Posted by Nick Stone (18.104.22.168) on November 25, 2002 at 21:16:12:
In Reply to: Re: These Posts Are Dangerous posted by Stuart Gilman on November 25, 2002 at 18:01:13:
There are plenty of negative references to individuals in the Writings, and peoples. For example, read Abdu'l-Baha's condemnation of the barbaric Arabs at the time of Mohammad.
While there is no doubt that the whole world must face up to its common problems together, why should we deny reality in understanding from where these problems originate?
If I remember correctly, there was a statement released on terrorism (I think) shortly after the September 11 events, although I think it had been written beforehand, and not as a response. It talked a lot about securing justice world-wide, although I admit it did not talk about specific examples. I am trying to find this document online, so would be grateful for any pointers. The US NSA also released a document, very pertinent, which was printed in some prominent US newspapers. It is not taboo to talk about these subjects.
I am quite happy to condemn the actions of my own country where they run contrary to the spirit of Baha'i teaching, as according to my own understanding of the Writings. I am also happy to praise achievements where such praise is due. For example, I can praise the USA for its role in helping create the Unted Nations. However, I cannot but be furious when the government of that same country refuses to ratify the International Criminal Court, which is similar to the concept of the Tribunal Abdu'l-Baha envisaged.
Abdu'l-Baha said that rage can be a good thing, if it is directed against tyranny. How can I, with a sense of compassion for the terrible sufferings of the peoples of the world, not become enraged when the diplomats who consumed more than 80,000 bottles of mineral water at the recent Earth Summit in Johannesburg, could not come to an agreement amongst themselves to ensure the supply of clean drinking water to the more than 1 billion people worldwide who lack such a basic amenity?
There are 200 odd countries in the world. To suggest that they are all equal is nonsense. Vanuatu, for example, does not have the same responsibilities that global superpowers, such as Europe, Japan, and in particular, the current hegemon the USA, have to global order.
I brought up Bin Laden's point about the world taking notice of the WTC attacks but not of the suffering of the other people in the world for a reason too. He is not the only person to have made this point recently. Abdu'l-Baha said that the principle of the oneness of mankind would be established in the 20th century. I don't think this means that it would be necessarily established in concrete. I often use the 9.11 events to demonstrate to people what the oneness of mankind really means to me, i.e. if they feel pain about those events, as they should, why do they not feel similar pain about other events that occur on a daily basis. According to the UN sponsored hungersite (www.thehungersite.com), 24,000 people die daily from lack of food. That is 8 times the number that died on that day last year in New York. But that is not a feature on our daily news. Why? Because people still do not grasp the significance of the oneness of mankind. And, as Baha'u'llah says, 'the well-being of mankind,its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.'
It is particularly crucial that the citizens of the world's leading nations grasp the significance of this, because their governments have the potential to the make the big changes in this world that can make it a safe and just place to live.
I understand that criticising is futile and a waste of time, but what I want to discuss, and I am sorry that no one has taken up my offer on this one yet, is what we as Baha'is can do at this time, and what their perspectives are on how current events relate to the unfolding of the Lesser Peace.
I don't understand why you say particularising is breaking the Holy law. If Person A is oppressing Person B, and I state something to that effect, how is that bad? To deny it is to lie and refuse the truth, and I cannot condone injustice in that manner. Surely it comes to the motive behind it.
I am sorry you so strongly disagree with my opinions, but we are allowed to express our opinions in the Baha'i Faith. Who is to say my opinion is wrong and yours must prevail? Only the Universal House of Justice have the final say. There will be far more provocative people than me posting here, and if you live in the Baha'i world for long, you are likely to meet far more infuriating people. They are entitled to their opinions, and you are entitled to believe they are wrong. But you don't have to resign from the Faith for that. My opinions are my opinions, and they are not representative of the Faith at all. Far be it from me to ever imagine I understand the Faith to the tiniest degree possible! I am sure Abdu'l-Baha would find a way to use the right words to frame the discussion I want to have, and he would be infinitely more patient than me too.
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