Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Peace should become a global discourse

A former Iranian president says mere praise for peace is not enough, the concept should be cultivated.

Ebtekar Newspaper in its 5,967th issue on September 22 quoted former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami as saying that efforts should be made to inspire people to love peace rather than only call for and praise peace.

The following is the coverage by the reformist daily of the former president’s speech at a ceremony marking the International Day of Peace at Tehran Peace Museum on Sunday (September 21):

Khatami said that peace should turn into a global discourse and that the paradigm of violence should change into a model for mutual understanding.

President Khatami recalled poetic lines by Malek o-Sho’ara Bahar which blame war and praise reconciliation and peace and said over the course of history, especially during the last century, people have appreciably heard comments admiring peace and denouncing war.

He said war and violence have always been waged by those in a position of power and that warmongering in the 20th century caused the most tragic losses ever, mainly thanks to technological headway and growing expansionist approaches [adopted in the corridors of power].

Touching upon the two world wars, regional clashes and the Cold War, Khatami went on to say that the world has witnessed the emergence of an ominous phenomenon which is called terrorism. Terrorism has been always around, but it has taken on a horrible dimension these days as a result of what is happening in today’s world.

“On the other hand, there is also a camp which seeks to stage war on terrorism which is a product of expansionist and warlike policies of [big] powers,” he said, stressing that the great reformers, divine prophets in particular, have constantly highlighted that life runs its normal course wherever peace is in place.

Khatami then took examples from the holy Koran where God Almighty has asked the believers to answer His call and that of the Prophet for living [peacefully].

The former Iranian chief executive further said peace has been dominated by war throughout history and added that it would be of little use to just praise peace and advise others to maintain it.

He said that the dialogue of peace should go global, arguing that Dialogue among Civilizations should enter the equation to confront the Clash of Civilizations.

“Today the mainstream paradigm should be replaced and lives should undergo change. Today extremists, violence-seekers and war advocates should be sidelined so that peace, unity and understanding can find enough room to maneuver. In that case, humans would lead a life which is brimful of peace,” said the former president.

War is an ugly event, said Khatami, adding that the Peace Museum is a place where the ugliness associated with war is on full display but that beyond such ugliness one can find hidden beauties like resistance. In the absence of individuals who put their lives on the line to stand up to violence-seekers, it would be hell on earth for the entire humanity, he said.

The former president also raised another aspect of war which is nowhere near ugly and said war could be beautiful when it is mounted to ensure survival, defend one’s identity and confront aggression. He concluded that the warmongering mindset would have laid humanity in ruins had it not been because of such resistance.

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