Should Pakistan Be Allowed To Harass Peace Activists?

On Jan 28th 2019, I had the following dream. I have posted a picture of my cellphone recorder to show you the date. Oh! if this audio does not run in Firefox, run it in a different browser. At my end, Firefox is not running this audio for some unknown reason but Opera is.

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On Jan 28 2019, I saw this dream. See the date next to recording titled “craig-prophecy”.

On Feb 15 2019, Dr. Craig Considine posted on his Twitter that he received an email from WordPress that stated that Pakistan is considering banning his website. You can see this tweet by visiting Craig’s Twitter account and reviewing tweets published on Feb 15 2019.

I personally feel very offended by this. I feel that Craig’s intentions are being misunderstood simply because he is associated, to some extent, with the Ahmadiyah sect. So countries like Pakistan are willing to declare his content as “blasphemous” while ignoring the fact that he is advocating for Interfaith Dialogue and World Peace. I feel such stands against peace activists are damaging our societies in a grave manner. The government officials are public servants; and, they need to learn to listen and create dialogue instead of controlling choices and making decisions.

Saying all this, let me briefly review the contents of this dream. When it comes to heroes/idols, you can easily get relevant dreams given that you are reading something the dream character wrote or you are interested in their work. But, you won’t always be able to nail what exactly is going on until you find proof about it. Nevertheless, you should still get unsettled and start scanning that person’s social media site or the news for noteworthy news. There will be times when dreams will tell you what exactly is going on. For example, I dreamt of the murder of a well-known American journalist before “Reporters Without Borders” published in their Worldwide Round-up report. Read “Another Lucid Dream Came True: US Is Dangerous For Journalists“.

Once, a Muslim woman told me that she firmly believes that people cannot see the future and only the Prophets can. I thought about her statement and recalled reading a saying by Prophet Mohammad, which went something along these lines, in one of the books: “Followers/People have 1/24 of the vision of the Prophets.” Source: “Time Travel and Prophethood”

Dreams thus teach you about real life and how to proceed. Incredibly intelligent dream entities are there to guide you. My dream is pointing to the danger that the Muslim-Christian lobby will be injured if Craig is forced to leave. The way it is doing this is as follows: I am a Muslim and I am watching all this; Craig is a Christian and he is wrapping up Biblical images. So the dream is pointing to the Muslim-Christian relationships. This dream tells me that there is a strong need to forget religious or sectarian differences and join hands to create world peace.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

At What Age Did I Start Writing?

I wrote my first article when I was around 15 years old. It was an opinion article and a much needed entry for my personal journal. I wrote this while I was studying in Pakistan. Mind you, this is around 20 years old news! I was upset about a news story about abuse of a local woman; so I got heated enough to let all my thoughts out.  Some friends of mine read the article as well. Soon—and I do not know how—the word got to my English teacher, Rukhshanda. She found me; took my journal from my hand by force; and, locked it in the Principal’s office. I was pretty young back then so I just became very scared and sullen. I did not protest about what was going on; but, I promised myself that I will get away from such situations in the future so that I may write again. I still think that my teacher did a very filthy thing. The only queer thing about that article was that it was filled with my thoughts about an atrocity that my mind could not fathom. And, my English teacher could not handle the fact that one of her top students had decided to find her voice—I feel like vomiting. Rukhshanda was not a bad woman though—I mean when my periods started while I was at a field trip, she immedialty took care of me

Anyways, I grew up watching how some Pakistani people push their children and even their friends’ children to achieve perfection. But, when someone is special enough to deliver exceptional results, they make that person sound odd and dumb. Even some of my relatives point out to me that I should not be writing or reading poetry. One of my male relatives said to me, “If you need to do all this, then do it at home”. I decided to pay no attention to all of this; however, I feel that it is still having some impact on my activities. This is why I am noting this here on the web so that I may have a more real reminder in front of me.

