Dialogue as it was and as it could be

Dialogue as it was and as it could be

Gottfried Hutter

The basis of dialogue: in their essence all religions are one.

I spent a full year in the Muslim Sufi community of Sheikh Mohammed Osman in Khartoum and in Cairo. With the idea of the unity of all religions on my mind I asked the Sheikh “is this true? Or is Islam the only true religion?” What he replied I found truly enlightening. “There is only one true religion,” he said. “It is not the one with the name ‘Islam’, it is Islam!”

Then he explained the difference between Islam and Islam. The only true religion,” he said, “the only way to true inner peace, is obedience to the will of God. This is what is meant by the word ‘Islam’.” It is finding peace by doing what God wants you to do, by listening sincerely and honestly to this small voice inside you.

But there is also some general guidance. It can be found in the formula “bismillâhirrahmânirrahîm”, in the name of the all-merciful God. Devout Muslims begin whatever they do with this formula. In the name of the all-merciful you will of course not kill innocent people and you will not commit any crimes. In the name of the all-merciful all your actions will be benevolent. This is what is originally meant by the word “Islam” – but this same essence can be found in all religions. In this all religions are one. Sometimes it will happen that members of the religion named “Islam” will not follow Islam, but members of other religions will follow Islam and vice versa.

Another way to differentiate between the two meanings of Islam is the difference between “we” and “them”.

Once people identify with a religion of a certain name, they are differentiating between “us” and “them”. And then they are in danger of reserving mercy only for the in-group. Then, of course, the essence of religion is lost. Then, only the name of the religion is left. Members will identify with a religion named “Islam” or named “Christianity” or named “Judaism”. These will be the times of religious wars, “we” against “them”.

Please allow me to give you an example from some 17oo years ago – with powerful consequences up to this very day:

Just about 1700 years ago the religion of Christianity experienced its coming out. The mother of the Roman emperor Constantin had an important role in this. Helena was her name. She was Christian. When her son became emperor, she traveled to the Holy Land and tried to uncover the traces that were left of the life of Jesus.

Helena was incredibly successful. She found the place of Jesus’ birth in Jesusand she had the church of nativity built there. In Jerusalem she found the cross to which Jesus had been nailed and she found the hill of Golgotha, where they had put up his cross. From the hill of Golgotha she had seven shiploads of soil taken and shipped to the capital of the empire, to Rome. In Rome this soil was brought to a certain place she had named. It was heaped on the ground – and on top of that heap a new church was built, “Santa Croce”! This was her attempt of sanctifying the capital of the Roman empire. In Jerusalem she had built the “Holy Sepulchre”, the church of the grave of Jesus from which he had risen.

All of this was very meritorious, no matter from which angle you look at it. This is why she later became a Christian saint. But there is one detail she was not able to treat the best possible way. Her way of dealing with it has dire consequences up to this very day:

First, she ordered the Roman temples to be destroyed which had been built at the site of the former Jewish Temple. But instead of building a Christian monument there in memory of the Jewish Temple she demonstratively left that place in ruins and later on that site even came to be used as a garbage dump.

What she did there was the opposite of inter-religious dialogue. She apparently wanted to demonstrate Christian superiority over Judaism. There was no gratitude towards Judaism for providing the rich background from which the new religion of Christianity could emerge. There was also no respect for the Apostles who had continued to visit the Temple long after Jesus had risen to heavens. There was mainly disrespect. We know that, we are used to that. So we hardly even spend a thought about any other possibility.

But what if she would have had the due respect? Then she would have not left the site in ruins. Then she would have built a memorial at this site for the Christians to remember the day when the mother of Jesus brought her newly born son to the Temple, the days of the twelve years old Jesus teaching the teachers in the Temple, the days of Jesus returning to the Temple only days before he was crucified, and the days of the Apostles visiting the Temple after Jesus had risen from the dead.

With such thoughts on her mind, Helena most certainly would have had built a monument on the site of the Temple in high respect for its important role for both, Judaism and its great son, Jesus.

Please take a minute to imagine the impact such a monument at that site would have had.

First it would have inspired the Christians to hold in honor their predecessors, the Jews.

Then, such a memorial would have made a decisive difference for the Caliph Omar, when he asked the Christian Patriarch Sophronius to show him the site of the Jewish Temple.

