Religion and spirituality
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The Global Community has had work on the religion and spirituality issues and events ever since 1985. A short list of our previous work on religion and spirituality issues and events. A short list of our previous work on religion and spirituality issues and events is shown here

For more recent work on the religion and spirituality issues and events read the following table.

 Month/year  Theme and Author  Read contents
 May 26, 2007  Letter sent by Germain Dufour to the Global Community The Global Community celebrates Life Day on May 26 of each year
The Global Community is defined as being all that exits or occurs at any location at any time between the Ozone layer above and the core of the planet below
  Read The Global Community celebrates Life Day on May 26 of each year
 June 1, 2007   Réflexion philosophique reliant dans une perspective d'harmonie la journée du 1 juin ( pour la protection de l'enfance ) et celle du 21 juin ( jour global d'harmonie.), by Guy CRÉQUIE, Harmonie et paix - et philosophie.   Read Réflexion philosophique reliant dans une perspective d'harmonie la journée du 1 juin ( pour la protection de l'enfance ) et celle du 21 juin ( jour global d'harmonie.)
 June 1, 2007   La dimension multiculturelle du dialogue by AMMAR BANNI, Professeur de français et poète Il est donc indispensable pour que la culture du dialogue établisse un système multiculturel efficace, aux niveaux régionaux et mondiaux ,et pour accomplir cette tâche ,il est recommandé que le dialogue et sa culture interculturel devraient investir pour le développement de sa culture multiculturelle qui aident les peuples et les nations pour se comprendre et se respecter ; ceci réduirait la possibilité de conflits des cultures et des civilisations . La dimension multiculturelle de la culture du dialogue favoriserait la promotion d'une culture harmonieuse qui peut empêcher l'influence dangereuse sur la société provoquant une incertitude ,une crainte, une terreur et de haine qui mènent aux conflits et aux guerres.   Read La dimension multiculturelle du dialogue
 May 5, 2007  Letter sent by Tea Kovacevic Molnar to the Global Community, God government
Jesus comments on political issues

  Read  God government
 May 4, 2007  Letter sent by Bill Ellis to the Global Community
The Soul of an apathist
To be or not to be -- mortality and immortality

  Read  The Soul of an apathist
 April 20, 2007  Christian Right Leaders: America Can Only Be 'Reclaimed' by Religious Revival Religious Right leaders at the Reclaiming America For Christ Conference fretted that America cannot be "reclaimed" from the grip of the evil forces that now engulf it until religious revival sweeps the land, by Adele Stan,, Church and State, published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message, EnviroHealth   Read Christian Right Leaders: America Can Only Be 'Reclaimed' by Religious Revival
 March 17, 2007   I am the new long awaited prophet to help humanity through this century and beyond
by Germain Dufour, with the Global Community
In order to create a harmonious and compassionate Global Community, there are laws I ask everyone to comply with.
  Read I am the new long awaited prophet to help humanity through this century and beyond
 March 16, 2007  Letter sent by Germain Dufour to the Global Community
Nature Law
Nature Law, a fundamental pillar of our social values
  Read  Nature Law
 March 17, 2007   God Law
Revelations for the 21st Century and beyond
Message sent by God to the Global Community
  Read  Revelations for the 21st Century and beyond
 March 9, 2007   The Crime of War in Iraq , by DR. Charles Mercieca , International Association of Educators for World Peace, Professor Emeritus, Alabama A and M University, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament What is the purpose of having rules and regulations when we can disregard them at will at any moment we like? Since the early days of human existence, those that transgressed rules and regulations to the detriment of others always tended to be punished, sooner or later. In order for us to understand the seriousness of such violations, we need to understand properly the significance of laws. In order to do that, we must have a clear concept of the four hierarchical laws of which ascetical writers spoke over the past several centuries.   Read The Crime of War in Iraq
 February 26, 2007  Is towards a totally spiritually ethical politics possible? Letter sent by Livia Varju, Universal Alliance Servitor for Switzerland, to the Global Community   Read Is towards a totally spiritually ethical politics possible?
 February 16, 2007   Contemporary Times-Role Of Religions , by Ram Puniyani, Current times are witnessing violence of severe nature all around in which religion is projected one of the reasons. It is also projected as a clash between people of two religions and that people belonging to a particular religion are violent due to their faith, also that some violence is a retaliatory violence to check the activities of others who are out to convert the gullible people by luring them.   Read The Trap Of Recognising Israel
 December 21, 2006   Apartheid in the Holy Land, by Desmond Tutu, published in The Guardian, Desmond Tutu is the former Archbishop of Cape Town and chairman of South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission. This address was given April 29, 2002 at a conference on Ending the Occupation held in Boston, Massachusetts, earlier this month. A longer version appears in the current edition of Church Times.   Read Apartheid in the Holy Land
 December 16, 2006   The Trap Of Recognising Israel, by Jonathan Cook ,   Read The Trap Of Recognising Israel The Trap Of Recognising Israel
 December 11, 2006   Most Famous and Beneficial People in the World, by DR. Charles Mercieca , International Association of Educators for World Peace, Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament   Read Most Famous and Beneficial People in the World
 December 8, 2006   God And Faith In The Life Of Indians, by Subhash Gatade,   Read God And Faith In The Life Of Indians

