Terrorizing World – "Enough is enough"

Time to ACT tough . Now !

Make compassion the plinth of religions

Posted by :) on November 16, 2009


Source : Sameer Arshad | TNN


Former Roman Catholic nun and one of the leading thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world, Karen Armstrong, joined religious leaders from around the globe last week to unveil a ‘Charter of Compassion’ that calls for return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture breeding violence or hatred or disdain is illegitimate.
The charter is an attempt to counter highly organized and networked terrorists and extremists. “We must do the same (by organizing and networking to counter them),’’ Armstrong told reporters.
The charter calls for restoring compassion to the centre of morality, religion and ensuring that youth are given accurate information about other traditions, religions and cultures ‘to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity and cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings’.
The charter used a unique web-based decision making a platform to which thousands from over 100 countries added their voices. Thousands of submissions were entered which were then read and commented on by over 1,50,000 visitors to the website. A Council of Conscience then sorted out the contributions to craft the final charter document.
The charter underlines that the principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. It says compassion impels people to work to alleviate the suffering of fellow creatures, to dethrone themselves from the centre of the world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice and respect.
“It’s also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and emphatically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism or self-interest to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others — even our enemies — is a denial of our common humanity,” the charter says.
It acknowledges that people have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion. “We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries,” it says.

The charter’s 12,499 ‘affirmers’ include Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Jordan’s Queen Noor, musician Paul Simon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author and thinker Deepak Chopra and Egypt’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Gomaa among a host of others. “The launch of the charter is the beginning of a voyage and not the end. Now people have their own websites where they can organize and we can make it a movement,’’ Armstrong said.


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