LOVE IS TOLERANCE – TOLERANCE IS LOVE, an important standard work about the art of tolerance by Dr Hubertus Hoffmann, founder of The Global Tolerance Initiative, has been published in several languages, now available as a Kindle e-book on Amazon.com in Englisch, Arabic and Urdu.
In this book he is searching for the Golden Nuggets of Tolerance in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism in a Global Tolerance Tour. He interview the five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, Shimon Peres, Lech Walesa and the Dalai Lama. He followed Pope Francis on his historic tour to the Holy Land, and discussed with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), the Sathguru in India, cardinals and scholars. Hoffmann formulated 60 Codes of Tolerance with 80 best practices. Let us all protect our globe from the radicals and impeach the hate-mongers with active tolerance and no tolerance for intolerance, Hoffmann demands from the silent majorities.
How can I prevent hate and killing of minorities, people of other religions or races?
How to make love and tolerance great again and contain intolerance?
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From the book Love is Tolerance – Tolerance is Love:
“Our beautiful, whole world has gotten deep cracks. Blood streams from gaping wounds.
We endure the horror of inhumanity every day. Videos, photos, murder propaganda. It corrodes our global village like poison.
Radicals sow hate, try to turn us against each other. They darken the sun and put an end to the children ́s happy laughter.
Our whole world suffers. In Europe and America, but mainly in the Islamic countries. Because of a wave of hate and terror against other religions and minorities.
This brutal murdering ‘in the name of Allah’ shocks us all. It doesn ́t stop.
How can we, as normal citizens, contain or even end this killing and the hate of those who are intolerant? What to do?
What kind of world are we living in today – what kind of world do we want to live in with our children tomorrow? 195 countries are growing ever closer together into a “Global Village.” Although we perceive distances to be shrinking in our perception, although we exchange information via the Internet within seconds today and travel easily to foreign countries, we have remained largely strangers to each other as people with different faith traditions and cultures. We live rather next to each other than with each other, even in individual countries.
The dynamic globalization focuses on and makes progress in economy, finance and communication. We still need to realize an interpersonal globalization with greater tolerance, respect and love of humanity in the twenty-first century. Only thus can we seven, and soon nine, billion human beings – regardless of all national, cultural and religious roots – live happily and more peacefully together on a shrinking globe. No longer everyone for themselves, but all of us together. In our narrow yet so different world we urgently need the humanization of globalization, a world ethos in practice, the Codes of Tolerance.
This book is an appeal to the reader, and especially to the passive and silent majority, to actively promote more tolerance and respect for other religions, ethnic minorities and races – each in his or her place, as a member of a new and responsible global world elite, with small gestures and moral courage. It is a plea for more warmth, kindness and love of humanity in our global village.
At the same time, the analysis is a rejection of any kind of religious and political extremism. No tolerance for intolerance! We have to contain the forces of evil, the preachers of hate. Using a clever grand strategy of hard and soft factors of peacemaking. Promoting active tolerance is an important element.
Each of us can place a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of tolerance. In all parts of the world, cultures and faith traditions we find many smaller and larger examples of best practices of how we can better live together. In this book I have started to collect and present to you 80 of these global best practices of tolerance. They show that tolerance is feasible. With thousands of activities on local, national and international levels, together we can strengthen love and peace and diminish evil. Let us follow these best practices.
The first part of the book analyzes the Golden Fruits of Tolerance in the great world religions, especially in Islam. The first chapter of the book brings out the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet with regard to those of different faith and outlines the Ten Golden Nuggets of Tolerance in Islam. This is followed by a brief description of the development of tolerance in other religions, a common world ethos and an analysis of moral relativism, as well as the limits and the psychology of tolerance.
In the final section, 60 Codes of Tolerance show a way how we, all together, can create a better world. They are specific rules for each one of us, parents, educators and schools, religious leaders, the media and journalists, political decision-makers, for sports and culture. Their implementation can improve effectively the coexistence of different religions, ethnic minorities and races, and can curb the radicals.
The Codes of Tolerance are our humanist answer as world citizens to the preachers of hatred. Let us not complain that there are radicals who agitate against those of other faith traditions, minorities, foreigners and other races, as happens at all times and in all places around the world. Let us be ashamed that with our passivity we grant them the space to develop evil.
The reconciliation with ethnic minorities is an important aspect of active tolerance to which this book is committed. Its importance for internal peace can be experienced this year in the Crimea and Ukraine, but also in Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali, Nigeria or Iraq. The focus is on the small examples of reconciliation between one human being and another.
The search for the Golden Nuggets of Tolerance leads us to many countries with different cultures.
The Dalai Lama was available for two discussions about tolerance and Buddhism. On the occasion of the ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 in Oslo I talked to the 17 year old, brave Malala Yousafzai and the Indian activist for childrens’ rights Kailash Satyarthi about their ideas for encouraging tolerance and respect. In Jerusalem the Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres welcomed me into his residence. With singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) I discussed Islam and tolerance. Imams and grand muftis, Shiite ayatollahs, gurus, cardinals and bishops, Arab princes, scholars and scientists, and committed politicians from all around the world have contributed their ideas. The renowned Islam scholar Professor Adel Theodor Khoury – the author of numerous books and translator of the Qur’an – has edited the extensive first chapter on Islam. My friends Archbishop Professor Alfons Nossol from Oppeln/Opole (Upper Silesia, Poland) and Monsignor Ortwin Gebauer (Mindelheim, Germany) have inspired the wording of the Christian codes of tolerance and read the chapter on Christianity and tolerance. The Jerusalem-based Jewish historian Ofer Waldman provided suggestions for the anchoring of tolerance in Judaism.
In numerous conversations we discussed again and again:
Will the few radicals dominate our world because the majority remains silent and looks away?
What moral values should we teach our children, and how can we leave them a better world with more tolerance, respect and love?
Is it possible to find a common basis, the world ethos, for Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists and Jews, Shiites and Sunnis?
How can we avoid a clash of the different religions and cultures? How can minorities be reconciled and integrated?
What should individual citizens do – and how?
On closer inspection, we find Codes of Tolerance already in all world religions and in the most diverse cultures of the world. We seem to have forgotten these gems of world culture. They have been forced into background by the vociferous radicals. We find these gems in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism – the appeal to respect, indeed love, for the human beings created by God and the protection of their inner and unalienable dignity. Pope John Paul II already preached: “The shortest way to God for a human being is another human being.”
With a global grassroots movement we should now boldly and openly work for a better world order of tolerance. Thus, we can also overcome moral relativism, leave behind the vacuum of indifference and neutralize the poison of hatred. Whether one is an optimist, a pessimist, a believing Christian, a Muslim or a free spirit is irrelevant. Only if we ourselves advocate the improvement of our world with many small steps, we can bring about changes for the better and put the minority of radicals in their place.
Let us not wait for the UNO or our politicians. Let us global citizens just start.
Let us show our children: A better world is possible, through us. For you.
Let us learn the Golden Rules of Tolerance from the world religions.
Let us open in this book of tolerance a new, personal chapter with more respect and love of humanity in our global village.
Let us re-conquer the world from the radicals and impeach the hate mongers– with love, respect and more tolerance.
Now you, dear reader, are warmly invited. Join in – put also your piece of the jigsaw puzzle into the world mosaic of tolerance.
Practice the Codes of Tolerance and propagate them.
Let us, all together, create a better World 3.0 – for our children and for ourselves. Let us contain hate and killings by a new global policy of the active promotion of tolerance.
If one was to reduce the more than seven billion citizens of the world to a global village of only 100 persons, then 61 Asians, 15 Africans, 13 Americans (North and South America) and 11 Europeans would live in it. There would be 52 women and 48 men. 80 of them are colored and only 20 are white. It numbers 34 Christians, 23 Muslims, 13 Hindus, 7 Buddhists, 11 representatives of other minor religions – only 0.2 per cent of them Jews – as well as 10 non-religious and 2 atheists. We are not a homogeneous village, but a global village of diversity.
All human beings in our globalized world are increasingly dependent on one another. None of us can avoid the other. The internet and the modern means of transport connect different cultures within seconds. We are a networked and vulnerable world, with a common destiny and an overall responsibility. Now we must also grow together as individuals and respect the differences.
When we board a plane, we experience this microcosm right in front of our eyes. A small world in an aircraft, a daily and peaceful meeting of the global village ten kilometers above the earth.
We travel to foreign countries, see different faces, cities and customs, hear other ideas and experience the diversity on our earth.
We work together with ever more people from other cultures. Our schools and universities, too, are becoming more international and colorful.
This is diversity in practice and experience.
In our global village, one can sometimes also feel lost, lonely and insecure, because it seems increasingly foreign to us. The number of events and changes is rapidly increasing. The familiar, the stable and what suggests certainty are fading. Is consequently too much demanded of us?
We all want to be loved, appreciated and respected. None of us wants to be discriminated against, or even attacked, because of the color of our skin, our nationality or religion.