Most Famous and Beneficial People in the World

Subject: Most Famous and Beneficial People in the World Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 18:23:11 -0600 From: "Charles Mercieca"

During the Roman times we find a good saying: Aliud est theoria, aliud est practica – One thing is theory, another thing is practice. Almost every language abounds with sayings of this nature. In English, for example, we have the saying: Not all that glitters is gold. In spite of the diversity of expression, such sayings tend to convey the same meaning. From the early days of Christianity and beyond we find that the greatness of human beings is attributed not to the titles people carry and the wealth they may possess but to the kind of spiritual life they lead.

Brahma Kumaris Spirituality

One of the great assets of all religions lies here. They all tend to attach more importance on the spiritual element of human beings rather than on the material one. We will explore here how spirituality in Hinduism views greatness in human beings. Regardless of whether people are rich or poor, known or unknown, old or young their true greatness is measured by their spiritual qualities. Here are twelve qualities that qualify people to be the most famous and beneficial people in the world. They are found in Brahma Kumaris spirituality.

1. Peace, which is viewed as the King of all values. We are all aware of the fact that genuine happiness, which emanates from the peace of our soul and mind, cannot be bought with all the money and wealth in the whole world. Peace has proven to be a very special gift that enables people to concentrate better in life as to become more beneficial to others. In fact, many good people tend to greet each other by saying: Peace be with you!

2. Courage, which is considered as the Heart of all values. This quality is also considered in Christianity to be one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. It enables us to do what needs to be done and to say what needs to be said openly and fearlessly. Through such a quality or virtue we become in a position to be able to help the needy and the poor without hesitation and to defend them bravely when we notice they are treated unfairly.

3. Truth, which is classified as the Foundation of all values. When Jesus of Nazareth was asked by Pontius Pilot to state who he was, Jesus was quick to reply saying: Ego sum veritas – I am the Truth. For this Roman Governor such an answer was such a big surprise that he was quick to ask: Quid est veritas? – What is truth? When we are truthful everybody knows where we stand and where they stand with us. There is no ambiguity or misunderstanding.

4. Cheerfulness, which is known as the Evidence of all values. Those who are gifted with cheerfulness even in the midst of suffering tend to win the admiration of everyone that comes across them. Making people cheerful is viewed as a heavenly blessing. Cheerfulness make people forget all about their downs of life by concentrating on the positive rather than on the negative. As a result, they tend to be constructive in anything they say and do.

