The Human Cohesion Project — 19 Apr 2022
A few years ago, the Islamic Networks Group (ING) embarked on a project to find common ground among various religions by outlining basic religious principles that guide most, if not all existing religions. Among other principles that emerged was the idea of human dignity and potential as a factor that was common among major religions of the world. Here are some examples from religious texts that assert this:
Islam: “We have indeed honoured the descendants of Adam (i.e. human beings).” (Quran 17:70)
Christianity: “Do you not know that you are the Temple of God?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Judaism: “So God created humanity in God’s image, in the image of God, God created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Buddhism: “All sentient beings without exception have the Buddha-nature.” (Nirvana Sutra)
Hinduism: “The human body is the temple of God.” (Rig Veda)
Each of these point at our connection to a singular source. While this can be powerful common ground for mitigating religious conflict, unfortunately, one norm we seem to have adopted in recent times is the avoidance of politics and religion in our social conversations, with the assumption that they will always lead to conflict. In the process, we let assumptions fester and lose the opportunity for connection. What we need are not ‘safe spaces’ where authentic conversations are suppressed. We need brave spaces where we trust each other enough to learn through disagreements, and stay committed to finding our humanity together.
Ramadan Kareem. May we co-create brave spaces that nurture meaningful conversations around religion.
#TheHumanCohesionProject #RukminiIyer #ExultSolutions #peacebuilding #Islam