Dialogue, justice only way to violence-free world: UN envoy

New York, April 22, IRNA – Iran’s Permanent Represenative to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshrou highlighted the role of dialogue, justice, development and ethics in promoting a world free of violence and establishing a universal peace.

Addressing the Tuesday meeting of the UN special meeting on “tolerance and reconciliation”, he said that despite elapse of seven decades from the establishment of the United Nation, the international community has failed to consolidate principles of reconciliation and peace in the world.

He also touched upon recent waves of Islamic Awakening in the world and described it a very important political factor determining the nature of Islam-West relations.

Full text of the Iranian envoy’s speech follows:

‘I would like to join the previous speakers in thanking you, Mr. President, and other organizers for convening this important meeting at this critical time.

Seventy years ago, the founders of the United Nations established this organization with the noble end “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors”. Yet, we are witnessing intolerance and resulting conflicts and violence at an unprecedented level in the world today.

As forces of hatred and violence, i.e. ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, are increasing their savagery based on their distorted, absurd and hatemongering ideology, some quarters cynically blame religion for being the cause of this misery; a claim that is far from reality. Violent extremism, in all its forms and manifestations, has nothing to do with any religion. There is no doubt that all religions are committed to peace and have always promoted peace.. In the age of globalization, religious solidarity and sentiments can fill the space left by the declining of traditional ties and social institutions that could nurture social solidarity. Religions perform a very real and prominent function in the areas of creating meaning and community. Religion has two pivotal aspects: believing and belonging. Believing in Allah, the most merciful, helps bring people closer together.

In recent decades, Islamic revivalism, as a very influential political factor, is playing a greater role in relations between Islam and the West. Such a broad- based social movement as a global trend is much sensitive to socio-political developments of the world. For a constructive dialogue between Islam and the West, it is not advisable to expect Muslims to be secular in order to be a good party for dialogue. Such an approach is counterproductive and only widens the gap and deepens mistrust. Thus, a more practical and appropriate way to deal with Muslim societies is to promote democratic principles of the dignity and respect for moderation in the Islamic world.

At the same time, with great disappointment, we are witnessing, that fanatic and Takfiri groups in the Islamic world, claim exclusive access to truth and engage in a very dark-minded and superficial reading of the Holy text. They regard any other group, either Muslim or non-Muslim, as unbeliever and while promising heaven, turn human life into hell. Clash and conflict against followers of religions or the sectarian violence and killing within religions are horrible consequences of such mentality.

Imam Ali (the first Imam of the Shiite) has said: people are identifiable in two groupings; either your brother in religion, or like you in the creation. The reading of the text should be in light with the compassion and mercy of God in an enlightening manner. Divine prophets as well as great philosophers and moral thinkers have endeavored throughout human history to eradicate selfishness, aggression and tyranny. Despite those efforts, human thirsts for power and shortsighted benefits have caused destruction and war in human history.

We should go beyond fundamentalism/secularism dichotomy and promote religious democracy in the Islamic world. Policies based on containment of Islamic revivalism and approaches to use radical groups to achieve political ends only inflame violence and extremism. This trend endangers security and stability and weakens moral foundation of society.

Mindful of this treacherous trend, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution based on proposals offered by the Iranian President His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, who called for a World against Violence and Extremism (WAVE). This resolution condemns all measures that originate from the culture of tyranny, dictatorship and extremism such as use or threat of force against territorial integrity and political independence of nations; and further condemns any agitation to ethnic, racial and religious hatred.

In conclusion, the path to a world free from violence passes through dialogue, ethics, justice, development and freedom. All nations should enjoy equal opportunities for economic and social development. It is necessary for a peaceful international community that everyone benefits from economic freedom and the right to determine their political destiny. Indeed, any type of economic sanction or military threat will instead of promoting peace and security, merely create humanitarian crisis an aggravate conflict and divergence.

Therefore, to remove suspicion and mistrust and promote mutual respect and constructive dialog on equal basis are necessary for the establishment of peace and tranquility. Spiritual thinkers and religious figures have a sacred duty to invite humankind to dialogue, friendship and peace, as well as justice and freedom and mutual assistance.’