To summarize all this, I learned how to write creatively at an early age. Furthermore, I even learned how to read at an early age. My mom has told me that when I was a toddler, I could read some words from the TV screen. She used to get so surprised when she would hear me speak these words—no wonder, I even poty trained my older sibling. I have been fighting all my life to make room for my writing. And, I intend to do this in the future as well. All this is beyond incredible, don’t you think so.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

How Trauma Stays With The Victims For Longer

Traumatic memories are always going to bother the victims simply because it is easier to remember traumatic events. For instance, someone who has been attending University of Toronto might realize that the colored people are not allowed or discouraged from being part of the faculty. Quite frankly! You should count how many White people are teaching in Canadian universities or colleges that are based in cities that have lots of colored people—such as Brampton and Mississauga. The halls of University of Toronto Mississauga Campus are filled with Brown people. When I was studying at this campus some years ago, it was actually referred to as the “Brown Campus”. But, how many of these graduates are graduating to become teachers at this university? I know that some of these graduates have learned to flee from the academia and that they have learned this in a group setting. I can easily state this because I know a few of these ambitious graduates. I also know that even after years have passed, they fail to apply to any jobs that are offered by the Canadian academic organizations. In some cases, the trauma that is felt by watching people of same skin color being excluded from teaching positions is really that deep. I find this knowledge very interesting because I can clearly see why Canada fails to utilize the talent that she has created with so much talent. Talk about twisted bonds! LOL! I personally think that they are doing the right thing as they walk away. According to Simona Chiose’s article “Justice on Campus”, Canadian universities hush around 90% of the abuse cases, which I think allows abusers to stay and mingle with the rest. So like my friends say, “If you are away from such people, then you aren’t missing out much”.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

How To Deal With A Narcissist?

Is it okay to open your doors to an entire community because some members of that community have treated you properly?

Well! I learn from my example. True! I am Muslim; and, I know many Muslims. It’s true that Islam requires giving charity and praying, which should heal narcissism to some extent. Even then, I have come across some very manipulative Muslims who I believe are narcissists because their intentions aren’t correct even when they are giving charity or saying their prayers. Such narcissists toy with vulnerable folks like their own children while appearing trustworthy and religious—they are usually surrounded by other people who fully believe in them because they don’t know that they are dealing with covert narcissists or because they are afraid of them. I feel that we no longer live in an open and welcoming world anymore.

Here are some helpful videos about how to handle Narcissists.

“Narcissist, Sociopath, or Psychopath?: How To Recognize The Distinction”

“What A Narcissist Thinks When You Go Grey Rock”

“Gaslighting Narcissist Worst Form of Abuse”

“What a Narcissist Goes Through When They Love Bomb”

“20 Signs That You Are With A ‘Covert’ Narcissist”

“When You Unmask A Covert Narcissist, RUN, But Quietly! Counterfeit Relationship. Narcissism Expert”

“How Covert Narcissists Lure Empaths As Their Victims”

“The Narcissitic Games You Should Know About | The Red Files | Balance Psychologies”

“Fun With Your Narcissist! How To Beat Them At Their Own Game And Enjoy It”

“Outsmart The Narcissist Forever! How To Beat The Narcissist & Take Away Their Game”

“When A Narcissist Say These 9 Phrases, This Is What They REALLY MEAN”

“Narcissistic Abuse Causes Brain Trauma”

“Long-term narcissistic abuse can cause brain damage”

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved except for the videos.

Islam Gave Women Their Rights Before the West Did

Islam as it was practised in old times is ahead of the modern western countries. For example, American women could not have a legal will before 1809. Read  “Social Stratification and Inequality“. But, several rights including the right to have property, will, jobs, and a free life were given to the Muslim women around 1400 years ago. Read article “This is how Islam led the world with women’s rights“.

This knowledge is the reason why I am still a Muslim although I have been abused in the past by Muslims and non-Muslims. Being a Muslim is a much bigger deal than just trying to fit in. I think the Muslim world stopped protecting the women because it’s people were distracted by things like TV, money, power, and status. Seeking power is known to destroy the brain, which is how some men have a strong need to continuously raid women with their words and bodies. Survivors of any sort of abuse are braver in nature because they have realized that declaring their independence and freedom cripples the abusers. I think that the truly free people of this modern world will be lead by such survivors.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Surviving Teenager Abuse Trauma

I was raised in a large Pakistani family. We lived in a mixed setting where people from different families used to live together. As a teenager, I faced trauma when a close relative of mine started hitting my two brothers. He wrecked their brains slowly until they started hitting and verbally attacking the girls whenever they felt like it─one of my brothers who was harassed did this rarely though. There were times when one brother of mine would lock us in a room so that we may not be able to watch TV together. He was very young when he did this so I do not blame him.

