Honorable Peace – and what brought up the idea?

Honorable Peace – and what brought up the idea?

After we had talked a lot about the marked hostilities in the Middle East, especially the competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the determination of the Iranian government to destroy Israel, I could tell a friend of the unique possibility of making peace that life had shown me:

It all began with my second visit to Egypt in 1981/82 when I had my bed directly opposite the entrance to the sanctuary of the Hussein mosque in Cairo, in one of the two apartments owned by the Sufi Sheikh Mohammed Osman in whose spiritual community I then lived for a full year. Every day I had the opportunity to visit the sanctuary and many times I made use of this opportunity, because I wanted to experience the spirit of that place and of its history.

This sanctuary, so it is said, enshrines the head of Sayyidna el Hussein, the son of Ali, the first caliph of the Shiites – who was a grandson of Prophet Mohammed. On October 10, 680, he was killed at Karbala in a battle against a Sunni army.

Not far from the Hussein mosque there is another mosque, the famed Al Azhar whose Grand Sheikh, Dr. Al Tayyeb, is the spiritual head of Sunni Islam. The Al Azhar was built more than a thousand years ago by the Shiite Fatimids, who then ruled Egypt. The Hussein mosque was built two hundred years later, during the crusades.

I also visited Al Azhar many times, but living right next to the Hussein sanctuary, made me feel emotionally closer to Hussein. Still, the fact that these two mosques stand right next to one other I found impressive, especially after I had heard that both had been built by Shiites and that the Al Azhar had since become a symbol for Sunni Islam.

Shiite and Sunni Islam, these two schools of thought, could not have regarded themselves as enemies in the way they do today or else these buildings would not still exist. After all, the second Caliph of the Shiites was a grandchild of the Prophet!

My experiences back then have since become the background to my attempt to find a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict – yet it took 9/11 to motivate me to dig deep into the matter.

After 9/11, I dealt mainly with the question of peace for Israel, which had become virulent after the United Nations divided Palestine, given one part to the Jews who, after repeated persecution in Europe, dearly longed for a state of their own in the area of the biblical Israel.

For the Muslim inhabitants and neighbors this came as a shock, because now, all of a sudden, the immediate vicinity to one of the most holy places of Islam, of al Haram ash Sharif, where Muslims think of Mohammed’s ascension into heaven, became a Jewish state. That radically changed the atmosphere between Muslims and Jews who had been living together peacefully thoughout the thirteen hundred years when the Muslims ruled the area.

During the times of Muslim rule, the Jews had accepted their status as dhimmis, as wards of Islam, easily. For the inhabitants of the state of Israel this was no longer an option. Besides the fact that the new Jewish state had been implanted in traditionally Muslim territory, that state did not acknowledge the superiority of Islam and, therefore, it could not be accepted by the Muslims. Thus, the Muslim neighbors refused to accept the partition of the land by the UN. The Muslim neighbors waged war against this alien implant – but they did not win the war. In the end they had to accept an armistice – which did not lead to peace.

Already in 2001 today’s Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu, formulated his ideas about a possible solution to the conflict in his book “A Durable Peace”. He believes that the deep resentment against the state of Israel, especially in the population of Israel’s neighbors cannot be changed by mere contracts. In consequence, he thinks that a new state of Palestine could never possess the rights of a normal state, because that would entail the possibility that a sovereign state of Palestine might team up with, say Iran, and station Iranian missiles on its territory which could not only call into question the existence of the state of Israel but could even annihilate it. Under such conditions, Netanyahu thinks that the Palestinians can never be accorded rights equal to the rights of Israelis.

While I, too, can see the deep rejection by Israel’s neighbors of the state of Israel as the main reason for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, my conclusions are completely different – because of my experiences during my year in the spiritual community of Sheikh Mohammed Osman in Cairo.

There I could see that by nature Muslims are willing to embrace peace, but such peace must not defile their honor, so that only an honorable peace would have a chance of becoming real peace. This means that peace cannot be imposed on them – as has been the case with all the models of peace which have been presented so far. Peace had to come from the Muslims themselves.
But how could peace with the Jewish state come from the Muslims when that state had in fact been imposed on them? Would that not be self-contradictory?

A truly honorable peace will be possible only if it is not imposed! But how could the coercion which forcefully installed the Jewish state back then disappear? That coercion is a fact of history! How could such a fact disappear?
The coercion could only disappear only if the Muslims could somehow be motivated to offer that territory to the Jews as a gift. But what could motivate the Muslims to present such a gift?

It is not as impossible as it looks. Muslims could, in fact, be motivated to present such a gift by considering the succession of their prophets: Nearly all of the Muslim prophets are biblical prophets. The religion of Islam owes a lot to Judaism! But current hostilities have made men blind to that awareness and pushed it into a dark corner in the background. Yet reality speaks for itself. Muslim authorities can revive the memory. And that would not be manipulation, it would only be the reemergence of reality – not in a sense that could cause feelings of guilt because there is no reason for guilt, but in a sense that would arouse natural gratitude on a scale that would enable the Muslims to present the country the Jews have named “Israel” to them – anyway only a small gift when one remembers the fact that, without the preparatory work of the Jewish prophets, Islam would hardly be thinkable.