From strangers, who in turn experience us as strangers, we demand respect and tolerance. In return, we also must meet every stranger with respect and tolerance.
John Lennon has expressed our deep humanitarian wish for a harmonious world in his song Imagine – the dream of love and “a world to be one.” Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Hindemith’s World of Harmony resonate with our deepest longing for a caring and peaceful world through musical emotions.
The French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry pleaded for more humanity, in the middle of the Second World War, in his masterpiece, The Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. […] You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
Tolerance and respect are the basic requirements for peaceful coexistence in our globalized world in which we are moving closer together.
Tolerance must not be equated with simply letting people have their way, as Archbishop Alfons Nossol and other scholars rightly emphasize. It must be expanded towards active respect and love of humanity. These are essential soft elements of peacemaking in the global village of the twenty-first century, in a world of power with the capability of nuclear self-destruction and with too many preachers of hatred.
In the ambiguous concept of “tolerance” various meanings come together, including forbearance, open-mindedness, unprejudiced attitude, mobility, generosity and humanity. Do we really have to define tolerance first? I agree with Karl Popper, who already in 1974 pointed out that the academic desire for definitions of concepts is not really of much help and we need generally comprehensible analyses and ideas. The material “being tolerant” – essential for the reality of human beings – is, for me, a broad term and at the same time an expression of a positive attitude toward life: appreciation of and joy at the diversity as an enrichment of one’s own life, respect for the faith, culture and dignity of the other, cosmopolitan outlook. It is not merely passive, but includes also active advocacy against discrimination, xenophobia and intolerant seducers. It is thus a positive and active love of humanity, despite all the differences.
Extend to those who are strangers to you an interested, positive and cheerful “Grüß Gott!”, “Shalom!” or “As-Salamu alaykum!” These are welcomes and greetings of the heart.
We must protect these delicate basic foundations of peace with the same commitment with which we protect the water we drink and the air we breathe. We must curb the propagandists of hatred and violence against other religions and ethnic minorities and thus strengthen the
power of love.
But: We do almost nothing for this.
We prefer to go shopping or sit comfortably in front of the TV, instead of actively fighting for a better world of harmony and love. We keep silent, we sleep and give up.
Some of us have even become world pessimists or silent free spirits or just materialists without responsibility. We do not want to interfere and are anxious or just complacent and take the easy way out. We are the global bourgeoisie – an idle, passive mass.
Therefore, by doing nothing we are turning the earth upside down and leave it to a few resolute radicals, maybe just one percent, to seize power. Thus, the numerically small evil dominates, although we are the multiple majority.
The world belongs to us, intellectually and materially. The preachers of hatred and the terrorists, however, have their spectacular actions and thereby the headlines and the TV cameras.
We want to create more peace. They want to create more confrontation, hatred and violence, even war. We do good and find no recognition in the media. They do evil and everybody reports about it. Again and again, and worldwide.
Who are “we” and who are “they”?
“We”, this can be a believing Muslim in Pakistan, a Jew in Jerusalem or a committed Christian in New York.
“They” are also Muslims, Jews and Christians, who, however, have forgotten the messages of tolerance of their religions, or are frustrated nihilists. Most of the time, these extremists know very little about their religion, cite only the few militant sentences from the thick holy books and simply ignore the obligation to peace and love of humanity of their prophets. Some want to establish theocracy on earth – even against the will of the others.
In the course of history, there have been repeated efforts to create a symbiosis between state power and religion, the state as a totalitarian dictate of a holy book. The power struggles in Christian Europe for a very long period are forgotten. Today, this goal is pursued by the Taliban in Afghanistan and radical Islamists like ISIS or Boko Haram.
The West, but also most Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan or Indonesia, have decided in favor of a separation of state and religion. The idea of a homogenous theocracy, which governs the lives of the people, judging them instead of themselves, contradicts the doctrine, even of the Qur’an, because God is merciful. Only at the end of their lives, will God judge over them. Thus, it is perceived by believing Muslims, Christians and Jews. Whoever believes deeply and fervently, also respects those of other faith traditions, because – despite all differences – faith is oriented toward a higher being, because God has created the human beings in his image and likeness.
The establishment of a totalitarian theocracy on earth, in accordance with only one type of humans, contradicts also the original code, God’s code of creation: the diversity of life, as he presents himself in seven billion such different human beings and in hundreds of thousands of different flowers and animals that inhabit the world. The scientists speak of “biodiversity.”