True! There were many moments of peace and love among the family members. But, the reality is that all the victims grew up in a shunned and broken manner. I was called many names like “lazy”, “one who does not listen”, “procrastinator”, and “ugly”. All this was very destructive towards me because I started paying less attention to my school. I failed some classes; and, I had to take extra tuition lessons to get through. I also went through a major depression as a teenager, which was not treated fully because I never bothered to discuss it with those who would have heard me out. I sometimes used only my close friends to validate my needs. For instance, they used to get very surprised when I would ask them if I looked pretty or not? They would answer that, “Yes! you look really beautiful”; sometimes, I used to get scared after hearing this so I never told them that someone was always calling me “ugly” at home. Most of the times, I went through psychological abuse because someone else was being abused in front of me. I also went through mild sexual abuse as a teenager; and, I couldn’t discuss it with anyone because everyone else was busy handling other unresolved issues.

When I grew older and we moved to Canada, I got access to the Internet. I started learning things that I did not knew. For instance, I learned the words “sibling abuse”. It feels like torture reading all of this now when all this abuse is over.

In fact, research is showing sibling bullying is one of the most damaging types of bullying. By definition, it is an intentional act to hurt the other child. Sibling bullying can occur through name-calling, making negative remarks,and repeatedly putting-down the other sibling.  The bombardment of negativity can be psychologically damaging and its effects can last well into adulthood. Source: Sibling Bullying.

All these memories still show in the victims in traumatic ways. For example, sometimes, we argue a lot, which is very depressing. There are only some meetings where we meet in a happy manner and leave feeling satisfied. There are some meetings where psychological abuse takes place in an isolated manner or in a gang setting. We are trying to work together and help each other heal. We are still healing slowly on our own and in our own way. Even then, our bonds are strong; and, we know how to give each other personal space. This is why we are learning to grow while being away from each other. And, it is working out this way. I am sure this reconciliation would lead to healing and a stable future as a family. But, for now, I am still insecure about certain moments where a family member just gets angry at me for no reason at all─I can’t believe that I have been handling all this since I became mature enough to understand things around me.

I heal quickly because I am a lucid dreamer. Lucid dreams heal PTSD, which is caused by abuse of any sort. I had a super-brain so I still managed to heal over time. But, then the worst happened. A Buddhist Canadian male raped me; he was an Islamophobe and a woman-hater. Forcing me to do certain things was easy for him because I had some trauma hidden deep inside my mind─all this still falls under moderate (scale: mild, moderate, severe) sexual abuse because he is a gentleman rapist. Domestic abuse, systemic oppression offered by Canada, and previous sexual assault trauma played a vital role in allowing my past wounds to resurface. This happened while I was still a virgin so obviously I could not figure things out quickly. As soon as I figured out what he was going on, I escaped this devil’s clutches. I had zero emotional support from my family on this; I only had support in receiving medical treatment. One relative requested me not to discuss this with anyone. Because of this, I am trying to get away from them permanently. This time, I healed myself again by using Lucid Dreams and by educating myself about rape and sexual assault trauma─according to AJ+ video “Spitting the Truth About Sexual Assault”, rape is a crime that is 100% related only to the offender. The rapist had offered me a confession, which I accepted; he was already in big trouble because someone from his household was harassing him. Even then, I have not forgiven him simply because he told me that he is like a Devil and that he must not be forgiven. Nevertheless, I have successfully moved on with my life. He was really a very troubled person; I mean he used to call himself “The Devil”!  Then again, he would never share too much about private life. According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2 out of 3 Canadians don’t know what sexual consent means.

Fact 1: According to Globe and Mail, rape is a hidden crime in Canada. 