And at that point the state of Israel itself could make a contribution of its own: the very name “Israel” goes back to Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob was entangled in a deadly conflict with his brother Esau. Under normal conditions, the reunion between the two meant certain death for Jacob, because his brother was determined to kill him. But meanwhile Jacob was able resolve himself to do something that would have seemed impossible before. Facing certain death Jacob could now see that he had to ask his brother for forgiveness. He did exactly that. He threw himself to the ground before his brother seven times. This gestures which was almost incomprehensible for Esau moved him so deeply that he was now again able to accept Jacob as his brother. The Bible says that for showing the steadfast courage to make that gesture God gave Jacob the name “Israel”, “the one who has fought with God and prevailed”. Thereafter both brothers could live in peace as neighbors.

Today’s Israel would need something of that kind, admitting that the implanting of a Jewish state in this region was a course of action that was necessary for their survival, yet completely unacceptable to the inhabitants of the land, and consequently, that the Jews have every reason to ask the Muslims for forgiveness – just as four thousand years earlier Jacob had every reason to ask his brother Esau for forgiveness. And just as Esau was able to forgive his brother the Muslims will now be able to forgive the Jews, especially if they remember that they have every reason to be grateful to the Jews, because God chose to use the Jewish prophets to open the mind of the prophet Mohammed, thus preparing him for the new revelations of the Koran which he was to impart to him.

An essential role in bringing these facts to the people’s attention will certainly fall to the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, Dr. Al-Tayyeb, who has plainly already embarked on that task – first by visiting the Pope in Rome, the location of that great Council which made the deepest, most positive changes to the Catholic church’s attitude towards Islam and Judaism.
Such a council in Cairo could change the entire world, on the one hand by making room for Muslim gratitude for what they received from Judaism, and thus enabling the Muslims to present the Jews with a state of their own, Israel – on the other hand, because such a council could also cement peace within Islam – as a side effect of the location of the council, in Cairo, on the site of the two mosques, which are in Sunni territory today, yet were founded by Shiites – and are still are of the utmost importance for Shiites, Al Azhar and the Hussein mosque!

By including the Shiites in the council, they could concur with the step of presenting the area of the state of Israel as a gift to the Jews, and thus come together in making peace, both with the state of Israel and with their Sunni brethren.

 

hp | 2019

 


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

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

https://honorablepeace.com/hc

 

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

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

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English
ASIN: B07P5R1SYF

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

https://honorablepeace.com/ke

Taschenbuch dt.

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Deutsch
ISBN-10: 1670224414
ISBN-13: 978-1670224415
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Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Taschenbuch, deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.com/tb

Kindle Ausgabe dt.

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Deutsch
ASIN: B0826SJBGF
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Link: Ehrenhafter Frieden von Gottfried Hutter, Kindle Ausgabe, deutsch:

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English:

https://honorablepeace.com

Deutsch:

https://honorablepeace.de

Links:


 

Mostly Unseen Problems in the Christian-Muslim Interreligious Dialogue

Mostly Unseen Problems in the Christian-Muslim Interreligious Dialogue

Gottfried Hutter

Psychotherapy has been deeply influenced by the ideal of dialogue outlined by the physicist David Bohm. The aim: to overcome prejudices and destructive misinformation. By freeing the mind from socio-cultural accretions, a free space can be created in which something new can happen.

This ideal can, however, be hard to live up to since intercultural dialogue has throughout history always been characterized by the dominant power structures of that time.

Even as late as 2002, when the famous interreligious Alexandria Declaration was formulated one of the Egyptian participants did not dare to sign. If I sign this today, I will be a dead man tomorrow. This the son of one of the other participants told me only last week.

Dialogue naturally creates a bond between two parties. When they are talking about a third party, they will tend to create a distance in relation to that missing party.

Thus, Christians and Muslims in dialogue naturally tend see the Jews in antagonistic terms.

Dialogue between Christians and Jews tends to isolate and scapegoat the Muslims in like manner.

And dialogue between Jews and Muslims tends to scapegoat Christians.

My research into the history of the Middle East has shown up this tendency up again and again.

All too often the dialogue partners are barely aware of this automatism.

Thus, there is a risk of them agreeing that they have a problem with the missing third party.

Because of the natural tendency of dialogue partners to develop loyalty to one another, there are not so many people keeping up contacts with both sides of a crucial issue.

Mostly we find persons who are well known for their contribution to Christian-Muslim dialogue or Christian-Jewish dialogue or Muslim-Jewish dialogue.

At the time of Reconquista when the Jews were driven out of Spain along with Muslims, they were welcomed by Muslims in Egypt and in the area of today’s Turkey. The Christians were the enemy.