The original meaning of life is the creation of diversity and individuality. It is clear to whoever believes in God and his creation of life: God created and wants diversity. It is willed by God and part of creation – the DNA of life. It islife.
Whoever wants to create unity from diversity, therefore opposes both this plurality of God’s world order and the desire for tolerance. Whoever, as a human being, pushes for homogeneity and persecutes people of other faith traditions, races and minorities, sins against this great God-given blueprint for life. Tolerance and respect for others, however, correspond to the praise of God in his diverse creation.
This is also emphasized in the Qur’an. In Surah 5:48 God acknowledges this diversity in the thinking and actions of the human beings: “For every community We decreed a law and a way of life. Had God willed, He could have made you a single community – but in order to test you in what He revealed to you. So live with one another in virtue. To God is your homecoming, all of you, and He will then acquaint you with that over which you differed.” This Surah emphasizes the God-willed differences in faith and a peaceful struggle for the truth as communicated to the people by the prophets. The final judgment on a life pleasing to God is left to him, and not to other human beings. Only then, and only through him, will judgment be made.
Two further major trends influence the struggle for a harmonious world order. First, globalization in which – through communication, culture and economy – our world is connected ever more tightly. Second, the fight against perceived foreign infiltration and the striving for a standard world in which, according to the will of a few extremists, all social life should be dominated by an ideology. There is a conflict between an open, plural and tolerant concept of the world, and a hierarchical, totalitarian and closed concept of the world, in which one religion, one family clan, one political party or ethnic group alone decides what the others should think. It is a matter of worldwide respect for the God-willed diversity and individuality, or a dictatorship with standardized people. It is a matter of freedom or submission, and our daily, personal “courage to freedom” (Franz-Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg).
The command to be tolerant demands that we live together peacefully with other religions, races and ethnic minorities with all the differences. No one imposes their religion or lifestyle on the other.
This free and open order of tolerance must, however, also be actively defended against the powers of intolerance. Already Immanuel Kant, in his famous writing On Eternal Peace, admonished: “Peace is not a natural state, but must be created.”
Furthermore, outreach to and reconciliation with the (former) enemies is required. The American philosopher Eric Hoffer once expressed it thus: “A war is only won if one has transformed a defeated enemy into a friend.”
The realization that we need active tolerance and reconciliation for peace is not new, but is still not effectively implemented in practical politics. The essential “soft” elements of peacemaking are still marginalized through the hard, military instruments. We want to create peace with weapons, but this is only one means among many. We spend hundreds of billions on internal and external security – but how many billions for the all- important promotion of tolerance, respect and reconciliation?
Without an active politics of peace and reconciliation, however, peace is not possible. Only a well-planned and consequent double strategy of power and diplomacy, combined with reconciliation, promises success. Only on these two pillars can world peace rest permanently and securely. The souls of the human beings, the suffering of the oppressed and their violated dignity are forgotten in unilateral and cold politics of power. It cannot reach the core of peacemaking in the hearts of human beings.
World peace can only be created if we curb effectively the means of power and propaganda and at the same time achieve the dissemination of worldwide tolerance through a new, fresh double strategy – World 3.0.
We need both: the protective hawk and the dove with its message of peace.
We all need an active vision and Codes of Tolerance.
All of us – Muslims, Christians and Jews – are brothers and sisters in the belief in one God. Whoever does not believe in anything, is also a creature of God and just because of this deserves respect.
The political concept of killing civilians out of religious or political reasons is contrary to the teachings of all prophets. It is a perversion of faith, just like the Crusades and the witch burnings in the Middle Ages.
Today, we need an active movement of responsible world citizens. We need more tolerance and respect – a fruitful life in which we defend our global basic values, curbing evil with love of humanity instead of hatred. We need to disseminate this message into the souls and hearts of our children.
We need a global vision and a soul.
We need moral values that are accepted worldwide, the Codes of Tolerance, best practices and their permanent dissemination.
All of us must engage actively for more tolerance. We must exemplify and propagate the
Codes of Tolerance.
All of us must improve the world with our small contributions.
We have power, influence and a great deal of creativity – let us use them!
We must overcome our indolence and passivity. We owe this to our children and to ourselves.
I appeal to the responsible elite in the 193 countries of the earth to finally take personal responsibility for the victory of tolerance and respect.
Let us create a better world of harmony and respect for our children.
As an elite, we not only have the choice but also the duty to become active. If not we, then who?
In the times of globalization, humanity must not be marginalized or even perish in some countries.
This book – with the Codes of Tolerance – hopes to awaken the readers, providing them with more background information, some guidance and food for thought.”