Hans Ucko: Silence replaces the right to peace in the contemporary world

September 17, 2018 - 11:14

TEHRAN - The Islamic World Peace Forum (IWPF) take a Virtual Roundtable about 21 September 2018 International Day of Peace by scholar Dr. Hans Ucko.

Flowing is the text of this interview:

Q: Given the slogan of the UN General Assembly this year in line with the International Day of Peace (September 21, 2018), which is The Day’s theme for 2018, is “The Right to Peace - on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “at practical measures do you propose to materialize this slogan?

A: We live today in a world, where we are almost at a complete loss what to do. The world is in the throes of political leaders, who are very far from activating peace. Narcissism, individualism, going it alone dominates the set-up of political leaders. Media plays into the hands of these political leaders and silence is more heard that any real action for the "right to peace". We must begin at a completely different end. We must begin by seeking alliances between people, men and women, boys and girls, young and old, of different countries, religions and cultures and see to how we together could in our different contexts demonstrate that counter-culture that is now needed. 

Q: Given the recent developments in the world and in the region (Daesh, Saudi’s attacks in Yemen, war crimes of Zionist in region, Syria and insecurity and instability in the Middle East) what are the international requirements for creating a world full of peace and security?

A: It is easy to paint the world in us against them, white against black, Muslim against Christian, etc. We must begin by being self-critical, open to see where that which we may hold onto also has its flaws, also carries the weight of having denigrated people, having misused the power we have and having put ourselves in the place of God. We must begin working how to unravel the sins of our fathers or earlier generations. We should dare to face the reality that Daesh, Saudi Arabia or the establishment of the State of Israel cannot be dissociated from a British and U.S. self-serving policy to keep the control of the world in their hands and to maintain their empires. But we must also have the courage to see that our own context is also a prisoner of its own power.

Q: In the light of the objectives and measures of Islamic World Peace Forum in the field of establishing just peace in the world, what measures do you propose for promoting just peace discourse in the world?

A: There needs to be a serious long term conversation within Muslim communities how to change the perception of Islam in the world. There needs to be a self-critical reflection on where the followers of Islam or its religious leaders have misused their power and contributed to the caricature of Islam that is today being used by the enemies of Islam. Muslim communities need to rediscover their own heritage, which is one of realising the inner meaning of the Takbir, Allahu Akbar, one which has brought forth so many philosophers, poets, singers, dreamers, who still continue to mark people all over the world, not least in secular societies.

Q: Do you think that international organizations and international human rights defender and responsible for establishing peace in the world have not yet been able to act in their true responsibility for peace in the world?

A: I think so because so many of these bodies are fixated with their own agendas that they fail to see where they have real allies.

I hope the above is helpful and would appreciate it if you would let me how it will be published and also provide me with a link to where it will be published.

Professor Hans Ucko minister of the Church of Sweden and a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC)