OP-ED

Either We Live In Peace or We Live In Pieces

Fakhri al-Arashi

The World Alliance of Religion Peaceful Summit (WARP) was held in the capital city of South Korea, Seoul, for three days between the 16th -19th of September, 2014, highlighting the importance of peace for all religions. It inspired the guests from media broadcasting channels, the press, electronic websites, and activists from around the globe

The organizers grabbed the attention of many to attend, listen, debate and understand closely the chairman of WARP, the IWPG chairwomen, and IYPG and many more prominent religious leaders including Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Tawakoul Karman from Yemen.

The important thing for me and some other journalists was not the conference and the speeches, as we are used to such events as part of our media career. Like every organization in the world, WARP and its sister organizations were trying to market their ideologies and theoretical philosophies, aiming to build a reputable voice overseas. It was done through press conferences, through the festive opening ceremony, the walk for peace on the last day, and the opening activities of the summit sessions. The WARP chairman’s aimed to announce himself as the messenger of peace. This was absolutely fine to the Muslim community who attended the summit, but was not accepted when Man Lee designates himself the only person who receives divine inspiration. This was not attractive at all.

Honestly speaking, the volunteers and their faith events were the main vocal point of the summit, and they reflect back on someone who loves to do what he does. Thousands of volunteers had the responsibility to leave a wonderful impression on their guests.

Taking the challenge to organize and watch out for the basic and essential needs of their guests was an ideal way to find out on the third day of the conference that my personal driver Jea-Hyun Park was a teacher and volunteer for peace. He was an outstanding example of the hundreds of people in South Korea who do volunteer work with passion for success. I would like to see this in my own community in Yemen. The protocol in charge of me, Min Seon Kim, was a semi graduated university student. She was committed to the little details of my movement and working plans.

Here, mistakes are not accepted, and the accuracy of the Korean young talented generation was the most amazing and favorable part of my mission. Their patience and teamwork was a key success of the summit and distant from sectarian ideologies that ultimately end with a religious message.

Another source of attraction was the government of Korea who neither interfered nor supported the project of WARP. The relation here is very basic and the absence of officials has strategic concerns for the future of democracy and personal freedom.

The majority of WARP fans in South Korea are youth, poor, non-government employees, and the new coming generations, including some friends and partners from the rest of the world. This was quite clear from the big number of WARP guests who gathered from different parts of the world seeking peace, not war.

Yemen had a part in this summit through some local youth organizations, the government represented by the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport, and marginalized group representatives, and Tawwakul Karman. In her speech, Karman has called all religious communities to work for peace. “Peace is the call of every one,” she said. “People have no problem with each other’s religions. The problems of human beings are created by religious groups nowadays as they setup themselves as agents between God and humans. They disturb people’s thinking and beliefs,” she continued. “There is no difference between messengers between Adam and Mohammed, Jesus, Mousa, and so on. All of them are the messengers of God, but religions have deviated for sectarian interests.”

Concluding her 45-minute speech, Karman said, “look at the ongoing fighting in the Arab Spring countries including Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Gaza and the rest of the world. The killing over there is designed and manipulated by sectarian groups who are part of the community, and they are supposed to work for the community rather working against it. Peace is the call of every one and not the call of one and we will work for it.”

Speakers for peace included the chairman and the chairwomen of the summit, focusing on the peace restoration, fighting terrorism, and racialism. All of them agreed on the unity of religions. It seems a bit hard and far from reality, but the chairman of the summit is collecting the signatures of prominent leaders, religious groups, and the WARP summit guests who approved and signed the document of religious unity agreement.

“Sectarian and religious people are mostly abusing the life of ordinary people for their future political or business interests,” said the chairman of the Indian Heritage Research Foundation. “Religions were not created for war, but were created for peace. The coming generation should not blame religions. They should blame us who did not maintain it for family and community respect.”

Finally, a word of respect is due to the wonderful Korean youth volunteers of the 2014 Summit who made everything possible for WARP to achieve the ultimate goal of the gathering.

WARP’s aim is to be the key building block in the achievement of interests for peace. For this purpose, people from around the world gathered to witness the in-depth discussions on the role of religions, education, and politics for bringing peace. The 2014 WARP summit was hosted by the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light in conjunction with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Hundreds of youth groups representing 82 countries, including 163 organizations, joined the summit for the sake of peace.

2 Comments

  • You were duped by the leader of a Korean Cult.If you had Googled Lee Man-hee, Shinchonji, or Mannam and you would have found out he is the leader of a cult who has split up families, had a radical view of The Bible where he is the Messiah and through events like this, he has used foreigners like you and many others to portray himself to his Korean followers as the Messiah.