5. Respect, which is acclaimed to be the Demonstration of all values. The demonstration of our respect for others shows on our part an expression of love that is viewed by several ascetics as a fundamental virtue. In fact, St. Augustine, who is viewed as the Father of Christian education said: Ama et fac quod vis -- Love and do what you want. This statement was based on the fact that when we love genuinely and truly we cannot be wrong.

6. Contentment, which is hailed as the Embodiment of all values. This quality consists of having our mind at peace because we do not feel the need to crave for anything. We are satisfied with everything we have and we feel delighted with all the good things others may possess. In Buddhism people are exhorted to empty themselves from any kind of desire as to achieve a genuine state of inner peace and joy.

7. Humility, which is described as the Protector of all values. Several ascetical writers have assured us that we are capable to achieve in life more with one ounce of humility than with one ton of pride. The greatest saints of all time, from very walk of life and profession, were all characterized by humility. They put themselves easily at the service of others. Some even say that they developed the habit to see God in every person they encounter.

8. Introvertness, which is pinpointed as the Key of all values. This quality enables us to reflect periodically on our actions as to whether they are right or wrong as to enable ourselves to improve our spiritual life. This way we will render ourselves to become more helpful and beneficial to others. Monastics tend to describe this introvertness as examination of conscience, which enables them to analyze their thoughts and actions periodically for purpose of spiritual progress.

9. Simplicity, which is assumed to be the Beauty of all values. If all human beings were to develop this quality, most of the human conflicts would be solved over night. One of the greatest problems that has existed between human beings lies in the fact that many of them tend to be too complicated. They say one thing and mean another! This explains why Jesus of Nazareth said to his disciples: “Unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”

10. Patience, which is enlisted as the Fortress of all values. In French we have a proverb that says: Avec la patience on s’arrive a touts – with patience one will achieve everything. In English we also have a proverb which says: Speech is silver but silence is gold. For us to develop the habit of practicing silence, especially at a time we need to explode because of frustrations we experience, reveals the eventual beauty of this quality.

11. Honesty, which is called the Guru of all values. One of the most popular saying runs as follows: Honesty is the best policy. The most trusted people in history were those who were proven to be honest. When we are honest those around us do sense it. Through honesty we are capable of winning the heart of everyone we come across. Above all we win the trust of people because they feel convinced we are genuinely interested in their welfare.

12. Purity, which is labeled as the Mother of values. This quality enables our mind to do everything with good intentions. It stimulates our heart to desire only what is good for others. It procures in our soul a deep sentiment of serenity. It also inspires us to make the right decisions when faced with alternative choices. The leaders of the various major religions of the world had all attached great importance on the purity of mind, heart, soul and body.

In view of what has been stated, we may realize and understand how in the sphere of spirituality, the most famous and beneficial people in the world are not those that carry titles, money, wealth and power but those that are imbued with the above mentioned twelve qualities. In Brahma Kumaris spirituality, these are viewed as indispensable values on which we are expected to meditate often. This noble spirituality emphasizes the fact that such values do, as a matter of fact, empower our lives.

These qualities cannot be taken lightly since they serve as a great force that is meant to invigorate us in everything we decide to undertake. Through these qualities we are bound to become noticeably powerful in the sense that people tend to listen more carefully to what we say. They also tend to be more cooperative. With these outlined qualities we may be assured with virtual certainly that our life would serve to make a big difference by all means.

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The Trap Of Recognising Israel

The problem facing the Palestinian leadership, as they strive to bring the millions living in the occupied territories some small relief from their collective suffering, reduces to a matter of a few words. Like a naughty child who has only to say “sorry” to be released from his room, the Hamas government need only say “We recognise Israel” and supposedly aid and international goodwill will wash over the West Bank and Gaza.

That, at least, was the gist of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s recent speech during a visit to the Negev, when he suggested that his country’s hand was stretched out across the sands towards the starving masses of Gaza -- if only Hamas would repent. “Recognise us and we are ready to talk about peace” was the implication.

