Religion

Religion & Development: An Enhanced Approach or a Transaction?

Since 2008, a number of articles/opinions have been written, on the nexus between religion and development. In chronological order, the articles first made the case for why ‘religion matters’ to the attainment of developmental objectives, noting how religious leaders are critical to changing social norms which can be in contradiction to human rights, and noting the extent to which faith-based organisations (FBOs) have anyway served as the original social service providers known to human kind.

Words Matter: Trump and the Massacres in Christchurch

These lyrics are from Fire, the only hit by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, which in 1968 sold over one million singles. Brenton Tarrant played it in his car while he triumphantly left the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. He had just gunned down around 100 unarmed worshippers and was on his way to another mosque to continue the slaughter before Friday prayers ended on 15 March. His murderous rampage finished by the Linwood Islamic Centre, where he could not find the entrance. He shut a man and his wife, whom he encountered outside the building and then shattered a window with a hail of bullets, killing five more inside, while he shouted that everyone had to leave the mosque. A courageous shop keeper rushed out and throw a credit card reader at Tarrant, who rushed back to his car followed by the shop keeper, who shattered the windshield with a handgun he had picked up from the ground. Tarrant run away, but was almost immediately restrained by police who had been able to trace him.

‘We must all work together to defeat hatred and xenophobic discourse against the Other and nurture acceptance and empathy,’ say eminent panellists in a conference held at the UN

(Geneva Centre)– The rise of exclusionary politics and xenophobic discourses can only be addressed by embracing diversity and promoting empathy between people, it was concluded in a panel debate held yesterday at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

”As global citizens, we cannot turn a blind eye to the increasing spread of hatred and intolerance”

(Geneva Centre) - The 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and this year’s theme devoted to tolerance, empathy towards the Other and celebration of diversity, comes at a timely moment. Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights.” The conference sought to capitalize on the fundamental convergence of religions, creeds and value systems to mitigate the marginalization of communities worldwide with the goal of eliminating xenophobia and all forms of intolerance. The conference produced an outcome declaration aimed at moving towards greater spiritual convergence to support equal citizenship rights and resulted in a consensual global vision to promote this goal. The Geneva Centre will shortly be issuing a two-volume publication on the world conference. The Geneva Centre wishes on this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to join hands with all those involved in such a noble endeavor.

Statement by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Idriss Jazairy* following the terrorist attacks in New Zealand, March 15th 2019

Words cannot express adequately the pain and anguish we feel at the heinous attacks in New Zealand. We share the anguish of our fellow Muslims at those who have orchestrated such diabolical carnage in a place of prayer. As husbands, fathers and grandfathers, both of us can only imagine the pain and suffering felt by the families affected by this tragedy. In the weeks and months ahead, we must all stand together and raise aloft those values that must form the core of Islamic belief that we share with People of the Book– compassion, respect and dignity. If we fail in this, then terror is victorious.

The Geneva Centre strongly condemns New Zealand terrorist attacks

(Geneva Centre) - The Executive Director of the Geneva Centre Ambassador Idriss Jazairy has strongly condemned the two terrorist attacks killing at least 40 people today in Christchurch, New Zealand.

HER LOST LAND

(The Daily Star) - I do not usually write very easily. As someone working mostly with people with little or no literacy, my forte, as I would like to call it, is the oral tradition. I speak, I talk, I converse. I write today based on my perceptions from my work with rural women with whom I have lived and learnt from over the last four decades.

The Geneva Centre celebrated International Women’s Day with a debate and book presentation on Muslim women between stereotypes and reality: an objective narrative

No country in the world has a perfect record on women’s rights and gender equality and there is a felt need for cooperation and joint endeavours in order to reach the common goal of empowering women and putting an end to gender inequality. Muslim women must be given the right to freely choose what to wear and what not to wear, and fully included in society, be it through insertion on the labour market or simply through the practice of sports.

Geneva Centre’s Executive Director presents the agenda of the 21 March “Celebration of diversity: beyond tolerance the path towards empathy” conference to African Group Ambassadors

On 7 March, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy was invited by the Permanent Delegation of the African Union to an official meeting of all African Group Ambassadors in Geneva to present the rationale and purpose of the Geneva Centre’s forthcoming conference on “Celebration of diversity: beyond tolerance the path towards empathy.”

Hate Speech Threatens Our Humanity

Do politicians’ words matter? Since becoming US President, Donald J Trump has dismissed his opponents and others he does not like as evil, stupid or both. He has referred to undocumented immigrants as animals, and to poor countries as shitholes.