Fact 2: According to The Mantle, Sex Trafficking is a hidden crime in Canada.

I feel scared while living in Canada. I feel that Canada played a very big role in causing a new sexual assault. I am revealing some of the details although I understand the importance of privacy in such matters. I have to do this because that’s how life is. There is always a strong chance that the rapist will attempt to nullify my story and the officials will side with him because Canada is a very misogynist country. There is also the chance that someone innocent will be injured even if that person has apologized and changed substantially. This is why I have decided not to give the Canadian justice system a go on this. I still need to feel secure about who I am and what all this actually means. So I am choosing to disclose some of the details. And, I am still in love with my family. Over years, I have reviewed many things including how to identify a narcissist or how to identify a rapist. I have provided helpful links in blog post “Regeneration“; I have written blog post “Safety Tips for Women“. I am glad that I can take care of myself without asking for help from anyone including the police or the rest of the Canadian Justice system. I feel more rested now!

Last Words: Don’t think that at the end of the day, I won’t leak something out. I am an ENFP, just like Anne Frank. Anne Frank was designed with the help of the Nazis of Germany. Some weird things like bullying and exclusion happened to me after 9/11; and, I did go through workplace abuse during the times when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau felt pressured enough to leave some comments about this issue. The ENFP personality is supposed to create lessons that will last for longer than expected. This is why, just like Anne Frank, I am documenting things in my book, “Intertwined“.

Further Readings

Trauma and Teenagers – Common Reactions

Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Neglect: A New Framework

Abuse Trauma: Resources for Therapists & Adult Survivors

A Helpful Way to Conceptualize and Understand Reenactments

Trauma – Reaction and Recovery

Introduction to Domestic Voilence and Rape

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Trump Talks Like Psychopath Eric Harris

Some years before Trump was elected, I was busy researching some writing courses about Mystery Fiction. Thus, I had a brief introduction to the Psychopath Eric Harris’s journal. Eric Harris was responsible for the Columbine High School Massacre that took place in 1999. I read it and left it rather quickly and without finishing it. I had to stop reading it because I am a poet; I feel lots of pain while reading such odd writings. It was painful because there is real poetry behind what he is actually trying to say. For example, he says that everyone has their own opinion so what makes you different? (p 26, 003) This is a question a good poet can answer after some thorough analysis of the self and others. Then he starts using his evil side where he says that people who already have misery in their lives should be killed (p 26,004).  I was very surprised to read stuff like this in a psychopath’s journal. I think what makes him wonderful is his ability to talk like he is reading poetry. I have read lots of poems and everytime I read some of Eric’s words, I feel a bit dizzy due to the strong lyrical sentences that is there. No wonder, he could generate copycats so quickly.

Now look at how Trump talks. Some of his comments are here in the NY Times article, “The 550 People, Places, and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted On Twitter: A Complete List“.  Here you can read a lot of his rude comments that include using insulting words and phrases like “incompetent”, “Sloppy Steve”, “dumped like a dog by almost everyone”, and “have no talent”. Now listen to the “I am the least racist person there is” poem, which is part of Robert Sear’s book “Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump“. Again, you can see the same trend: soothing words combined with angry ones. This is how he is also generating copycats, people who are willing to follow him blindly. I think that the Hate crimes against Muslims, which took place after Trump was elected, are an example of copycat behaviour.

Even the most brilliant man in this world, Noam Chomsky, warned against Trump. Actually, he has been warning us for quite some while. Listen to his words. In this video, he says that you have to do something crazy in order to get public attention. Wow! This is something both Eric Harris and Trump think about a lot. I am sure you will start feeling more in control and comforted after listening to Noam Chomsky. Feel free to walk away from Trump because his speech is designed to break your character and personality just like Eric Harris’s speech does.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Is There Any Point of Holding Peace Conferences in Abu Dubai or UAE?

I just watched a Peace conference that just took place in Abu Dubai, “Fifth Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies” (video 1, video 2, video 3). In Video 2, Manal Mohammad Omar who is the CEO of “Across Red Lines USA” stated, “Extremists target women as perpetrators and as victims. One of the things that destabilizes a community is to destabilize the women who are usually the backbone of the community. The way this can be countered is to integrate women from the very beginning into all phases whether it is economic, security, nation building, and especially at the time of transition.”

