Fresh perspectives on today’s news by: Whymrhymer

In 2005, a “high-level” study group known as the Alliance of Civilizations was formed at the behest of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Prime Ministers of Spain (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) and Turkey (Recep Tayyip Erdog). The mission of the study group was to
analyze conflicts around the world (and in the Middle-East in particular), attempt to find root causes and suggest some resolutions.

On November 13th that report, titled: “Alliance of Civilizations – THE REPORT” was completed. As of this morning, there are scattered analysis’ of “the report” in the world press but, curiously, not yet a single mention of the report in U.S. newspapers.

You can read the report HERE in English, Spanish or Turkish.

The key concepts from the report are: ‘the growing divide between Muslim and Western societies is not a religious divide but a political divide; religion is being used (misused) as a tool by political forces; and the root of the problem is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Quotes by Secretary General Annan:

“We need to get away from stereotypes, generalisations and preconceptions, and take care not to let crimes committed by individuals or small groups dictate our image of an entire people, an entire region or an entire religion.”

“We should start by reaffirming — and demonstrating — that the problem is not the Qur’an, nor the Torah or the Bible.” Indeed, I have often said the problem is never the faith — it is the faithful, and how they behave towards each other.”

So much for deep thinking and restating the obvious!

As to some specific causes, the deputy director of the Alliance of Civilizations, Shamil Idriss, points an implied finger at the United States and an actual finger at the “West”:

“The primary political force that has served to widen the rift between Muslim and Western societies is the widespread perception that there is a double standard as to when universal principles of human rights are championed and when they are ignored.”

“Western political and military intervention in Muslim societies is another cause of the widening rift, many Muslims believe that Islamic society is under attack.”

In a “nutshell,” The Report comes to many obvious conclusions about the causes of the Middle Eastern conflict, suggests diplomatic solutions based on “respect and understanding” and, as expected, doesn’t rise out of the “diplomatic middle-ground” long enough to address the primary problem: Islamic militancy!

In plain English: If Islamic radicals would stop trying to rid the world of “infidels” there would be a drastic reduction of violence in the world.

Roughly translated into Spanish that would be: “Si los radicales islámicos pararan el intentar librar el mundo de “infidels” habría una reducción drástica de la violencia en el mundo.”

Sorry, can’t do Turkish!

Links:

Mail & Guardian Online (Africa): ‘The problem is never the faith; it is the faithful’

The Toronto Star: Mideast conflict reverberates

The Report from the Alliance: Alliance of Civilizations – THE REPORT

From the blogosphere:

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred: The Flavors Of East River Pollution

Noodnik: So a rabbi, mullah and bishop walk into the UN …

Whymrhymer’s fresh perspectives on today’s news, as published at BNN, also appear at My View from the Center. You are always welcome there!

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