retreating into fundamentalism and nationalism. Manuel Castells, a Spanish sociologist has written extensively on this. Protecting their 'Identity' (whether religious or ethnic) has become something crucial for many people. I have watched with horror how in my own country - which used to have a reputation for being tolerant and liberal - a new form of extreme right wing politicians have gained a lot of power. The same is happening in other European countries.
    In other parts of the world where secularisation is less strong, religious identity (in its extreme foms) seems to become a stumbling block to peace. Even in Hinduist and Buddhist societies (two religions that are known for their tolerance) religious violence has been on the rise for quite some time. The three entries from the students from India all speak about the importance of establishing relationships across religious differences.
    I agree that getting to know each other is essential in building peace, as most of the others have said. Once you have really met others and gotten to appreciate them as human beings, you will not judge them or their religious beliefs so easily. I am not all that enthusiastic however about 'official' interfaith initiatives. The interfaith encounters that I have participated in, seemed a bit artificial and overly polite. I think building community on a grassroots level - for example in a multicultural neighborhood - is more real and effective. The encounter between people of different faiths should not take place in an artificial setting, but in real life, where people deal with real concerns.
    2:27 am
  2. msg Discussion Board 1 message posted Discussion Board 1 My first reaction to the question about the Catholic contribution to peace in North-Western Europe,…
    Discussion Board 1
    My first reaction to the question about the Catholic contribution to peace in North-Western Europe, in particular the Netherlands, was negative. The Church speaks out more about the 'red button issues' (abortion, homosexuality, gen-technology, etc) than about the global peace issues. Most of the church agencies that would have had the capacity to put forward the Catholic position on macro-issues have been suspended, because they were not given priority.
    Yet, on a very basic level, the Church of course plays an important role, even here, because of it solid and wholesome view of the human person and its role in society. On the grassroots level I see the Church (both the institutional and the people that make up the Church) supporting many initiatives that try to give a voice to those without voice, that build up community across divides of social class and ethnic or religious background. All these activities I consider forms of building peace. I do regret however, that the whole field of JPIC seems to be an some back burner of the official policies of the bishops. The orders and congregations on the other hand still value these issues, but the average age of catholic sisters, priests and brothers is very high.
    As I think it is central to our faith to contribute to peace, I think and hope that my Church will someday become more active in this area, and then not just on a micro-level, bu on the other levels as well. I see this happening in some of the protestant churches, where young people have really discovered the social importance of the Gospel, and who are very creative in linking their faith with JPIC-issues.
    I was impressed by the article of John Lederach. His view of peace transformation is thorough. I am hopeful about the possibilities of conflict transformation in the world, yet I also know that it is something which will take a lot of time, with each conlflict again. It will take the best energies of many people, and even then succes will not be guaranteed. Yet, the simple fact that so many people keep on going at it stems me hopeful.
    1:46 am

Sunday, October 27

  1. msg Discussion Board 2 - Essay message posted Discussion Board 2 - Essay Ìnterfaith peacebuilding: I think interfaith peacebuilding has first of all to do with: Looking be…
    Discussion Board 2 - Essay
    Ìnterfaith peacebuilding:
    I think interfaith peacebuilding has first of all to do with: Looking beyond one's religion, beyond one's colour or race or beyond one's part of the world he or she was born and raised. It has to do with, as Rashied Omar says in one way or another: in the struggle for peace.
    From my own past experience I I am afraid that as long as one does not see nor experience the need for peacebuilding it will not come to one's mind to work on that. As soon as one really sees and feels the need to it. It then only will occur and come to one's mind to go for it.
    When I happened to be in South Africa during the state of emergency in 1986, I happened to have the experience to see how the majority of black South Africans in townships as Guguletu, the township near to the "Red Hell" prison near Port Elisabeth, towships surrounded by some high rolls of barbed wire I was really very shocked. I asked one bishop: "What can I do for you and the people of South Africa" His answer was: "Here you can do nothing, but after you return to your country, tell the people in your country about what you saw and experienced here." I promised the bishop I would do so. And I can honestly tell you that I did so. Many a time. That experience, and many a experience after that taught me the necessity of: working on justice and peace.
    And even today, with so many conflicts all over the world it is neccesary to work on justice and peace. The world of today needs many peacebuilders.
    9:17 am
  2. msg Discussion Board 1 message posted Discussion Board 1 Thepossibilities for conflict transformation in the world: I think a conflict transformation in …
    Discussion Board 1
    Thepossibilities for conflict transformation in the world:
    I think a conflict transformation in the world begins by clearly identifying that there is a conflict; One has to identify the roots of where the conflict started; have an positive orentaties towards is what is very important: see and have the willingness to engage in the conflict in order to work towards a constructive change or growth. I will also have to resoect the otheror others and have to respect the other as i do respect myself however different one may be with regards to etnicity, religion, colour or race.
    7:29 am

