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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE IS OBSERVED EVERY YEAR 

21 SEPTEMBER 

 

By Dr. Malik S. Khan

A Publication of Motamar at the United Nations 

 

A`udhubillah himminish shaytannir rajim.  Bismillah hir-rahman nir-rahim.  (I take refuge in Allah from Satan.  In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.)

The Quran states:  "There is no god but He: That is the witness of God, His angels, and those endued with knowledge, standing firm on justice.  There is no god but He, the Exalted in Power, the Wise." (III:18)

H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Omar Nasseef, President of World Muslim Congress and President of the World Council of Muslim Communities, Raja Zafarul Haq, Secretary-General of World Muslim Congress, Dr. Malik Sardar Khan, permanent U.N. representative and Executive Councillor of World Muslim Congress and Secretary-General of the World Council of Muslim Communities, and the entire Executive Council and worldwide organizations of the World Muslim Congress, the World Council of Muslim Communities, the International Islamic Council for Da`wa and Relief, and other international Islamic organizations and Islamic scholars and scientists join to present the following statement.

           

Dear brothers, sisters, Excellencies, and Eminences,

            Human life is a multidimensional existence:  physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual; the relative emphasis of each varies from individual to individual.  These different levels of approach to God are summarized in Islam in the saying, "Judaism is the skill of God, Christianity is the attitude of God, and Islam is the knowledge of God."  Let us open with the Quranic supplication, "Rabbi zidni ilma" – "My Lord, increase me in knowledge."

            All of us are guided by a set of values.  Whether or not we express those values through participation in worship at a temple, mosque, church, synagogue, or other place of worship, we are all part of one human family.  We all need the world to be a best place of living for all future generations.

            Last year, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed resolution (A/RES/55/282) designating September 21st of each year as an "International Day of Peace," which can be viewed at:

http://srch1.un.org/documents/ga/res/55/a55r282.pdf

The intention is to have the entire world observe a day of "peace and nonviolence."  All peoples and organizations were invited to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner  People representing a wide variety of religious and spiritual traditions has committed to the task of working with other like-minded individuals and groups for an "International Day of Peace Vigil" with the following objective:

            "To encourage the observation of a worldwide, 24-hour vigil for peace and nonviolence on the International Day of Peace, Saturday, 21 September 2002 in every house of worship and place of spiritual practice, by all religious and humanitarian groups and individuals, and by all men, women and children who seek peace in the world."

            This global 24-hour Vigil is meant to demonstrate the power of prayer and other spiritual observations in promoting peace and preventing violent conflict.  These worldwide spiritual vigils will also help raise public awareness of the International Day of Peace and directly support the establishment of peace.  Individuals and groups are invited to support this worldwide initiative by committing to hold a 24-hour vigil on 21 September 2002.

            The "International Day of Peace Vigil" is an idea of a growing number of individuals and groups bound only by a common belief that the power of prayer, mediation, or other sacred spiritual practice serves as a powerful means of promoting peace and promoting a global ceasefire.  We represent many various religious and spiritually oriented groups and a wide segment of civil society throughout the world, as well as representing ourselves as individuals, to support the objective of the International Day of Peace Vigil.

            We support the International Day of Peace Vigil as a global undertaking that requires the efforts of many people of all faiths and beliefs and wish it to be successful.  We encourage you to support the United Nations’ call for a global ceasefire on 21 September 2002, and to help make peace happen by committing yourself or your group to a 24-hour vigil on that day.

            Throughout human history man has sought peace by turning to the Higher Power in fasting and congregational prayer.  Now we have a chance for the whole human race to simultaneously seek peace on a global scale.  Violence against the innocent in any form is prohibited in every religion universally.  Across the ages, the month of Muharram was observed by all the Prophets of Allah.  The sacred scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shinto, and other faiths all show the ancient practice of prayers, fasting, and special offerings to the poor interceding for divine guidance in times of natural disasters, war, and other instances of the Wrath of God.

            The observance of a day of peace, like the observance of the fast of the month of Ramadan by Muslims, is a training in patience, tolerance and kindness not only to humans but also the animal and plant kingdoms.

            Please offer prayers at your place of worship and observe the peace day showing your stand against violence by wearing a white ribbon or displaying a white ribbon or banner on one’s car or building, or by wearing a white cap by men or a white scarf by women.  Please make the day a day of the expression of good feelings to all fellow human beings as one human family.  Without discounting the need for individuals and nations to do justice, the observance of this day will go a long way toward creating a global consciousness conducive to a lasting peace where all are provided with equal opportunity and justice with no distinction of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, caste or gender.  This is the basis on which the outstanding problems in various parts of the world can be resolved.

            We NGOs have the moral obligation to stand by the UN and implement the policies of its agency, ECOSOC, to work for world peace.  The cycle of violence can be stopped.  We must recognize oppressed people’s right to launch and sustain a struggle for social, economic, and political justice, which cannot be classified with wanton terrorism.  The bundle of rights which humans have been provided by the Almighty is guaranteed by the UN Charter and must be ensured by the international community.  Discrimination based on race, religion, national or ethnic origin, caste or gender and human greed have crushed universal human values.  The universal human values common to all faiths must be upheld.  Morality and justice are not the monopoly of one faith.  The information technology revolution has brought the world closer together in a small village as one human family.  Closer interaction breeds interdependence.  The more interdependence there is, the greater chances there are for conflict.  The UN has been supporting peace efforts around the world.  Let us give a hand to the United Nations by implementing its resolutions and decisions for the betterment of human society and to establish long-lasting universal peace.

            If you are in the media, please give exposure to the International Day of Peace Vigil.  We want to present you our appreciation and thanks that our last document has become "millionized" by your efforts.  If you go onto the Internet anywhere in the world and type "Dr. Malik Sardar Khan" into a search engine, the computer will produce for you several documents which have been archived worldwide by various interfaith activists.  They have appreciated the efforts, and you are the ones who made it possible.  We request you to do the same to spread this message.