Sign our Statement Against Extremism
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Violent religious extremism can feel insurmountable – but there are simple actions each of us can take to thwart radicalism and prevent individuals from feeling marginalized. We can get to know neighbors who are different from us, finding those differences interesting and recognizing unexpected similarities. Employers can accommodate employees’ religious needs, creating more satisfied workers. And teachers can create classrooms, where students explore differences, including in belief, and learn to practice respectful curiosity.
We can reinforce cultures of peace in our communities, while Tanenbaum’s religiously motivated Peacemakers in Action combat violence and brutal extremism in some of the most violent hot spots and simmering conflicts around the world. It is up to each of us. Because peace is possible.
- Once mortal enemies, Peacemakers Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye of Nigeria overcame violent hatred and religious differences and have become a powerful catalyst for peace with their formation of the Interfaith Mediation Centre. Together they dismantle extremism through interventions, they work to improve governmental capacity to defend religious freedom and they teach opposing religious leaders and warring militias how to resolve conflicts.
- For more than two decades, Peacemaker Sakena Yacoobi has defied the Taliban by building schools for women and children to teach literacy and self-sufficiency in Afghanistan.
- In Sri Lanka, Buddhist Peacemaker Dishani Jayaweera dedicates her life’s work to promoting interfaith understanding by convening religious leaders from the country’s major faith traditions (i.e., Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism) to collaborate with other socially active and locally based groups.
- In Israel, Peacemaker Dr. Yehezkel Landau co-founded Open House, an organization that brings Palestinians and Israelis together for summer peace camps, coexistence training for educators and leadership training for teens.
Join the Peacemakers and create alternatives to forces of destruction - by signing this pledge to recognize our shared humanity.
Ask your political and religious leaders to learn about different religions and to speak with respect and compassion. Share this petition and the stories of the Peacemakers. Commit to practicing respect, accommodation, and understanding. We each have a unique and powerful role in stopping extremism but we must confront extremism now!
The Campaign Letter:
"We are global recipients of Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action Award and together form a Network of peacebuilders from 20 armed conflicts across the world. Spanning different religions and beliefs, we have endured the brutality of war and experienced the joy of peace and reconciliation.
We know the suffering and devastation engendered by hate and extremism.
Extremism is a global problem:
- Today, Syria and Iraq are being destroyed, as Christians, Muslims, Yazidis and other religious minorities are targeted for being “unbelievers” and “apostates.”
- In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, Muslims are being persecuted and killed by extremists using religious and nationalist fervor to justify their unlawful actions.
- In Nigeria, Christians and Muslims – even innocent children - are being kidnapped and murdered.
- Jews in Europe are terrorized by violent extremists.
- In the holy land of Israel/Palestine, fear, anger, and hatred drive horrific acts of violence. Increasing numbers of countries are impacted as violent extremists invoke the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to justify their actions.
As Peacemakers, we stand together as a positive alternative to the forces of destruction.
Our approach is different. It is simple, inclusive and effective. As religiously committed grassroots activists, we encourage and engage in spiritually-motivated peacebuilding and reconciliation where extremist violence and hate reign. We acknowledge our neighbor, actively seeking out those who are different from us to create community among all. We have proven that wars can be stopped and lives improved with our approach.
With one voice, as the Peacemakers in Action Network, we call on women and men across the globe to stand with us in solidarity against extremism and violent intolerance of the “other.”
We must uproot and eliminate the underlying causes of conflict, mitigating the vulnerability of youth to radicalization, and counter religious extremism with humane, practical and inspiring initiatives.
We invite political and religious leaders all over the world to take responsibility and systematically coordinate political and religious responses to extremism, which will lead to communal healing.
We can all help to stop the hate – by recognizing our shared humanity. We all contain the common bond of life, love for our children and the desire to be treated with respect.
It is time to overcome our fears, rally around the voices of compassion, come to know and respect the differences among us, and spread the simple message of peace to all we encounter.
As the Peacemakers in Action Network, we speak in one voice, and call on YOU to join us."
- The Peacemakers in Action Network
Jamila Afghani, Afghanistan
José "Chencho" Alas, El Salvador
Imam Muhammad Ashafa, Nigeria
Ricardo Esquivia Ballestas, Colombia
Archbishop Abuna Elias Chacour, Israel/Palestine
Dr. Ephraim Isaac, Ethiopia
Father Sava Janjic, Kosovo
Dishani Jayaweera, Sri Lanka
Hind Kabawat, Syria
Dr. Yehezkel Landau, Israel/Palestine
Reverend William Lowrey, Sudan
Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, South Africa
Reverend Jacklevyn "Jacky" Frits Manuputty, Indonesia
Friar Ivo Markovic, Bosnia
Reverend Canon Andrew White, Iraq
Pastor James Wuye, Nigeria
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