Certainly the Palestinian people have been viciously punished for making their democratic choice early this year to elect a Hamas government that Israel and the Western powers disapprove of:

* an economic blockade has been imposed, starving the Palestinian Authority of income to pay for services and remunerate its large workforce;

* millions of dollars in tax monies owed to the Palestinians have been illegally withheld by Israel, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis;

* a physical blockade of Gaza enforced by Israel has prevented the Palestinians from exporting their produce, mostly perishable crops, and from importing essentials like food and medicine;

* Israeli military strikes have damaged Gaza’s vital infrastructure, including the supply of electricity and water, as well as randomly killing its inhabitants;

* and thousands of families are being torn apart as Israel uses the pretext of its row with Hamas to stop renewing the visas of Palestinian foreign passport holders.

The magic words “We recognise you” could end all this suffering. So why did their prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, vow last week never to utter them. Is Hamas so filled with hatred and loathing for Israel as a Jewish state that it cannot make such a simple statement of good intent?

It is easy to forget that, though conditions have dramatically deteriorated of late, the Palestinians’ problems did not start with the election of Hamas. Israel’s occupation is four decades old, and no Palestinian leader has ever been able to extract from Israel a promise of real statehood in all of the occupied territories: not the mukhtars, the largely compliant local leaders, who for decades were the only representatives allowed to speak on behalf of the Palestinians after the national leadership was expelled; not the Palestinian Authority under the secular leadership of Yasser Arafat, who returned to the occupied territories in the mid-1990s after the PLO had recognised Israel; not the leadership of his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the “moderate” who first called for an end to the armed intifada; and now not the leaders of Hamas, even though they have repeatedly called for a long-term truce (hudna) as the first step in building confidence.

Similarly, few Palestinians doubt that Israel will continue to entrench the occupation -- just as it did during the supposed peace-making years of Oslo, when the number of Jewish settlers doubled in the occupied territories -- even if Hamas is ousted and a government of national unity, of technocrats or even of Fatah takes its place.

There is far more at stake for Israel in winning this little concession from Hamas than most observers appreciate. A statement saying that Hamas recognised Israel would do much more than meet Israel’s precondition for talks; it would mean that Hamas had walked into the same trap that was set earlier for Arafat and Fatah. That trap is designed to ensure that any peaceful solution to the conflict is impossible.

It achieves this end in two ways.

First, as has already been understood, at least by those paying attention, Hamas’ recognition of Israel’s “right to exist” would effectively signify that the Palestinian government was publicly abandoning its own goal of struggling to create a viable Palestinian state.

That is because Israel refuses to demarcate its own future borders, leaving it an open question what it considers to be the extent of “its existence” it is demanding Hamas recognise. We do know that no one in the Israeli leadership is talking about a return to Israel’s borders that existed before the 1967 war, or probably anything close to it.

Without a return to those pre-1967 borders (plus a substantial injection of goodwill from Israel in ensuring unhindered passage between Gaza and the West Bank) no possibility exists of a viable Palestinian state ever emerging.

And no goodwill, of course, will be forthcoming. Every Israeli leader has refused to recognise the Palestinians, first as a people and now as a nation. And in the West’s typically hypocritical fashion when dealing with the Palestinians, no one has ever suggested that Israel commit to such recognition.

In fact, Israeli governments have glorified in their refusal to extend the same recognition to the Palestinians that they demand from them. Famously Golda Meir, a Labor prime minister, said that the Palestinians did not exist, adding in 1971 that Israel’s “borders are determined by where Jews live, not where there is a line on a map.” At the same time she ordered that the Green Line, Israel’s border until the 1967 war, be erased from all official maps.

That legacy hit the headlines last week when the dovish education minister, Yuli Tamir, caused a storm by issuing a directive that the Green Line should be reintroduced in Israeli schoolbooks. There were widespread protests against her “extreme leftist ideology” from politicians and rabbis.