Now we know, when the Caliph Omar asked the Patriarch to show him the site of the former Temple, Sophronius was embarrassed – because what he had to show to the Caliph was a garbage dump.

The Caliph was appalled. He had not expected such disrespect! He got his people to clean up the place. That way he practically took possession of the place. Later on, he built a simple but respectful memorial at the site. And one of his successors, the Caliph Abd El-Malik, built what we can see today, the beautiful Dome of the Rock.

But now, just imagine, if the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine had already built a Christian memorial at that site! What difference that would have made for the Caliph Omar – and what difference that would have made throughout the subsequent history up until today. Just imagine if you would see today above the Wailing Wall not a Muslim but a Christian Dome of the Rock!

Nobody can really know how history would have developed then. But then, there may have not been any crusades – and today there may not be a State of Israel! Because with the due respect of the Christians towards Judaism, there may not have been any Christian pogroms, and thus there may not have been the movement of Zionism, there may not have been the concentration camps – but, possibly, the Jews might have been allowed to return to their Holy Land much much earlier!

Under these circumstances, the Christian memorial at the Temple Mount meanwhile might already have been replaced by a new Jewish Temple…

Who knows? Of course, all of this is speculation – but, I hope that speculation may arouse your curiosity – also your curiosity about my book: “100 Years of Middle East Conflict. Honorable Peace. How Can Lasting Peace be Secured between the Muslim World and Israel”.

It is not a speculative book. It is a book about facts – but facts which today are not duly respected, in danger to be put aside, because they don’t fit in with our secular world view.

But our secular world view may not have the assets the world will need to make peace at this pivotal point between orient and occident, between the Muslim world and the West.

To discover a way to honorable peace we will definitely need to include the essence of religion, which is still present in each of the three religions based on Abraham. And that essence we all will need if we want to avoid any future 9/11s!

Thank you!

 

hp | 2019-09-04

 


The Author of ‘Honorable Peace’

Gottfried Hutter


The author studied Catholic theology, history and political science. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, he went to live in San Francisco for five years. There he gained a sense of human beings’ potential, especially in terms of spirituality and civilization. This, in turn, motivated him to learn about other cultures and religions. He moved to Egypt and stayed for one year in
Cairo, mainly experiencing the spiritual depth of Islam. Back in Europe, teaching Catholic religion in schools and studying Shamanism and native religions, he trained to become a psychotherapist. Working with psychiatric patients, he wrote his first book, Resurrection – Before Death. How to Use Biblical Texts in Psychotherapy. In his therapeutic practice he is now mainly working with severely traumatized Middle Eastern refugees. More ->

Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Hardcovercover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872423
ISBN-13: 978-1480872424

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Hardcover, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/hc

 

Paperbackcover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872431
ISBN-13: 978-1480872431

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Paperback, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/pb

Kindle Editioncover_engl_amazon

 

English
ASIN: B07P5R1SYF

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Edition, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/ke

Taschenbuch dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ISBN-10: 1670224414
ISBN-13: 978-1670224415
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Taschenbuch, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/tb

Kindle Ausgabe dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ASIN: B0826SJBGF
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Ausgabe, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/ka

English:

https://honorablepeace.com

Deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.de

Links:


 

A remarkable intolerance within interreligious dialogue

A remarkable intolerance within interreligious dialogue

An impression I got trying to get invited to an interreligious conference of Religions for Peace

Within religion there is a constant control of anything said by members of that religion if it conforms to the dogma.

In the past the intolerance within a specific religion could go as far as to condemning people who were seen as not conforming to the dogma to death.

The intolerance within interreligious dialogue is, of course much milder, but it can lead to the exclusion of anyone who is not an official representative of one of the accredited religions or of an organization recognized for its interreligious dialogue.

Remarkably such intolerance is never present within truly accomplished representatives of specific religions.

This is what I experienced with a Sudanese Sufi teacher who had thousands of disciples in Sudan, in Egypt and all over the world; Mohammed Osman was his name.

With him I stayed for one year, mostly in Cairo. When I met him I had mainly one question on my mind: can it be said, that in essence all religions are one?

It took me a full year to pose my question. But this year was filled with wonderful information about the religion of Islam.

He truly taught me to understand Islam. And when I finally was able to ask my question his reply contained a twofold teaching.