Nice words! I already know that this is the answer simply because I was never integrated really well in Canada. I struggled a lot to achieve whatever I could achieve; and, I can see how my lack of knowledge is directly related to Canada’s inability to properly integrate qualified and talented colored women. A White friend of mine got a job after crying at an interview; and, I was not given a job because a male interviewer complained that I was not making “sufficient” eye contact. The reality is that I did make eye contact with him even when I was under pressure to make eye contact with everyone else at a panel interview. This male interviewer tried deleting an entire situation from my mind by gaslighting me. He told me that I will be working with him; and, thus I should be making eye contact with him. I felt that he wanted me to think that he was more important than the other interviewers; and, that is why he was trying to find a way to chide me. What if he was thinking of forcing me to do something later on! I mean making eye contact during sex is also very important; and, Canadian corporate companies tend to shove a whole lot of stuff about assaults and abuse under the rug. These kinds of sadistic moves are very common in Canada.

Now let us discuss how Manal’s warm words lack meaning inside my mind! According to Wikipedia, Princess Latifa is the daughter of the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. #FreeLatifa campaign is being run by the “UAE Civil and Criminal Justice Specialists”. According to the official website of #FreeLatifa campaign, Princess Latifa dissapeared on March 4th 2018 with the help of a French businessman and former navy officer Hervé Jaubert. She was caught with the help of the Indian Coast Guards and returned to Abu Dubai. The court issued a very brief statement that she is okay at her home, which is what tells me that we are dealing with someone who is highly narcissistic in nature. You can read some of my commentary in the blog post, “Please Help! Princess Latifa Of Dubai Is In Extreme Danger Please Help! Princess Latifa Of Dubai Is In Extreme Danger“. In this post, I have left a link to the “Human Rights Watch” page that discusses how women are mistreated in UAE.

Here are two quotes that tell you what this Princess thinks of the ruler of Abu Dubai and Prime Minister of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“I’ve been mistreated and oppressed all of my life,” she wrote one day, according to an email shared by Jaubert. “Women are treated like subhumans. My father … can’t continue to do what he’s been doing to us all.” Source: Missing Emirati princess ‘planned escape for seven years’

He’s the most evil person I’ve ever met in my life. He’s pure evil. There’s nothing good in him. He’s responsible for so many people’s deaths and ruining so many people’s lives.

He doesn’t care about anyone. Source: Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Princess Dubai Royal Family Full Video.

OK! I think that all the Peace conferences and meetings that are held in UAE from here onwards should invite the princesses and any other female members of the Royal Family and should involve them in discussions about Women Rights. Obviously after reading about Princess Latifa’s condition, I am not going to sit and derive lots of lessons from Abu Dubai’s Peace conferences.

Lastly, I must comment that Manal’s words were still a bit comforting. I mean it is very hard for colored women to be properly integrated and be respected in Canada; and, that is how Canadian communities and society are very unstable in nature. So it still helps to listen to what a foreigner is telling you.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

My Visit to Toronto 2018 Parliament of World’s Religions

My Story

Here are two reasons why I went to The Parliament of World’s Religions Toronto 2018 event.

Several years ago, when I was still in my twenties, I met a wonderful Chinese-Canadian woman. I was fresh from Pakistan where I had lived in a city that did not had Internet or libraries. I only had access to books from my school and one bookstore. That is all I had! As a result of this, I was not educated in Politics, Religions, and Global Issues. The only thing I learned in some detail was Islam and how Islam ties all humans as one brotherhood by declaring anti-racist statements. My Chinese-Canadian friend introduced me, just a little bit, to her religion Buddhism as well as some political issues. Our hearts were pure and young; and, we really loved and trusted each other. I wanted to learn from her; and, I promised her that one day I will make time to learn these things. However, I lost contact with her some years ago because she ran away from her hometown due to domestic abuse—she had always made sure that I never saw or met her close family members except for one uncle (safer person) because she was very scared of them and she did not want me to mix with them for some reason. She hid her plan to leave from me because she did not want me to feel any pain or injury; and, instead of telling me what was going to happen, she treated me to dinner and a heartfelt chat the night after she left forever. It was heartbreaking to lose someone so awesome! But, I needed to keep the promise I made with her simply because I felt that doing so is an appropriate way of celebrating a champion like L.C. She was telepathic just like me. I still remember doing a reading with her while sitting outside the North Building of University of Toronto Mississauga. She used to say, “Arzoo, let more and more people see you. They will fall in love with you”. She did a complete makeover of my thoughts and behaviour through her generous company and comments. L.C. is the reason why I find the current fights that are taking place between the Muslims and Buddhists meaningless.

