Archive for the ‘A New Dawn’ Category

A New Dawn

March 4, 2015

light-great2from

https://newdawnwriter.wordpress.com/tag/craig-lock/

2006
“Don’t shed blood, shed hatred.”
– the words of Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India
Featured Image -- 288
darkskylight
good morning, sunshine

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life, one small step at a time, let’s link hands and march into a new tomorrow, a better and brighter future. TOGETHER we can do it”

– c

TOGETHER, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step at a time, we can make some difference towards a better world, a brighter tomorrow

“SHARE, ENCOURAGE and SPREAD, HOPE, LOVE and LIGHT”

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“Let us tear down the walls of our hearts in order to tear down the walls of concrete”

July 12, 2014

https://sportforpeace.wordpress.com/category/breaking-down-barriers-walls/

https://anewdawnbook.wordpress.com
and
http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/let-us-tear-down-the-walls-of-our-hearts-in-order-to-tear-down-the-walls-of-concrete-3/

bridges-not-walls2

A NEW DAWN : Let the Journey Begin

December 1, 2010

good morning, sunshine

A NEW DAWN : Let the Journey Begin (2006)

by Craig Lock

Tags: Books, new books, A New Dawn, books by Craig Lock, new books by craig, the pursuit of peace

*

Fatima Mohamed (or Prasad) had always been concerned with human rights. Her strong Islamic faith was all-encompassing in her life to guide her down his life’s journey. Religion was for people SEEKING the way to spiritual enlightenment.

“I believe in reaching out to others in seeking God.

My most important principles are human rights, a sense of righteousness, dignity of the person, justice, kindness and giving. And especially, peace between all peoples and nations, which greatly pleases Allah: ‘Whereby Allah guides him who seeks good pleasure unto paths of peace’ (5:16).

Jesus also once said that “you shall know people by the fruits that they bear” – fruits of faith, such as compassion, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation or peace.

So most Christians hold the same values as us!

I also value tolerance and harmony amongst diverse groups of peoples. So I reject “religious totalarism. And the Koran forbids transgression. The Holy Book promotes patience for the sake of peace.

It warns against initiating hostilities. ‘Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loves not agressors’ (2:190).

So you see we Muslims are often misunderstood by the Western media. We are expressly told in the Koran to avoid violence and refrain from initiating attacks. However, if confrontation is inevitable, the Koran gives instructions to fight back in self defense. The Holy Book promotes reconciliation, rather than vengeance; as it’s always better to forgive another’s transgressions.

The Koran preaches tolerance towards other religions. We are to seek peaceful co-existence among diverse groups of various regions. ‘Allah forbids you, not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drive you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loves the just dealers’ ( 60:8). As a result, it is compulsory for every Muslim to be kind and just to his or her neighbouring non-Muslim.

As regards the principles of tolerance, Allah also says: ‘Unto each nation have We given sacred rites which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with you of the matter, but summon yourself unto your Lord. Lo! You indeed follow right guidance. And if they wrangle with you, say: Allah is best aware of what you do. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein you used to differ’ (22:67-69).

So the Koran makes it quite clear that we Muslims should let other groups practice their religion in peace.

In my life I am a person who always tries to avoid conflict, to be forgiving and indulgent towards other faiths, like

the Christians and Jews. Because God’s way sees the supreme goodness of God… and that’s the best way to live. By the personal grace of “being”. So every day I’m in touch with an infinite, personal God. I believe that everybody is made in the image of God and consequently that every person, no matter their standing in life has some level of dignity.

“It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us.”

– Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, in the ‘Wall Street Journal’.

Islam preaches tolerance towards other religions. Wahid says: Religious fanatics – either purposely or out of ignorance – pervert Islam into a dogma of intolerance, hatred and bloodshed. The most effective way to overcome Islamist extremism is to explain what Islam truly is to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike… Without that explanation, people will tend to accept the unrefuted extremist view – further radicalising Muslims and turning the rest of the world against Islam itself…Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision of Islam, one that banishes the fanatical ideology of hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”

‘Lo, Allah is able to do all things!'(2:109)”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live.  Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

– c

from http://www.craigsquotes.wordpress.com

AN EXTRACT…

CHAPTER ONE: FATIMA

(Based upon a speech by Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, as reported in the ‘Wall Street Journal’).

