Religious summit on Anti-Terrorism

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) - The Dalai Lama has arrived in San Francisco to join Muslim leaders from around the world in an unprecedented summit on quelling violent religious extremism.


Tibet's spiritual leader came in response to a prominent California Imam's invitation to help form a "United Nations of Religion" devoted to countering extremist violence.

Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani said the idea came after he met Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso in the US state of Idaho late last year.

Khorasani wrote the Dalai Lama, urging him to meet with religious leaders and scholars to "construct a strategy that will unite our voices and express our common goal to live in a world without violence."

The Dalai Lama's response was "You lead and I will follow; and when we reach it, I will lead you," Khorasani told AFP.

Religious leaders and scholars from approximately 30 countries were brought to San Francisco, with the bulk of the funding provided by The Kirlin Foundation.

There were 100 panelists attending workshops in the Mark Hopkins Hotel atop Nob Hill on Friday to prepare for talks with the Dalai Lama there the next day.

"The Dalai Lama has the power to bring people to the table," said panelist Daisy Khan, director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement based in New York City.

"When someone like him takes on a cause, people hear it."

Muslims are wrongly stigmatized by the notoriety of violence committed by religious extremists, said Khan and others.

A recent Gallup poll indicated that 38 percent of Americans said they saw nothing to respect about practitioners of Islam, according to Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna Institute, which helped organize the event.

"Basing your view of Islam on Osama bin Laden is like basing your view of Christianity on David Koresh," Yusuf said, referring to a late US cult leader.

The summit is to be the first assembly of a "religious parliament" that will meet once or twice annually in countries throughout the world, according to Khorasani.

The intent is for religious leaders to unite in dispelling misunderstanding and injustice that breed extremism, Khorasani said.

"I found our world is not looking for why, they are looking for who," Khorasani said. "If you eliminate the why, the who will disappear."

San Francisco was picked for the gathering because it was where the United Nations was founded, Khorasani said.

Religious leaders and scholars came "from every corner of the world" for the meeting of minds, organizers said.

"I am as Buddhist as the Dalai Lama, as Christian as the Pope and as Jewish as Moses," Khorasani said, contending that people of faith shared a common bond

Uniting the Dalai Lama together with Muslim clerics will demonstrate that Islam is not at odds with peace, Yusuf said.

"Buddhism probably has the best press, because it is associated with non-violence, and Islam has the worst press because it is associated with violence," Yusuf said.

"By bringing them together we say we can co-exist in harmony, as history showed in Tibet and elsewhere."

Improving the public image of Islam would help dissipate the atmosphere that foments terrorism, Yusuf said.

"I'm not here to reach extremists like bin Laden," Yusuf said. "I don't think we will reach them with the Dalai Lama."

"I'm more interested in reaching people who have extreme ideas who aren't at a point where they are going to blow anything up."

There has been a lack of a unified voice by the "silent majority" of Muslims, and the Dalai Lama's attendance at the summit promised to take their concerns "to a higher level," Khan said.

"If you are not upset about the way the world is going, you are asleep or spiritually dead," Yusuf said. "People need to get on board and start showing solidarity."
Hear, hear!

I think that some sort of association of religious leaders and representatives would be an excellent idea, in the interest of fostering co-operation, understanding and peace between our various beliefs and faiths. I would hope that the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at this conference, of sorts, is going to inspire leaders and representatives of each and every faith to make a concerted effort to make this idea work.
It is a good start. Whether it filters down to the nutcases in Pakistani and Saudi Madrassas is another question.
the number one terrorists in the world are the americans----

praise the lord
FiveParadox sighs.

Someone else want to take this one?
Once a Saddamite, always a Saddamite.
Ohhhh this is goooooooood. So long overdue and so rife with potential.

To me, this is huge. We've been needing something new to try.

Something previously untried. Nothing has worked to date. Events such as this kindle hope. And we could sure do with a little bit of that these days.
Quote: Originally Posted by zoofer

Once a Saddamite, always a Saddamite.

except of course -- im not a sadamite

the US were Saddamites----as they were very close allies--prior to the 1991 invasion of kuwait--
or did you forget that

agreed-- once a saddamite
ie america the saddamite
then always
a saddamite

america the saddamite

saddam --wanted to loot the iraqis
america-- helped him
untill saddam started calling the shots
the america stepped in to loot the iraqis
more directly

america the saddamite
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox

FiveParadox sighs.

Someone else want to take this one?

Good stuff, 5Par.

The more the religious are involved in speaking out against terrorism, the better.
When the religious get together they all shake and rattle and mummble in voices then they pass arround the plate have something to eat and write a big thick book of bullshit, they've been doing it since ink was invented and nothing but bullshit has come of it yet.
Just the Facts
Free Thinker
Well, I hope Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani can convince the D'alai Lama to put a reign on all the Buddhist terrorists.
No Party Affiliation
From the ranks of organized religion come the terrorists.
Most of the terrorist nations have religion as their foundation.
Religion is the reason we have backward belief systems that allow people to have their heads cut off or be stoned to death or be condemned as whitches and destroyed.
It wasn't that many years ago the west was like that as well.
It is funny that the people who are most responsible for terrorism, the powers of organized religion, would seek the solution to terrorism.
If the nations of the western world stopped interfering in the internal affairs of the third world nations, most of the terrrorism would die down.
Religion is the cause of most of histories bloodshed.
Yes, grumpy, but what we often forget is that there are many people who follow their religions devoutly, who do NOT advocate the use of violence. I am willing to hope that those attending this gathering are doing so with a desire to overcome the problem that some of their followers are creating for the rest of us.

I'm no proponent of organized religion myself, for precisely the reasons you mentioned. Yet the reality is that religions do exist, and we can point out the obvious transgressions and atrocities all we want. Personally, I see this as an exercise in futility. Solutions do not lie in rehashing who did what to whom. You are so very right - none of us - no matter what faith we follow, can claim a pristine record in our religious ancestry. But we must make every attempt not to remain mired in blame, for it absolves none of us, and only keeps the problem alive and kicking. Regardless of how many offensive things that have been done in the name of religion, if this one thing turns a horribly bastardized use of religion into a positive, I'm all for it. What if this could just possibly, just maybe be a turning point? Wouldn't that be amazing? I'm praying for some progress to be seen with this summit. My questions to you would be: What do you envision as a realistic solution that meets the satisfaction of all followers of all faiths? How would you implement such a solution? What would you pray for if you believed a solution must exist? In answering such questions, one turns their attentions from the negative towards potential positives. That imho, is the first step towards anything even remotely resembling a solution.
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpy

Religion is the cause of most of histories bloodshed.

Exactly. John Lennon had it right with 'Imagine'. The myths and superstitions that man has created have been such a divisive and destructive force through history that it saddens me they still exist.

Similar Threads

Religious man .
by china | Dec 13th, 2006