conflict resolution

Zionists and Islamists

by mgopin on January 1, 2015 · 0 comments

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At a minimum a Zionist is one who loves Zion, often a Jew, but sometimes a Christian. At a minimum, an Islamist is someone who loves Islam, usually a Muslim. I see no reason to use either term in pejorative or hateful way, as a curse or as a condemnation. Associated with Zionism has been all manner of crimes against the native Palestinian people for over a hundred years, associated with Islamism has been tens of thousands of victims of crimes across the world, mostly Muslim victims. But it is an empirical fact that thousands of Zionists and millions of Islamists repudiate the crimes associated with these respective labels. They claim this is not true Zionism or true Islamism. We should agree as a global community to recognize the existence of these people, in fact to honor them. We can disagree with their philosophy but we should not label and …

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My latest article has come up on Huffington Post. Appreaciate your consideration, comments, and critiques!

Abyei-Patrol2

“A New United nations of Human Rights Countries,” Huffington Post

The ten most successful nations on earth, in terms of well-known categories of human rights adherence, as well as other quality of life metrics, such as equal pay, women’s equality, the basic freedoms, environmental sustainability, should form a union that will come with very clear and enviable privileges and for the governments and peoples of said states… 

The goal of such a union is simple: incentivized expansion, the creation of a club that aspires to include more and more member states, as those states reach the appointed threshold metrics of human rights adherence. This will create incentives, from both top down and bottom up, to improve a human rights record. This will revitalize a global movement in a better direction for many nations, and it

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Absolutes

by mgopin on November 14, 2014 · 0 comments

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together

Absolutes meet absolutes,
On the battlefield of mind.
The winner takes the heart,
And the heart drives the hands,
And the hands do what they will.
There is a time on this earth,
For questions,
And there is a time for answers.
The mind is the gateway
To the question,
And the question is the gateway
To knowledge of things,
Earthly and divine.
But the young mind also craves absolutes.…

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CRDC’s Work in Afghanistan Featured

by mgopin on October 30, 2014 · 4 comments

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Afghan FP

CRDC’s work in Afghanistan is highlighted in this article from Foreign Policy.

In line with this approach, over the last few years, the World Organization for Resource Development and Education — a nonprofit, educational organization with which we are both affiliated — co-hosted a series of conferences with the U.S.-based George Mason and Boston Universities on peacebuilding from an Islamic perspective. The conference brought together 200 religious leaders from across Afghanistan to meet with internationally-renowned Muslim scholars. By utilizing a faith-based approach, it was possible to generate discussions on hot-button issues ranging from jihad to women’s rights.

Please check out the whole article from here.

Foreign Policy, Six Things About Afghanistan That May Surprise You.

 

(Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

 …

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Self-Trust and Self-Distrust

by mgopin on October 23, 2014 · 1 comment

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tree

Trust your feelings = moral intuitionism,
Distrust your feelings = cognitive therapy and utilitarianism,
When to trust or distrust = the wisdom of painful experience.

 

(Photo: Vikram Soni)…

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excellent film watch it! please read this piece that I wrote in its spirit.

 

Recently, I did not post or write for several days due to trips and holidays. It gave me a chance to absorb and receive writing rather than to give. I came to a conclusion that surprised myself. Those of us globally who are trying to change the world for the better with our words (unlike classical journalism which is about reporting harsh realities) must commit to writing less and less on what cannot be changed, on what is essentially outrageous and dispiriting, UNLESS, we include a practical step that anyone reading can readily take. For example, no more stories on voter registration prevention, unless there is a link to what I, me, myself, can do in some way–not by giving money only–to go and help someone get registered.

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Honor is a killer. Be dishonored. Be dishonored, to save any life. Let those who need honor, delight only in this: the honor of every fellow human being.

 Kurdish Teenager’s “Honor Killing” Fades to Memory as Iraq Violence Swells, Huffington Post

“Dunya was very timid. She wasn’t very social, and she didn’t care about fashion,” said her mother Sahom Hassan when asked to describe her daughter, found dead on May 24. “On the day she was killed, she called me and said, ‘This is the last time you will hear my voice.'”

In Iraqi Kurdistan, suicide by self-immolation has replaced honor killing in many cases. Most often the decision is made by a woman herself either to escape a life of misery or shame, or due to pressure from her family members. The majority of these are reported as accidents. Dunya’s sister-in-law died three years ago in one such

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Here is the excerpt of my new article published on Huffington Post.
Please check out the whole writing from here as well, and your comment is always welcome.

Managing the Madness in the Middle East

…in the long term, a world based on fossil fuels is completely unsustainable, and states and individuals must each take concrete steps to rapidly move away from their use. It is not the first time in history that a resource craved by everyone distorted all rational investment in and valuation of citizens. The less valuable that oil becomes, the more valuable will be the minds and hearts of every single woman, man and child in the region, every minority, and thus there will be clear incentives to invest in every citizen rather than sacrificing them to a god of war that is always insatiable. The god of war may have a religious body

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Below is an excerpt from my book, Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, Violence, and Peacemaking, pp. 177-179 . The reason I am reproducing this now is given the Jewish season of New Year, repentance,  and the never ending assault this summer on the decency of the Abrahamic religions, their constant use and abuse by states and extremists alike, it strikes me as the right time to remember the thousands of years and thousands of texts that are humanitarian and decent in just one tradition, let alone all the great sacred traditions of humanity. We must not forget, we must not let states and their extremists bury the wisdom of any great tradition.

Conflict Prevention Values In Judaism

A. Self

benevolent care of the self (al tehi rasha bifne, ahavah kamokha, im ayn ani li)[1]

self-scrutiny and change (heshbon ha-nefesh, teshuva)[2]…

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Nationalism and Groupthink

by mgopin on October 17, 2014 · 3 comments

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The root of this maddening reversal of the military is irrational thinking of the body politic, and the human illness of groupthink, which is in essence the scourge of nationalism and nationalist thinking. otherwise intelligent, thoughtful even nice people, becoming monstrous because the political establishment, having gotten into power through racial or national flag waving, told them that the violent path was the only one–until the day, that is, that they shrugged their shoulders, and said it was NOT the only path. Like America and the Communist domino effect in Vietnam. The outdated philosophy here, or brain fart, is nationalism. Rational self-interest is fine, but the only rational future is in the liberal, socially contracted state, without the flag-waving brain distortions.…

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