My question was: can it be said, that in essence all religions are one – or is there only one true religion?

He replied: there is only one true religion, it is Islam – but it is not the religion known by the name “Islam”.

From all I had learned about Islam I could understand because the “Islam” he meant describes the peace springing forth from being conform with the will of God.

This conformity can, of course, be reached in any of the religions, it can be accomplished if a member honestly takes his religions as a guideline to deal with his personal consciousness.

But then it may happen that by taking his religion as such a guideline this person can get into contradiction with the representatives of his religion who are tasked with controlling its dogma.

Because, sometimes such officials have a rather narrowminded understanding of the dogma. They never would agree with someone saying that in essence all religions are one, because in their view, there can be only one true religion and it is theirs. In their view all other religions, are wrong and need to be antagonized.

For that reason, it can happen, and in the past more it has happened more than once that, confronted with such representatives of their specific religion, such persons were accused of being heretics.

The most famous example, probably, is Jesus. But there are numerous other examples of people who have been put to death because they were suspected of being heretics.

Within interreligious dialogue, of course, no one will be put to death. But a similar mechanism is at work.

Here, the organizers of such dialogue have to watch out, that only representatives of the participating religions or of recognized dialogue organizations will be invited to speak.

Persons who engage in interreligious dialogue without being representatives of a dialogue organization or a recognized religion are likely to be excluded, because their participation could cause irritation with some of the delegates.

This is what happened to me in August 2019 at a big interreligious conference in Lindau, Germany, which was organized by “Religions for Peace”.

I had just completed a book outlining a way to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By applying a strictly interreligious perspective I was able to describe a procedure which could enable the parties involved in the conflict to question their own position and to understand the true needs of the opposing parties.

With this book, I thought, I would be an ideal dialogue partner for the representatives of each one of the religions present at the conference in Lindau.

Even though I had been accepted as a dialogue partner by one of the most prestigious participants of the conference, Rabbi David Rosen, with whom I have been in contact for the past 17 years, the organizers of the conference were skeptical about my work. And, just to be on the safe side, they kept me out. They did not allow me to participate in their conference. They also did not allow me to present my book at an exhibition area of the conference where partner organizations could present their work.

And when I then distributed some flyers about my book outside the conference, they prohibited that and said, if I continued, they would send in the police – something that reminded me of measures against heretics in the past.

As I talked about this to another “visitor”, also excluded from the conference, he said, that he too had the impression that the organizers could only see their organization but not the intention from which this organization had arisen. And that these organizers have indeed great similarity to the representatives of religions in the past who were, as the guards of orthodoxy, entitled to exclude certain individuals whose scope of mind they could not grasp.

 

 

hp | 2019-09-04

 


The Author of ‘Honorable Peace’

Gottfried Hutter


The author studied Catholic theology, history and political science. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, he went to live in San Francisco for five years. There he gained a sense of human beings’ potential, especially in terms of spirituality and civilization. This, in turn, motivated him to learn about other cultures and religions. He moved to Egypt and stayed for one year in
Cairo, mainly experiencing the spiritual depth of Islam. Back in Europe, teaching Catholic religion in schools and studying Shamanism and native religions, he trained to become a psychotherapist. Working with psychiatric patients, he wrote his first book, Resurrection – Before Death. How to Use Biblical Texts in Psychotherapy. In his therapeutic practice he is now mainly working with severely traumatized Middle Eastern refugees. More ->

Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Hardcovercover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872423
ISBN-13: 978-1480872424

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Hardcover, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/hc

 

Paperbackcover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872431
ISBN-13: 978-1480872431

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Paperback, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/pb

Kindle Editioncover_engl_amazon

 

English
ASIN: B07P5R1SYF

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Edition, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/ke

Taschenbuch dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ISBN-10: 1670224414
ISBN-13: 978-1670224415
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Taschenbuch, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/tb

Kindle Ausgabe dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ASIN: B0826SJBGF
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Ausgabe, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/ka

English:

https://honorablepeace.com

Deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.de

Links:


 

Honorable Peace: There is no way to avoid what this book is offering

Honorable Peace: There is no way to avoid what this book is offering

Honorable Peace. The new book “100 Years of Middle East Conflict. Honorable Peace. How Can Lasting Peace be Secured between the Muslim World and Israel” hardly fits any cliché. Yet, for the last 100 years the cliché prescriptions have not led to peace, just the opposite, so that today true peace seems further away than ever before.