“We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”

(2:136).

 

“Whilst we can (and should) celebrate our differences (unique), let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity be what defines and unites us all as common citizens of our planet.”

The END: A NEW DAWN (2007)

March 26, 2010

Saddam urges all Iraqis to ‘shake hands and forgive’.

The former Baath Party leader and Iraq President in a subdued tone told the court on his return after being sentenced to death:
“I probably have more reason to hate “the Shi’ites, America and the Americans, than anyone else I know,” he said. “But you cannot do that. You cannot live with hate – it destroys you. I call on all Iraqis, Arabs and Kurds to forgive, reconcile and shake hands. Today.”

*                  *
“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)

Former Archbishop of South Africa, Desmond Tutu once said: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

*

A gentle rustle of the breeze coming from the hot desert lying to the south-east disturbed the eery silence, as Sabbah, the Palestinian reached out, then shook hands firmly with his former hated enemy, David, the fanatical Jew. Sabbah gently invited David to choose the way ahead. Then a gust of wind, blew the hot sand in their faces…and there were tears of joy in Jesus’s and Mohammed’s eyes as the two adversaries embraced each other. Out of the ashes of war, had come an ember, (which ignited into a spark) of hope and peace. was a new path on the “road less travelled”, a new beginning for an ever darker world, this path of loftier thought, a higher consciousness. A bright burning flame of forgiveness and spirit of reconciliation with hope for a better future for ALL.

The CHOICE had been made, the impossible, a miracle had happened!  And a brilliant white light illuminated the clear blue sky, Could it be the light of God, the Creator of the Universe, the Essence of Life itself?

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

THE END

*  *  *

These powerful, deep and moving words have great significance to me in my journey…and this is my reason for sharing…

“The moment of your greatest darkness may yet become your grandest gift. As you are gifted, so too will you gift others, giving to them the highest treasure: to BE THEMSELVES.

Let this be your task, let this be your greatest joy: to give back to themselves…even in their darkest hour.”
– adapted (slightly) fromn Neale Donald Walsch (‘Conversations with God 3′)

“I wish you well on a rainy day
I wish you rainbows to brighten your day
To feel your quiet moments with a special kind of warmth
to remind you that happiness can happen
when you least expect it.

I wish you rainbows to make you laugh and smile
to show you the simple beauty of life
and to give you the magic of dreams come true.

I wish you rainbows
I wish you well

– Larry S. Chenges

“Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.”
– James Elroy Flecker, British poet

Then He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me: ‘ Write, for these words are true and faithful.’
And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.’
– Revelation 21:5-6

THE END

*******************

THE LONG, HOT, DRY AND DUSTY ROAD UP AHEAD

Most of the interviews in this work are completely fictitious.  As author of this work, I have invented their names and these interviews have only taken place in my very fertile imagination.
I truly hope that the lives of ALL people living around the globe on this often cruel, yet always amazing planet will become better in the days ahead, these early years of the new millennium.

In that wonderfully moving book, ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ by now deceased South African author and great humanitarian Alan Paton, the young black priest, Msimango says the following words to the older black priest, Stephen Khumalo, the main character in this “heart-tugging” tale:

“I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.”

From ‘CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY‘ (first published in 1946)

I have written this manuscript hopefully in the spirit of reaching out to others and one day seeing my dream of reconciliation in the Middle East materialise. Especially, in that “tinderbox area”, but I hope and pray for peace wherever there is conflict and misunderstanding, throughout the world,

*   *      *

To get back to that incredibly moving and powerful book, Cry the Beloved Country, I never fail to be moved by the following stirring words from that great Natal writer and “visionary”, Alan Paton. This book, which first brought home to the world the reality of racism in my “beloved country” of South Africa was very prophetic…and this is the reason why I have repeated the beautiful ending.

“Yes, it is the dawn that has come. The titihya wakes from sleep, and goes about its work of forlorn crying. The sun tips with light the mountains of Ingeli and East Griqualand. The great valley of the Umzimkulu is still in darkness, but the light will come there. Ndotsheni is still in darkness, but the light will come there also. For it is a dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”

From ‘Cry the Beloved Country‘ by Alan Paton.

We have awoken.
Arise

because a New Dawn is now upon us.
*                  *

EPILOGUE

and now my last words to end off…

I believe that the world’s greatest resource is the generosity of spirit of its diverse peoples. (This spirit is conveyed in the simple African word, ‘ubuntu’). The world has seen a “form of miracle” take place already with the relatively peaceful first democratic election in my “beloved country” of South Africa. The transformation of the old SA and transition into a new country after generations and generations of colonialism (over 300 years) is going rather well – all things considered. Mistrust and fear has been replaced by a climate of optomism and hope.

My greatest hope (or wish and dream) is for all citizens of this often very cruel, yet always magical world – no matter your colour, race, creed, political persuasion or gender – to  make a difference, to carry on reaching out to each other. Celebrate our differences, as that is what makes us unique, yet share what we have in common… and what binds us together as fellow citizens of planet earth. Then to hold hands and march together into a very bright and exciting future…in a spirit of acceptance, optomism, tolerance and respect for others…always with courage, confidence and hope (faith), but most of all with happiness and love for our fellow citizens.
That is the brightest light each one of us can shine

…and the best possible legacy we can leave to future generations.

…and this manuscript is my dream.

And so it came to pass in the year that was 2007…and that country … and indeed the world did carry on bleeding. Though thankfully the number of deaths was not nearly as terrible as in the “bad old days”, the horrific bloodshed, the maiming and deaths (often following dreadful torture)  of thousand and thousands following the invasion of 2003. However, people all over the country were still being maimed and killed in the increasing carnage  – and in the midst of those dire conditions, the ever-present whirlpool of violence and bloodshed throughout the country, the desperate poverty they were living in. Many dying violently for a “measly” thirty dinars to buy food for another man’s family… or simply because they were either Sunni, or Shii’te… or a Kurd.

Because we may be of different sects, so have different politics, ethnicity and tribalism, because we don’t fully accept each others… and we think OUR way is the ONLY way.

So in the days ahead will it still perhaps continue to be

BLEED THE ‘BELOVED CRADLE OF CIVILISATION’

AND

BLEED THE WORLD

Though so many ordinary people, citizens with good hearts, carried on living their insignificant little lives in that beautiful blighted country…and many of them did not really care. Because there was so little they could do about it…and anyway they didn’t know what else they could do, but pray.

And that is part of the never-ending story of Africa, that is the way of Africa…that is the never-ending story, the way  of the Middle East and that is the way of the world.

Why…

because we are mere people with all our weaknesses, prejudices and strengths, our vices and virtues. Because we are human beings  we can hate one moment and love the next

…people of contrasts, countries of contrasts,
cultures of contrasts and civilisations of contrast

…and that is just the way it is.

*

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.
So believe in your dream. Never throw it away.
Believe in the dream, even when it is impossible.
Believe in the stars, even when they’re hidden in the storm. Believe in love, even when you can’t find it or feel it.
Believe in faith, even when God is silent.
So turn your hurts into halos…
and your deepest scars into the brightest stars.
And when its time eventually to take your last breath,
you will come to the end of your journey with pride behind you, love around you and hope ahead of you.”

Benediction from Coretta Scott King’s funeral by Dr Robert H. Schuller, Founding pastor, Chrystal Cathedral, Garden Grove California (and slightly adapted by Craig)

: THE FOREIGN MINISTER

March 26, 2010

:  THE FOREIGN MINISTER:

And the New Zealand Foreign Minister, John King adressed the large crowd gathered…

“I’m going to be talking about SHARED VALUES WITH MUSLIMS

I believe that there is a desire of the West for genuine cooperation with the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world.
It’s NOT a “clash of civilisations” (or cultures), as many have called it!

We, New Zealanders, Muslims and non-Muslims need to emphasize that there is no conflict between the West and Islam. We need to underline the shared values and aspirations that Muslims and non-Muslims hold dear. Because, there is more that unites the world’s great societies, cultures and religions than sets us apart.

Whilst the mentality of the terrorist is one of extremism: a dogmatic, intolerant, irrational and violent ideology. Whereas  “civilised” people of goodwill everwhere in the world have a different mentality: one that values reason, moderation, tolerance and pluralism. And on reading the Koran, it elaborates a range of rights, including the right to life, to respect and equity, to justice, to liberty and to acquire knowledge. Many inhabitants of Muslim countries know that the way to deal with modernity and globalisation is not to reject democracy. I believe education is a critical tool here, as is countering the spread of terrorist propaganda and extremist (and misguided) interpretations of Islam. That is the real problem. And each one of us can play a part here in eradicating misunderstandings between peoples and cultures.

In the fight against extremist ideologies, we have one very powerful tool on our side – the concept of democracy. This heritage of ours is the “Achilles heel” of the extremist.

A recent study on attitudes found that majorities in every Muslim country said that democracy was not just for the West, but could work in their own countries.

Our generation’s challenge is to rally behind the common ideals of tolerance, pluralism, moderation, democratic freedom and liberty under to defeat those who seek to destroy them. So let us show the “benefits of democracy” to the Muslim world. Gently and kindly leading Muslims down that path; then they can adapt it to suit their own cultures, societies and the mindset of the Arab world.”

Then John King took a deep breath and paused for a moment, before uttering his final words…

“With knowledge comes understanding.
With understanding comes tolerance…
and with tolerance comes love.”

There was a moments silence before the audience stood amid spontaneous applause.

Author’s Note: Many points and words have been extracted from a speech by Alexander Downer, Australian Foreign Minister at the Sydney institute and published in the Dominion Post newspaper (Wellington, New Zealand) on Wed Nov 29 2006.

THE SUDAN and DARFUR: HELPING DARFUR’S DISPLACED

March 26, 2010

THE SUDAN and DARFUR: HELPING DARFUR’S DISPLACED

Maureen Duffy has spent 4 months in Chad working for ChildFund New Zealand as an aid worker, helping women and children driven out by the conflict, which has killed 300,000 people and left two million homeless in three years.

“Though the horrors resulting from civil war in Darfur have gained international attention, the plight of refugees forced to flee to neighbouring Chad is as dire. The conditions in Chad’s refugee camps were unpleasant and the hygiene poor. The camps are an array of mud-brick buildings and tents. The weather is dusty and hot and there’s little for people to do.

Most of the 200000 refugees were women and children. The men had been killed or recruited by rebels fighting Sudanese Government forces.

The women faced constant danger. They get raped and beaten up when they get firewood. When they get raped they don’t talk about it. That was because in traditional societies women who admitted to having been raped could be cast out and left destitute.

Our work at Childfund is mainly to educate women about gender-based violence and polygamy, a widespread practice in the area. But changing entrenched attitudes was a slow process.

While I was in Chad, tension between refugees and locals spilled over into beatings and murders. Both factions from Darfur sent troops across the border. So we, aid workers had become targets – we are seen as affluent and those who attack us don’t understand what we are doing.

My good girl-friend, Donna, who is a fellow aid worker, was taken hostage this month by some rebels, who also overran a neighbouring town. Our team of six drove into neighbouring Cameroon and fortunately negotiated her release.

However the situation is deteriorating and its getting more dangerous day by day. For the aid workers, but more so for the women and children being attacked by the rebels. And the Sudan government does NOTHING, or they don’t have the resources! I  really don’t know.

What I do know is that the world urgently needs to know about the conflict in Darfur – and about its scores of victims, as the conflict has now spread much wider. The international community needs to do more. Much more, instead of idly sitting by, as the conflict worsens. This area of Africa just doesn’t get the attention in the media, not being seen as strategically important by the West. The scale of the tragedy here in Darfur can become overwhelming…and it affects me emotionally. But when we were in the camps, we knew where we should be, doing what we should be doing, as there is so much work to be done for these poor poor people of Darfur.”

this “interview” was based upon a report on the excellent work  being done by Wellington aid worker, Maureen Duffy by reporter Colin Patterson in the Dominion Post newspaper, Wellington NZ (Monday Dec 18th 2006)

*************

THE SUDAN and DARFUR: HELPING DARFUR’S DISPLACED

March 26, 2010

THE SUDAN and DARFUR: HELPING DARFUR’S DISPLACED

Maureen Duffy has spent 4 months in Chad working for ChildFund New Zealand as an aid worker, helping women and children driven out by the conflict, which has killed 300,000 people and left two million homeless in three years.

“Though the horrors resulting from civil war in Darfur have gained international attention, the plight of refugees forced to flee to neighbouring Chad is as dire. The conditions in Chad’s refugee camps were unpleasant and the hygiene poor. The camps are an array of mud-brick buildings and tents. The weather is dusty and hot and there’s little for people to do.

Most of the 200000 refugees were women and children. The men had been killed or recruited by rebels fighting Sudanese Government forces.

The women faced constant danger. They get raped and beaten up when they get firewood. When they get raped they don’t talk about it. That was because in traditional societies women who admitted to having been raped could be cast out and left destitute.

Our work at Childfund is mainly to educate women about gender-based violence and polygamy, a widespread practice in the area. But changing entrenched attitudes was a slow process.

While I was in Chad, tension between refugees and locals spilled over into beatings and murders. Both factions from Darfur sent troops across the border. So we, aid workers had become targets – we are seen as affluent and those who attack us don’t understand what we are doing.

My good girl-friend, Donna, who is a fellow aid worker, was taken hostage this month by some rebels, who also overran a neighbouring town. Our team of six drove into neighbouring Cameroon and fortunately negotiated her release.

However the situation is deteriorating and its getting more dangerous day by day. For the aid workers, but more so for the women and children being attacked by the rebels. And the Sudan government does NOTHING, or they don’t have the resources! I  really don’t know.

What I do know is that the world urgently needs to know about the conflict in Darfur – and about its scores of victims, as the conflict has now spread much wider. The international community needs to do more. Much more, instead of idly sitting by, as the conflict worsens. This area of Africa just doesn’t get the attention in the media, not being seen as strategically important by the West. The scale of the tragedy here in Darfur can become overwhelming…and it affects me emotionally. But when we were in the camps, we knew where we should be, doing what we should be doing, as there is so much work to be done for these poor poor people of Darfur.”

this interview was based upon a report on the excellent work  being done by Wellington aid worker, Maureen Duffy by reporter Colin Patterson in the Dominion Post newspaper, Wellington NZ (Monday Dec 18th 2006)

*************

A New Dawn (EXTRACT)

January 9, 2010

Article Title: The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say (from ‘A New Dawn’) ? Submitted by: Craig Lock Key words: Spiritual Growth, Spirituality, Faith, Inspiration, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christianity, A New Dawn, Words of inspiration, “Spiritual Thoughts”. Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!) Publishing Guidelines: This extract (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print (with acknowledgment to the sources, thanks). . “We share what we know, so that we all may grow.” * THE FIVE GOSPELS: WHAT DID JESUS REALLY SAY? The following is a short extract from one of Craig’s new manuscripts titled ‘A NEW DAWN’ Christianity is defined by the claim that the person who was Jesus Christ, is the eternal Son of God, who has come in the ‘veil of flesh’, who died and has risen from the dead. The gift of eternal life and spirit of reconciliation is available to ALL, through Him alone…and this claim is central to Christianity. Christianity is not just following set ideas, beliefs or lifestyle; but is a personal living relationship with God Himself. Let us look at the true values of the faith of Christ… Passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. The Gospels are characterised by Jesus’s unlimited (infinite) generosity of spirit. He continually taught the value of human life. Jesus didn’t speak much about God; but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’, being rather more concerned with the human condition. He proclaimed the simplest of all appeals to Faith: Love God with everything you’ve got and put the well-being of your neighbour on a par with yourself. His life and teachings have been vindicated. His parables point to and sometimes describe human attitudes to life, the nature of our relationships to others, as well as the kind of society we should be attempting to build. Jesus taught people to look into the future with faith and hope (“Don’t fret about your own life”). We have to take responsibility ourselves to make the right decisions in our lives…and that is why we are given choice, ie. free will. Jesus did not die for the sins of the world; he died because of the sins of the world. I see Jesus Christ as the key to what it is to be truly human. The most important theme in the teachings of Jesus was brotherly love. “Love the Lord, your God with all your strength, heart, mind and soul and love your neighbour as yourself.” Christ told us to love our enemies, not to shoot them, send them to concentration camps, or blow them up! Loving ones enemies was and still is a revolutionary statement. Jesus taught that violence achieves nothing, whether it comes from terrorists or from the response to terrorists. The chief theme of James (the brother of Jesus) is the living of the “good life” and this is said to be achieved by the pursuit of wisdom, a spiritual gift which originates with God. The tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities…as a nation and as an international community. * My portrait is the man of almost 20 centuries ago, who talked passionately about a mode of living, so rich that it deserved to be called God’s kingdom. And, in that sense, He is still with us. Live your life led by the Spirit of Christ… and the truth shall set you free. * “For me the term (concept) of what we call ‘God’ focuses on all the goals and aspirations, that make existence meaningful to us. Most importantly, it symbolises all that humanity supremely values…and there is no thing, no time and no place in which we do not encounter this God.” – adapted from Lloyd Geering * When people have God’s spirit living within them, it opens their eyes to a whole new dimension, a new, better and higher way of LIVING. Jesus encouraged life and encouraged all people to reach their God-given potential, to live life to the full (“I have come that people may have life and have it abundantly.”) For ME, Jesus is the way to my reality. So Jesus not only died died for us He LIVED for us! from Lloyd Geering’s ‘Christianity without God’ “If we choose to speak of God, we shall be using this term to focus on all that we supremely value and on the goals which make human existence meaningful and worthwhile; and there is no thing and no place in which we do not encounter this God.” Lloyd Geering in ‘Tomorrow’s God’ Shared by craig About the submitter: Craig likes to share information and insights to encourage others to be all they are capable of being. He’d love to try to ‘build bridges’ (not metal or wooden ones, thank goodness!) between people, firmly believing that what we share is way more important than what divides us. http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html http://www.myspace.com/writercraig and http://www.craiglockbooks.com Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love,are set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love for the world. “Those whom you want to change… you must first love.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr “What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

A New Dawn (extract)

August 30, 2009

The following is a short extract from the first two chapters of Craig’s new manuscript ‘A NEW DAWN’, on which he’s currently “working”

*
A NEW DAWN

CHAPTER ONE: FATIMA

Fatima Mohamed (or Prasad) had always been concerned with human rights.  Her strong Islamic faith was all-encompassing in her life to guide her down his life’s journey. Religion was for people SEEKING the way to spiritual enlightenment.

“I believe in reaching out to others in seeking God.
My most important principles are human rights, a sense of righteousness, dignity of the person, justice, kindness and giving. And especially, peace between all peoples and nations, which greatly pleases Allah: ‘Whereby Allah guides him who seeks good pleasure unto paths of peace’ (5:16).
Jesus also once said that “you shall know people by the fruits that they bear” – fruits of faith, such as compassion, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation or peace.
So most Christians hold the same values as us.

I also value tolerance and harmony amongst diverse groups of peoples. So I reject “religious totalarism. And the Koran forbids transgression. The Holy Book promotes patience for the sake of peace.
It warns against initiating hostilities. ‘Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loves not agressors’ (2:190).

So you see we Muslims are often misunderstood by the Western media. We are expressly told in the Koran to avoid violence and refrain from initiating attacks. However, if confrontation is inevitable, the Koran gives instructions to fight back in self defense. The Holy Book promotes reconciliation, rather than vengeance; as it’s always better to forgive another’s transgressions.

The Koran preaches tolerance towards other religions. We are to seek peaceful co-existence among diverse groups of various regions. ‘Allah forbids you, not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drive you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loves the just dealers’ ( 60:8). As a result, it is compulsory for every Muslim to be kind and just to his or her neighbouring non-Muslim.

As regards the principles of tolerance, Allah also says: ‘Unto each nation have We given sacred rites which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with you of the matter, but summon yourself unto your Lord. Lo! You indeed follow right guidance. And if they wrangle with you, say: Allah is best aware of what you do. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein you used to differ’ (22:67-69).
So the Koran makes it quite clear that we Muslims should let other groups practice their religion in peace.

In my life I am a person who always tries to avoid conflict, to be forgiving and indulgent towards other faiths, like
the Christians and Jews. Because God’s way sees the supreme goodness of God… and that’s the best way to live. By the personal grace of “being”. So every day I’m in touch with an infinite, personal God. I believe that everybody is made in the image of God and consequently that every person, no matter their standing in life has some level of dignity.

“It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us.”
– Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, in the ‘Wall Street Journal’.

Islam preaches tolerance towards other religions. Wahid says: Religious fanatics – either purposely or out of ignorance – pervert Islam into a dogma of intolerance, hatred and bloodshed. The most effective way to overcome Islamist extremism is to explain what Islam truly is to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike… Without that explanation, people will tend to accept the unrefuted extremist view – further radicalising Muslims and turning the rest of the world against Islam itself…Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision of Islam, one that banishes the fanatical ideology of hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”

‘Lo, Allah is able to do all things!'(2:109)”

(Based upon a speech by Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, as reported in the ‘Wall Street Journal’).

“We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”
(2:136).
*

CHAPTER TWO: ISHMAIL

It was March in the year 2004. The Imam (elite scholar) started off my telling us that our strict duty as followers of Islam, our calling as young warriors was strict adherance to the teachings of the Koran and the Sunnah.

On the first anniversary of the American invasion of my beloved country Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilisation’, the Imam (elite scholar) declared that Jihad in battle was compulsory on every Muslim. The US and British occupation was an act of hostility against Muslim land, and the Imam explained to us that the duty of Muslims was to protect their land. We were being opressed by the invaders from the evil West, who are trying to spread Bush’s American Christian message to us Arabs in the Middle East.
A clear violent attack against us Muslims and our way of life, our entire culture has been under way for some time now.

The Imam (elite scholar) declared that “Jihad in battle was compulsory on every Muslim; because of the American invasion of his beloved Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilisation’.” “It’s hostility against Muslim land, and it is the duty of Muslims to protect their land.”

“So we will fight and defeat the enemy on the battlefield.
And of course, we are committing an act for which Allah will reward us greatly. I’ll go straight to Heaven as a martyr for killing members of the hated enemy with me. ‘Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil’ (4:76).

We ‘Mujahideen’ will fight to the death in the name of Jihad and kill all the infidels who have invaded our country. With Allah at our side we will be victorious in battle and the ‘shaheed’ will be abundantly rewarded in Heaven.
Because the Prophet Mohammed said that he who is killed for his religion is a martyr…and the Koran guarantees every martyr a place in Heaven.
The martyr’s soul flies straight to Heaven according to our Holy Book. It says: ‘Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead.  Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision’ (3:169). This promise by Allah that all ‘shaheeds’ go to Heaven strengthens the will of us soldiers in battle. We have no fear of death in combatting the enemy. Because I KNOW that if I should die, Allah will take my soul right up to Heaven.

‘And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter’ (verse 191).

So

We WILL fight the enemy back. We WILL slay the infidels on the battlefields.”

Information on the Koran extracted from ‘The Everything Koran Book’ by Duaa Anwar, Publisher Adams Media Avon Masachusetts (www.everything.com)

CHAPTER THREE: MOHAMED (or ISAAC)

Mohamed Prasad was a doctor, who felt his mission in life was to try and alleviate human suffering. Mohamed had always been concerned with human rights.  His strong Islamic faith was all-encompassing in his life to guide him down his life’s journey. Religion was for people SEEKING the way to spiritual enlightenment.

“I believe in reaching out to others in seeking God.
My most important principles are human rights, a sense of righteousness, dignity of the person, justice, kindness and giving. And especially, peace between all peoples and nations,  which greatly pleases Allah: ‘Whereby Allah guides him who seeks good pleasure unto paths of peace'(5:16).
Jesus also once said that “you shall know people by the fruits that they bear” – fruits of faith, such as compassion, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation or peace.
So most Christians hold the same values as us.

I also value tolerance and harmony amongst diverse groups of peoples. So I reject “religious totalaranism. And the Koran forbids transgression. The Holy Book promotes patience for the sake of peace.
It warns against initiating hostilities. ‘Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loves not agressors’ (2:190).

So you see we Muslims are often misunderstood by the Western media. We are expressly told in the Koran to avoid violence and refrain from initiating attacks. However, if confrontation is inevitable, the Koran gives instructions to fight back in self defense. The Holy Book promotes reconciliation, rather than vengeance; as it’s always better to forgive another’s transgressions.

The Koran preaches tolerance towards other religions. We are to seek peaceful co-existence among diverse groups of various regions. ‘Allah forbids you, not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drive you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loves the just dealers’ (60:8). As a result, it is compulsory for every Muslim to be kind and just to his or her neighbouring non-Muslim.

As regards the principles of tolerance, Allah also says: ‘Unto each nation have We given sacred rites, which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with you of the matter; but summon yourself unto your Lord. Lo! You indeed follow right guidance. And if they wrangle with you, say: ‘Allah is best aware of what you do. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein you used to differ’ (22:67-69).
So the Koran makes it quite clear that we Muslims should let other groups practice their religion in peace.

In my life I am a person who always tries to avoid conflict, to be forgiving and indulgent towards other faiths, like
the Christians and Jews. Because God’s way sees the supreme goodness of God…and that’s the best way to live. By the personal grace of “being”. So every day I’m in touch with an infinite, personal God. I believe that everybody is made in the image of God and consequently that every person, no matter their standing in life has some level of dignity.

As Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, one said:”It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us.”
So Islam preaches tolerance towards other religions. Wahid also says: “Religious fanatics – either purposely or out of ignorance – pervert Islam into a dogma of intolerance, hatred and bloodshed. The most effective way to overcome Islamist extremism is to explain what Islam truly is to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike… Without that explanation, people will tend to accept the unrefuted extremist view – further radicalising Muslims and turning the rest of the world against Islam itself…Therefore our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision of Islam, one that banishes the fanatical ideology of hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”

‘Lo, Allah is able to do all things!'(2:109)”

(Based upon a speech by Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, as reported in the ‘Wall Street Journal’).

*
Wearily Mohamed Prasad concluded his adress with these words: “We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”
(2:136)

WESTERNISATION IS NOT THE WAY TO CLOSE GAPS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Ahmed Zewail

“Westerners should all build bridges of progress and peace with an attempt at understanding the profound role of pride and faith in the lives of us Muslims.

Incidentally, why can’t reason and faith co-exist with faith – an argument settled for Christians centuries ago; but a question which Islam has not fully begun adressing.

Vitally, the West’s and particularly the USA’s support of undemocratic regimes for the sake of securing resources and influence, and insensitivity to our culture and faith.

The West should chart a very different foreign policy with the aim of gaining the confidence and co-operation of Muslims for solving complex conflicts.

In the Middle East it is clear that peace will never be reached without solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – with a lasting solution. A two-state permanent solution must be found and enforced.

Force and isolation from western powers will not solve these problems in our part of the world. Instead we need a comprehensive policy of fairness and firmness, perhaps established in an international conference and enforced by the United Nations.

Foreign aid should be redirected towards economic development and direct aid towards building human capacity.

In an interdependent world, it is in the best interests of both the West and the Muslim world to communicate through dialogue and to achieve global stability and mutual benefits from technology, commerce, energy and cultures.

We must not permit the creation of barriers through rhetorical concepts such as ‘clash of civilisations’ or ‘conflict of religions’, which are of no value to the future of our world.”
The West and Islam need not be in conflict forever.”

Ahmed Zewail

from a report in ‘The Independent’ (from NZ Herald 23 October 2006)

Ahmed Zewail is the Linus Pauling Chair professor of chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is the only Arab Muslim to be awarded the Nobel Prize in science, which he received in 1999

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The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.webng.com/writernz/index.html
http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html http://www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.myspace.com/writercraig


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