The Wall: Thirty Years Ago European Walls Were Destroyed, but Others Are Being Built

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration signed Executive Order 13767, instructing the Government to begin new constructions and replacements of walls between the US and Mexico. From December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, the federal government was partially shut down due to President Trump's declared intention to veto any spending bill that did not include $5 billion in funding for a border wall. It was with good reason the Congress withheld such an enormous sum of money. As the European experience indicates, building walls between countries has proven to be both obsolete and disastrous.

De-radicalization and the Defeat of Isis: Radicalization Will Not Disappear by Itself

The defeat of ISIS in Middle East and North African battlefields is now a reality. The terrorist group - which brought bereavement to the populations of the Arab region - has been defeated militarily in Iraq and in Syria.

The Geneva Centre issues a publication on the unprecedented rise of people on the move and one other on the role of the headscarf as a bridge between cultures and religions

(Geneva Centre) – Two new publications entitled “The Unprecedented Rise of People on the Move” and “Veiling/ Unveiling: The Headscarf in Christianity, Islam and Judaism” have been published by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue.

Seas of Death and Hope

The Mediterranean Sea is currently a sea of death. On the 20th of June every year, i.e. The World Refugee Day, an organization called UNITED for Intercultural Action publishes a “List of Deaths”, summarising information on where, when and under which circumstances a named individual has died due to the “fatal policies of fortress Europa”. The data are collected through information received from 550 network organisations in 48 countries and from local experts, journalists and researchers in the field of migration. The list issued in 2018 accounted for 27 000 deaths by drowning since 1993, often hundreds at a time when large embarkations capsize. These deaths account for 80 per cent of all the entries,1 there are probably thousands more dead, corpses that were never found and/or not accounted for.

A Truly Global Effort is Needed to Eradicate FGM by 2030

According to official data on the global prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) released by UNICEF there are 200 million women and girls in the world who have been cut. Shocking though this statistic is, it seriously underestimates the nature and scale of the problem.

The Upcoming Generations Can Lift the Arab Region out of Its Current Crisis

History testifies that there is no end to its evolution despite what some have claimed. This is because aspirations of its actors are in constant flux and because the quest for an « ideal city » is asymptotic. Each generation wants to put its imprint on the present and to be the architect of its future in the pursuit of its own ideal.

Sex Education and Women´s Health

Is there a connection between sex education, gender equality and promiscuity? On this website, Fabiana Fraysinnet recently denounced a Brazilian crusade against sex education conducted by conservative and religious sectors. Such initiatives are common in several other countries, where politicians and religious leaders accuse sexual education of blurring boundaries between male and female and thus foment homosexuality and transsexualism, as well as a moral relativism undermining family structures and adherence to religious guidance and dogma.

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan pays tribute to the Geneva Centre for its successful organization under the Prince’s patronage of the World Conference on religions and equal citizenship rights which was held in the UN Office in Geneva on 25 June

(Geneva Centre) - In a letter sent to the Geneva Centre by the Patron of the 25 June 2018 World Conference on “Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the latter has extended his most sincere congratulations to the Geneva Centre for having organized this major international conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Back to the Future: Vietnam Now and Then

In 1989 I watched Back to the Future, Part II by Robert Zemickis, a complicated story about a youngster who from 1985 time travelled to 2015. Within the movie I spotted a poster from the imaginary 2015: US AIR Surf Vietnam. Back in 1989 I associated Vietnam with the war that lasted from 1955 to the fall of Saigon in 1975 and by different media was brought into the homes of millions, radicalizing and engaging youngsters, not the least me.

We Are Sorry For The Inconvenience, But This Is A Revolution.

On 1 January, 5.5 million women formed a 620-kilometre wall across the length of the Indian state of Kerala (population 35 million). This was not like Donald Trump’s wall across the US-Mexico border, a wall of inhumanity and toxicity. The wall of these women was a wall for freedom, a wall against traditions whose purpose is to humiliate.

Acts of Terror Will Not Undermine Our Resolve

On 15 January 2019, terror struck Nairobi's 14 Riverside Drive. Kenya is in mourning following a senseless act on innocent and defenseless civilians by individuals preoccupied with contemptible and misplaced ideology; who hope to intimidate others through violent acts of terror. Like in their other past attempts, they have failed, and Kenya remains unbowed.

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