When the new State of Israel was founded there were rather close relations between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land. Israel was the enemy.

And in today’s West there is all too often a Jewish-Christian bond in which the Muslims are the enemies.

One famous example of the exclusion of one partner from dialogue is the letter “One Common Word”, written by the Jordanian Prince Ghazi about the most important word in the Bible: love. The letter was adressed to the Pope and high Christian leaders. It completely excluded the Jewish Rabbis, even though the one common word originates in the Jewish Bible.

But let me go back to my first statement:

Throughout history any interreligious dialogue has always been characterized by the dominant power structures of the time.

As long as the Jews were dominant in the first and second century CE, Jews would occasionally complain to the Roman authorities about Christians. As a result, Christians were in danger of persecution – a very early cause for antisemitism.

When the Christians became dominant during the rule of the Emperor Constantine, the Christians not only removed the traditional Roman temples in Jerusalem, they also showed their dominance over Judaism by demonstratively leaving the area of the former Temple of the Jews in ruins – they even used it as a garbage dump. Had Constantine’s mother Helena cherished the Temple as the Apostles had, she would have built a memorial there – and that would have made a considerable difference for the Caliph Omar, when he conquered Jerusalem, and for the entire Muslim world up until today.

In 614 CE, when Persian troops under Jewish influence conquered the Holy Land and took it from the Byzantines, they removed Christians from all positions of power and destroyed many churches. After a couple of years, the Persians became aware of the problem and reinstated the Christians in their former roles.

Another feature of dialogue came into play when the Muslims became the dominant power. They had a famous rule of tolerance: indigenous non-Muslim populations had to submit to Muslim dominance. They had to sign a treaty, the so-called “dhimma”. Once subdued, they had a right to be protected by Sharia-law. And then there was no problem in dialogue.

As long as they respected their subordinate role as dhimmis they could live in peace and thus there was [mostly] interreligious peace throughout the time and the area of Muslim rule.

Jews and Christians could live in peace with each other and with the Muslims. They could even take very high positions in the state.

The end of the Ottoman empire after WWI brought about fundamental changes in the power structure. That change was aggravated with the founding of the Jewish State of Israel. As soon as the Jews had their own state, they naturally refused to be regarded as dhimmis – while the Christians in their minority position in the Middle East tended to continue to live as they were accustomed to: as dhimmis.

But the Jews refused and from that moment on they were regarded as enemies of Islam.

Today this is hardly ever talked about anywhere.

Today, in any talk about politics a strict dogma must be upheld: religion has no role in politics. This is the effect of today’s power structure.

Thus, the Middle East conflict is seen as a purely political conflict. Consequently, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is seen in purely territorial terms.

The rationale behind this is the idea that, as soon as the factor of religion is included, the conflict becomes insoluble.

This rule has its merits, because religion has indeed caused much trouble in politics.

Yet, some features of the conflict will remain inexplicable and inextricable as long as religious motives are tabooed.

As long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is explained as a purely territorial conflict the question remains, why then has it not been solved long ago – like all of the major territorial changes following WWI and WWII.

Today, nobody is talking seriously about foreign colonization of German territories in the East or colonization of Greek territories in today’s Turkey or of the German speaking region of South Tyrol. So, why are people speaking of Israel colonizing Palestinian territory?

In my view, the Muslim complaint against the Jews is not so much related to the fact that the Jews have taken territory from the Palestinians (as I just said, after WWI and WWII much territory has been taken from other people with little complaint), it is related far more to the fact that the Jews refused to subordinate themselves under the rule of the leading culture of the Middle East, and were thus regarded as an enemy of its people – by the people of Gaza, for instance, even after the Israelis had ended their occupation.

The Christians on the other hand are in many ways still acting as dhimmis and thus are forming an alliance with the Muslims – against the State of Israel – because the Jews are refusing to subordinate themselves.

Christians did not protest when in 1949 Jerusalem came to be a part of the Kingdom of Jordan. They rather protested when Israel conquered Jerusalem in 1967 – even though the Israeli government actively guaranteed freedom of access to all religious sanctuaries – which the Jordanian government had not guaranteed before.

So, in Christian-Muslim dialogue the old dhimmi rule still matters, and it is creating alliances and declaring the third party to be the enemy. That I have felt over and over again in my talks with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.

Since dialogue is the subject of this conference, I chose these special aspects to be my subject.

But now, please see this new book of mine:

100 Years of Middle East Conflict – Honorable Peace. How Can Lasting peace be Secured between the Muslim World and Israel”

The entire book is a book about interreligious dialogue, laid out in its consequences for the reality of the life of people in Israel and Palestine – always keeping in mind that there are three parties to what is a trialogue.

If people want their lives to be normal, they will need an Honorable Peace! They will need what you will find in this book.

 

hp | 2019

 


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

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

https://honorablepeace.com/pb

Kindle Editioncover_engl_amazon

 

English
ASIN: B07P5R1SYF

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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: