education

DEMOCRACY QUESTIONED

by mgopin on May 6, 2015 · 0 comments

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Democracy is short-lived without an enlightened electorate, an enlightened electorate cannot be achieved without an effective education for enlightenment, and an effective education for enlightenment has yet to be developed.

The most dangerous thing to the history of democracies is not taking fools seriously. This is the fruit of their labor and one day it may deprive us of a home.…

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Essential to Peacebuilding

by mgopin on July 29, 2014 · 2 comments

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Essential to Peacebuilding is learning to accept blows, bad ones. How can we expect Israelis or Syrians or Iraqis not to become killers after suicide bombs on their streets or Palestinians not to become Hamasniks after losing everything if we cannot happily accept insults?
Education does not matter on these challenges. It is education of the heart that allows you to accept blows for the greater good of peace.

IP heart education

(Photo source: Belfast Telegraph)…

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Here is my latest from Huffington Post:

Imagine a violent world in which all means to defend yourself with violence is out of the question. No matter which way you turn the people with guns just suck. They are dangerous, unreliable, and are killing or getting killed all the time. What would you do? Especially if you were a guy, like most who do the killing in conflict. What if you were surrounded with corrupt and dangerous military on the one side and extremist rebels on the other?

No one likes to think about this reality, even though it is the more common reality of war faced by millions of people since the dawn of time. It does not fit our neat brain patterns for simplistic gut reactions. Some gut reactions always side with government and military, others side with those who are defiant and willing to fight. Everyone …

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Conspiracy and the Tides of History

by mgopin on July 15, 2012 · 7 comments

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Allegedly this is a picture describing how the Polio vaccine is a US-Jewish conspiracy to annihilate all Muslims. It is from Pakistan where many friends of mine have told me of similar posters.  I would love someone to comment further on the veracity of this photo. The criminals who engage in this kind of behavior have some clear intentions, but what people may not realize is the origin of this.

This is much older than people think. It has deep origins in the antisemitic Middle Ages. Jews were always associated with cutting edge medicine by dint of their professional pursuits and their own health and eating practices. Those who wanted their knowledge, who respected science, brought in Jews in large numbers, sometimes to Muslim societies who rescued Jews from persecution in Christian lands, sometimes to Christian societies. But those past and present who see knowledge as a threat to …

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Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.

In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:

A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …

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This is a wonderful article, very important timing. Ria is absolutely right on, except I suspect strongly that Petreaus is much more of an ally than she thinks. But there are other problems with the American military and political system that are preventing the rational approach that she is recommending. The ideology of killing, hard conquest, is in the way, and it still afflicts enough people at various levels of authority that moving quickly now is hard. But that is where progressives need to step up and lobby hard, with money, to do the right thing.

A role for the US in Afghan national reconciliation? by Shukria Dellawar – Common Ground News Service.


A role for the US in Afghan national reconciliation?
by Shukria Dellawar

05 August 2010

Washington, DC – In June, at the latest loya jirga (a grand assembly comprised of tribal leaders) meeting in Kabul, 1,600

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Why the US Needs Global Citizens

by mgopin on September 3, 2010 · 4 comments

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By Cheryl Duckworth

Perhaps one of the barriers to global citizenship education has been a fear that one must necessarily choose between two identities—being either a citizen of one’ s country or a citizen of the world.  In light of the increasingly nationalist and xenophobic dynamic observable in many countries over the past decade, challenging this false choice is urgent. Peace educators and global citizenship educators must make the argument that one can be both a citizen of one’s country and a citizen of the world.
I would even go further to argue that in today’s increasingly interconnected and increasingly armed world, the U.S. needs global citizens more than ever.  What is a global citizen and why does her country need her?
A global citizen has a secure and multifaceted identity.  What this means is that no one particular aspect of his identity (race, class, religion, gender) dominates the others.  …

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Excellent article, speaks for itself

Growing up in the West Bank, Mujahid Sarsur knew next to nothing about the Holocaust and saw little ground to sympathize with a people he saw as his occupier. 2010. But thanks to an Israeli roommate overseas, the 21-year-old Palestinian student learned about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews during World War II and discovered a new understanding of his Israeli neighbors.Now he wants other Arabs to do the same. Sarsur heads one of a handful of Palestinian grass-roots groups seeking knowledge about the Holocaust.On Wednesday, he led a delegation of 22 students to Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. The students, fasting for Ramadan, listened closely to their Arabic-speaking guide’s explanations, and were left wide-eyed by the gruesome images of the death camps.

via Palestinians learn about the Holocaust at Yad Vashem – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.…

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You can be horrified by this, you can ask what is happening to this country, and I would agree with you that these folks are frightening. And yet, what use is there in demonizing them? The Tea Party people are classic reactionaries in a world of incredibly rapid change. Cycling is an important element in the revolution going on globally in major cities, and it is a hopeful human adaptation catching on. America is or has become an isolated nation of naysayers who have afforded, out of excess wealth, to be highly independent and particularly maladaptive. They are often dragged along by others. But dragged along they will be. The question is how painless or painful will the transition to new ways of human adaptation. Progressives do no one any good or help anyone adapt by being terrified of reactionaries. In fact, what left and right share in the U.S.

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The TE’A Project

by mgopin on November 20, 2009 · 7 comments

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I just attended a phenomenal performance by The TE’A Project which uses interactive theatre to inspire audiences to cross the barriers of race, class, culture and religion in America’s communities. It combines story collection, theatrical performance, and facilitated dialogue in a process that makes it possible for us to engage imaginatively with the barriers of social and cultural differences that divide us.

The performance I watched was called “Under the Veil” – Being Muslim (and non-Muslim) in America, Post 9/11.” It was based on stories collected from individuals living in New York and explored the theme of being young and Muslim in America today. It was excellent. Check out the schedule of performances to catch this phenomenal show!

The website also includes videos and streaming television about their project. Learn more at:  http://teaproject.com

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