Thursday, October 17

  1. msg Discussion Board 2 message posted Discussion Board 2 How can community policing contribute to conflict resolution? It was interesting to read this pap…
    Discussion Board 2
    How can community policing contribute to conflict resolution?
    It was interesting to read this paper, yet I think the traditional way problems and disputes were settled in villages was an important role of village panchayats which did work very well since ancient times as the article says. It was commonly accepted by everybody in the village. Yet when the Western policing programmes were introduced ti became mixed with the old traditional way. Then slowly also favourism and group interests slowly started coming up. Divison among communities grew also. The policy of the police and "friends of the police" slowly came in. All this made it more and more difficult to really work well. People became afraid of the police instead of the other way round. Fear, and suspicion was created in Society. I wonder what would have happened if the Western community policing programmes would not have been introduced into the Indian Urban Communities..? May be someone could answer that question to me....?
    7:42 am
  2. msg Discussion Board 1 message posted Discussion Board 1 Cricket in India and peace in Pakistan...? Again with this I ask myself, is it not the same as wit…
    Discussion Board 1
    Cricket in India and peace in Pakistan...?
    Again with this I ask myself, is it not the same as with cricket? I really am somehow sceptical, as also in this case it is big money as Bettyjane says, all this big amount of money is for the top-level cricketers en movie bussiness. They have the money. Again the great majority of common people in India do have little or nothing. India is on the other side coming up rapidly that is also true. But as I said above. The big capital is for those who have the chances, others don't have much chance at all.
    May be, I am wrong but I think sports and big money has become big bussiness. And again as Bettyjane says: Human beings who are good sporters have become 'articles for sale'. Onother example of that is the amount which is being paid to buy football players. Is this real life....? Is this what makes live worthwhile to live fo"?
    7:11 am
  3. msg Discussion Board 1 message posted Discussion Board 1 Cricket in India. Yes, India made a tremendous big job for the fact that through cricket in no tim…
    Discussion Board 1
    Cricket in India.
    Yes, India made a tremendous big job for the fact that through cricket in no time it turned to have the best players in the world. And it has become famous all over the world. As was said already above: Big money from big compannies made it possible to create a great professional team that played with passion and enthusiam. In one way it did build bridges between aal India, regardless ethnic or religious background. However, I doubt if this will last; because the enthusiam and psssion may go down when the team will one day not play on top level... When there is no big company to sponsor, no big money to earn...? Who will then benefit from it... And who will then losers...? Will it then not be as in many parts of the world happened before: again the poor; the have-nots will be those who will have to suffer. Those who have big money will draw back...?
    Because as Moorman says also: Honest and fair sports have lost all credibility to me. It is only big money and power that counts!!!
    2:50 am

Sunday, October 13

  1. msg Discussion Board 2 message posted Discussion Board 2 I found it very interesting to read about the panchayat system. I didn't know anything about it. It…
    Discussion Board 2
    I found it very interesting to read about the panchayat system. I didn't know anything about it. It sounds like a system that worked in traditional Indian society. The fact that policing took place within a community by elders that were generally respected made this institute an important instrument for keeping peace within a community. But, as, Asamysm points out, it was also linked to a system which had deep flaws - favouring men, rich people, married people over women, poor people, low caste people. So, there is no reason to romaticize the panchayat system.
    Yet, I think a more modern version of the panchayat might still be of great benefit to a society. That it is done by local people for local people may make it effective, cutting through bureaucracy, and being closer to the people concerned.
    Most of the students comment that justice must a key element, no favouritism, treating all people in an equal way. There should be fair representation in these modern panchayats: women, people from different castes. There should be some form of recognition from the government for their authority, because as the reading shows, when the police disregards the authority of the panchayat, its authority will implode.
    11:54 am
  2. msg Discussion Board 1 message posted Discussion Board 1 I am glad Bettyanne mentions the huge amount of money that goes around nowadays in cricket. Harsha …
    Discussion Board 1
    I am glad Bettyanne mentions the huge amount of money that goes around nowadays in cricket. Harsha only mentions in passing that there is critisism about that. But honestly, big bucks will eventually cause critical people to disregard the sport. As Bettyanne says, there is something perverse about some people making millions for playing a game, while others go without even the bare essentials. I am deeply disappointed about where socces has gone in Europe. The teams with most money, buy the best players. And FIFA is entirely corrupt. Incredible how they could decide to keep the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. They have lost all credibility to me.
    11:09 am

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