The second reason for attending this transformative event is one of my lucid dreams. On Oct 28, I wrote the post “Dream of ‘Breaking Bread’ With Friends” in which I discussed how I dreamt of meeting Dr. Craig Considine and some of his friends. This lucid dream took place around a year before Oct 28, 2019; my precognitive dreams can take place several months and rarely some years before they are actually fulfilled. After seeing this dream, I felt sure that I will meet some great speakers at this particular event; and, that I must not miss. As a result of all this struggle, this dream was actualized on Nov 03; and, I wrote about on this on Nov 04.

Please journey further with me and learn about this spectacular event!

Morning Assemblies

Indigenous Peoples’ Assembly

Cree Nation’s National Chief Perry Bellegarde discussed five elements of self-identification: languages, lands, laws, people, and government. He said that language is vital for identity; and, that the Aboriginal nations have both rights and responsibilities. He stressed that there are two laws in Canada: Civil Law and Common Law. But, there is a third law that must be recognized: Creators Law/Natural Law/First Nations Law.

Margaret Lokawua of “Women Environmental Conservation Project” reviewed the sexual rights and health issues of indigenous women. She commented that the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) is essential for protecting and empowering of Indigenous women. She said that the women can revitalize their indigenous community, which includes working on existing problems including environmental issues.

Dr. Wilton Littlechild stated that there is a strong need to pay attention to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). He mentioned that there is a strong need for justice and reconciliation for the victims of the residential schools. Some principles of reconciliation that were identified by Dr. Littlechild are 1) UNDRIP;  2) constitutional and treaty rights of  First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people; 3) reconciliation through sharing, apology, and commemoration; action to address destructive impacts on Aboriginal society; 4) and revitalization and integration of the Aboriginal cultural revitalization, knowledge systems, histories, and laws.

The “Countering War, Hate & Violence” Assembly

Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana mentioned that religion shares love and inclusion, which is failing because extremists are using religions as tools to meet their own needs. He said that we can overcome this by exploring different traditions and religions. He said that he has taken his organization, OMNIA, to Northeastern Nigeria where he and his team has built 52 interfaith peacemaking teams. These groups are able to build power so that they can act collaboratively while working with those in the margins and building the contextual theologies that comes from below (not “top-down” but “bottom-up”).

Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam discussed several aspects of World Peace. One such facet around which peace is centered is human dignity. He said that humans have the right to live; right to have bodily integrity; right to have access to means needed for development including food, clothing, shelter, health care, rest, and social services.

Sakeena Yakubi, Founder and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and Afghanistan’s mother of education, shared a picture of the Afghanistan that existed around 40 years ago. She stated that 40 years ago,  Afghanistan was a beautiful and peaceful country. Afghanis could go anywhere they wanted to without feeling scared. They trusted everyone and everybody; thus they were free and fully enjoyed their freedom. But war has destroyed everything. Afghanis don’t trust others anymore because every day they have to deal with bomb threats and murders.

Plenaries

The “Faith and Interfaith: From Grassroots to Global” Plenary

Emcee Tarunjit Butalia introduced the plenary by offering greetings from various religions of this world. Some of the salutations included Native American greeting “To-hi-du-lit” (Good Peace of mind, body, and spirit); Jewish greeting “Shalom” (Hello, Peace); Baha’i greeting “Allah O’ Abha” (God is the most glorious); Hindu greeting “Namaste” (I salute the divinity in you); Islamic greeting “Assalam-u-Alaikum (May the peace and blessings of God be upon you); and, Christian greeting “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”.

Valarie Kaur of the “Revolutionary Love project” shared that she has always wanted her daughter to inherit a nation where women are believed. She stated that in the US a global trend is on the rise: far-right movements now have power and they are threatening democracy and human rights including women rights. She said that every day she asks the same question: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb. What if America is not dying but waiting to be born. What if a new world is waiting to be born?”

His Excellency, Cardinal Blasé Cupich, started his speech by bringing up the shooting that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018. He called for the healing of the victims of this shooting by emphasizing that people of all faiths are joined together in solidarity for this Anti-Semitic act. He noted that the younger generation is playing a crucial role in creating change in the society. He further reviewed how the world is using wars to settle conflicts; and, how it cares less about what is being left for the future generation while collecting all the reaped profits. Then, Cardinal Blasé Cupich continued discussing that the current economy, environment, and politics must be changed with the help of this world’s religions.

The Closing Plenary

John Troy, Mayor of Toronto, addressed the Closing Plenary with the message that underlying values of religions are the same; and, they have to do with treating people with dignity, respect, humanity, and compassion. He stressed the importance of bringing people together in this world where some people are trying to divide, cause conflict, and cause something that is worse than ideological or faith related conflict.

Bob Rae mentioned that we need to fully realize how destructive and terrible the power of hate is; and, we also need to understand the tragedy that religion has been used to give rise to as much hate as it has given to love. We have to fight and we must challenge those who are using faiths as instruments of hate and destruction.

Larry Greenfield stated that Religions of World must reverse the ways of tolerating inequality wherever it appears; discrimination on basis of race and gender; any other violations of human dignity; mistreatment of animals; destruction of Earth’s resources; and other movements that channel these processes.

Lectures

Lecture 1: Citizen Engagement: How Democracies Can Thrive in the Age of Populism

Speaker: John Ralston Saul

During his lecture, “Citizen Engagement: How Democracies Can Thrive in the Age of Populism”, John Ralston Saul provided some context that is required for one to become an engaged citizen. He said that the citizen is the source of legitimacy of state. It is not the constituency because emperors can lose their power if they are unable to help the people. Then, he compared nationalism, populism, and democracy. He stressed that the Citizen Model allows people to clean up the corruption by granting them power to do so.

Lecture 2: Faiths Rising with Global, Local Multi-Faith Environmental Leadership: Connecting with GreenFaith

Speakers: Fletcher Harper, Irene Woodard, Estrella Sainburg, Malik Saafir, Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, Gopal Patel, Kyle Lemel, and Nana Firman.

Green Faith interfaith coalition addresses environmental issues holistically. They discussed how they are building new policies, resources, and tools that will allow people of faith to act as engaged activists who are ready to change the environment. The speakers reviewed some religious teachings to show critical role of religion in saving the environment. They further discussed how Green Faith achieves its objectives by coordinating several campaigns and mobilizations ; e.g., “The Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice” that took place in New York in Sep, 2018.

Lecture 3: An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to the Christians of the World in the 21st Century

Speakers: Charles Upton, John Andrew Morrow, Jennifer Doane Upton, Abdul Malik Mujahid, and Craig Considine

The speakers are part of the Covenants Initiative that seeks to tell the world about how Prophet Mohammad of Islam formed covenants to protect the Christians. The speakers challenged the current Christians to oppose Islamophobia because the current Muslims are opposing how ISIS is slaughtering Christians and Muslims. One of the speakers quoted Prophet Mohammad: “And even as they honor and respect me, so shall Muslims care for [the Christians] as being under our protection and whensoever any distress or discomfort shall overtake them, Muslims shall hold themselves in duty bound to aid and care for them, for they are a people subject to my Nation, obedient to their word, whose helpers also they are”. To listen to the full lecture, click here.

You can visit the official website of Parliament of World’s Religions here; Twitter Account Updates and Live Feeds are available here.

I took some photos with the help of my cellphone simply because I broke my camera, Samsung Digital Camera (pink color), a while ago. Here is the movie of the event. Please enjoy!

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