Archive for the ‘books (new) by craig lock’ Category

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

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.
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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.

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“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)


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