According to Israeli educators, the chances of textbooks showing the Green Line again -- or dropping references to “Judea and Samaria”, the Biblical names for the West Bank, or including Arab towns on maps of Israel -- are close to nil. The private publishers who print the textbooks would refuse to incur the extra costs of reprinting the maps, said Prof Yoram Bar-Gal, head of geography at Haifa University.

Sensitive to the damage that the row might do to Israel’s international image, and aware that Tamir’s directive is never likely to be implemented, Olmert agreed in principle to the change. “There is nothing wrong with marking the Green Line,” he said. But, in a statement that made his agreement entirely hollow, he added: “But there is an obligation to emphasize that the government's position and public consensus rule out returning to the 1967 lines.”

The second element to the trap is far less well understood. It explains the strange formulation of words Israel uses in making its demand of Hamas. Israel does not ask it simply to “recognise Israel”, but to “recognise Israel’s right to exist”. The difference is not a just matter of semantics.

The concept of a state having any rights is not only strange but alien to international law. People have rights, not states. And that is precisely the point: when Israel demands that its “right to exist” be recognised, the subtext is that we are not speaking of recognition of Israel as a normal nation state but as the state of a specific people, the Jews.

In demanding recognition of its right to exist, Israel is ensuring that the Palestinians agree to Israel’s character being set in stone as an exclusivist Jewish state, one that privileges the rights of Jews over all other ethnic, religious and national groups inside the same territory. The question of what such a state entails is largely glossed over both by Israel and the West.

For most observers, it means simply that Israel must refuse to allow the return of the millions of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps throughout the region, whose former homes in Israel have now been appropriated for the benefit of Jews. Were they allowed to come back, Israel’s Jewish majority would be eroded overnight and it could no longer claim to be a Jewish state, except in the same sense that apartheid South Africa was a white state.

This conclusion is apparently accepted by Romano Prodi, Italy’s prime minister, after a round of lobbying in European captials from Israel’s telegenic foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. According to the Jerusalem Post, Prodi is saying in private that Israel should receive guarantees from the Palestinians that its Jewish character will never be in doubt.

Israeli officials are cheering what they believe is the first crack in Europe’s support for international law and the rights of the refugees. “It’s important to get everyone on the same page on this one,” an official told the Post.

But in truth the consequences of the Palestinian leadership recognising Israel as a Jewish state run far deeper than the question of the future of the Palestinian refugees. In my book Blood and Religion, I set out these harsh consequences both for the Palestinians in the occupied territories and for the million or so Palestinians who live inside Israel as citizens, supposedly with the same rights as Jewish citizens.

My argument is that this need to maintain Israel’s Jewish character at all costs is actually the engine of its conflict with the Palestinians. No solution is possible as long as Israel insists on privileging citizenship for Jews above other groups, and on distorting the region’s territorial and demographic realities to ensure that the numbers continue to weigh in the Jews’ favour.

Although ultimately the return of the refugees poses the biggest threat to Israel’s “existence”, Israel has a far more pressing demographic concern: the refusal by the Palestinians living in the West Bank to leave the parts of that territory Israel covets (and which it knows by the Biblical names of Judea and Samaria).

Within a decade, the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the million Palestinian citizens living inside Israel will outnumber Jews, both those living in Israel and the settlers in the West Bank.

That was one of the chief reasons for the “disengagement” from Gaza: Israel could claim that, even though it is still occupying the small piece of land militarily, it was no longer responsible for the population there. By withdrawing a few thousand settlers from the Strip, 1.4 million Gazans were instantly wiped from the demographic score sheet.

But though the loss of Gaza has posponed for a few years the threat of a Palestinian majority in the expanded state Israel desires, it has not magicly guaranteed Israel’s continuing existence as a Jewish state. That is because Israel’s Palestinian citizens, though a minority comprising no more than fifth of Israel’s population, can potentially bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.

For the past decade they have been demanding that Israel be reformed from a Jewish state, which systematically discriminates against them and denies their Palestinian identity, into a “state of all its citizens”, a liberal democracy that would give all citizens, Jews and Palestinians, equal rights.

Israel has characterised the demand for a state of all its citizens as subversion and treason, realising that, were the Jewish state to become a liberal democracy, Palestinian citizens could justifiably demand:

* the right to marry Palestinians from the occupied territories and from the Diaspora, winning them Israeli citizenship -- “a right of return through the backdoor” as officials call it.

* the right to bring Palestinian relatives in exile back to Israel under a Right of Return programme that would be a pale shadow of the existing Law of Return that guarantees any Jew anywhere in the world the automatic right to Israeli citizenship.

To prevent the first threat, Israel passed a flagrantly racist law in 2003 that makes it all but impossible for Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to bring a Palestinian spouse to Israel. For the time being, such couples have little choice but to seek asylum abroad, if other countries will give them refuge.

But like the Gaza disengagement, this piece of legislation is a delaying tactic rather than a solution to the problem of Israel’s “existence”. So behind the scenes Israel has been formulating ideas that taken together would remove large segments of Israel’s Palestinian population from its borders and strip any remaining “citizens” of their political rights -- unless they swear loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic state” and thereby renounce their demand that Israel reform itself into a liberal democracy.

This is the bottom line for a Jewish state, just as it was for a white apartheid South Africa: if we are to survive, then we must be able to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves in power, even if it means systematically violating the human rights of all those we rule over and who do not belong to our group.

Ultimately, the consequences of Israel being allowed to remain a Jewish state will be felt by all of us, wherever we live -- and not only because of the fallout from the continuing and growing anger in the Arab and Muslim worlds at the double standards applied by the West to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Given Israel’s view that its most pressing interest is not peace or regional accommodation with its neighbours but the need to ensure a Jewish majority at all costs to protect its “existence”, Israel is likely to act in ways that endanger regional and global stability.

A small taste of that was suggested in the role played by Israel’s supporters in Washington in making the case for the invasion of Iraq, and this summer in Israel’s assault on Lebanon. But it is most evident in its drumbeat of war against Iran.

Israel has been leading the attempts to characterise the Iranian regime as profoundly anti-Semitic, and its presumed ambitions for nuclear weapons as directed by the sole goal of wanting to “wipe Israel off the map” -- a calculatedly mischievious mistranslation of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech.

Most observers have assumed that Israel is genuinely concerned for its safety from nuclear attack, however implausible the idea that even the most fanatical Muslim regime would, unprovoked, launch nuclear missiles against a small area of land that contains some of Islam’s holiest sites, in Jerusalem.

But in truth there is another reason why Israel is concerned about a nuclear-armed Iran that has nothing to do with conventional ideas about safety.

Last month, Ephraim Sneh, one of Israel’s most distinguished generals and now Olmert’s deputy defence minister, revealed that the government’s primary concern was not the threat posed by Ahmadinejad firing nuclear missiles at Israel but the effect of Iran’s possession of such weapons on Jews who expect Israel to have a monopoly on the nuclear threat.

If Iran got such weapons, “Most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with families, and Israelis who can live abroad will ... I am afraid Ahmadinejad will be able to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.”

In other words, the Israeli government is considering either its own pre-emptive strike on Iran or encouraging the United States to undertake such an attack -- despite the terrible consequences for global security -- simply because a nuclear-armed Iran might make Israel a less attractive place for Jews to live, lead to increased emigration and tip the demographic balance in the Palestinians’ favour.

Regional and possibly global war may be triggered simply to ensure that Israel’s “existence” as a state that offers exclusive privileges to Jews continues.

For all our sakes, we must hope that the Palestinians and their Hamas government continue refusing to “recognise Israel’s right to exist”.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His book “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State” is published by Pluto Press.

His website is
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