 

Honorable Peace
Cover: Honorable Peace – The Book „100 Years of Middle East Conflict – an Honorable Solution. How can the Muslim World make Peace with Israel?”

As long as the Palestinian people cannot live in peace the entire Middle East will remain in turmoil.

This book offers a surprising solution; all the more surprising in that it is not foreign to the people of this part of the world. On the contrary it has been deliberately ignored for the past hundred years because in the view of most Western politicians including it would have violated their strict imperative of secularity.

This book violates their taboo on religion: the way to peace offered by this book draws on the most central quality of religion, its ability to enable people to feel empathy – even for people who would normally be seen only as recalcitrant competitors. This is the case of Jews in the eyes of Muslims, since the Jews are no longer willing to subordinate themselves under the religion of Islam, even though that subordination had given them peace for the previous thirteen hundred years.

The fact is that, throughout the entire process of establishing their new State, the Israelis never experienced empathy from the Muslims. No wonder, how could the Muslim world have accepted this new entity named “Israel” which took possession of a land big enough to incorporate millions of people from all over the world, if these newcomers were unwilling to subordinate and integrate? And how could the regular inhabitants of the land accept that these strangers be allowed to settle in the immediate vicinity of one the most holy places of Islam?

“God will destroy this wall”

The Jews do in fact have a very natural relationship to that land since it had been the land of the Bible – which is also an essential part of the historic background of the religion of Islam. But that historic chain was broken eighteen hundred years ago. At that time, almost all Jews were banished from the land, when the Romans brutally crushed their uprising. Subsequently, the population of the land became Christian, and later on, Muslim. So it remained for the next thirteen hundred years. So why ever should the Muslims of that area accept a Jewish repopulation?

It could be done only by force in a process similar to colonization. So, how could the Muslim population be persuaded to accept that?

Historically such things have been done by brute force. Here, however, even force could not succeed indefinitely, since a relatively small minority was implanted in a huge area among a population of a quite different culture. This is the case with the Jewish minority settling in the Middle East.

So, how could such a conflict find a peaceful solution?

Today, many people may say that most Arab states would like Israel to be their powerful ally against their main enemy, Iran.

But in the end, all these states are bound to admit that Israel cannot be their ally as long as the Palestinians are suffering.

In other words, a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a prerequisite for harmony in the region. Before the Arab neighbors can genuinely befriend Israel, they will need an honorable peace. And that is exactly what this book is offering!

Link: https://honorablepeace.com/there-is-no-way-to-avoid-what-this-book-is-offering/

hp | 2019-06-26

 


The author of ‘Honorable Peace’

Gottfried Hutter


The author studied Catholic theology, history and political science. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, he went to live in San Francisco for five years. There he gained a sense of human beings’ potential, especially in terms of spirituality and civilization. This, in turn, motivated him to learn about other cultures and religions. He moved to Egypt and stayed for one year in
Cairo, mainly experiencing the spiritual depth of Islam. Back in Europe, teaching Catholic religion in schools and studying Shamanism and native religions, he trained to become a psychotherapist. Working with psychiatric patients, he wrote his first book, Resurrection – Before Death. How to Use Biblical Texts in Psychotherapy. In his therapeutic practice he is now mainly working with severely traumatized Middle Eastern refugees. More ->

Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Hardcovercover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872423
ISBN-13: 978-1480872424

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Hardcover, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/hc

 

Paperbackcover_engl_amazon

 

English
ISBN-10: 1480872431
ISBN-13: 978-1480872431

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Paperback, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/pb

Kindle Editioncover_engl_amazon

 

English
ASIN: B07P5R1SYF

more ->

Link: Honorable Peace by Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Edition, english:

https://honorablepeace.com/ke

Taschenbuch dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ISBN-10: 1670224414
ISBN-13: 978-1670224415
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Taschenbuch, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/tb

Kindle Ausgabe dt.

cover_dt_amazon
 

Deutsch
ASIN: B0826SJBGF
mehr dazu ->

Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Ausgabe, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/ka

English:

https://honorablepeace.com

Deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.de

Links: