Posts Tagged ‘Craig Lock’

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




(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.”



“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.”


March 26, 2010


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.

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