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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Barakat Fawzi Hasan

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

In my opinion, focusing on the political and economic aspects while neglecting the other aspects as that of moral, ethical, spiritual and social values, will, no wonder, lead to the failure of such negotiations, or give them a very limited scale of success.
It is well known that negotiations are run between conflicting countries so as to reach agreements for the happiness of their peoples and to allow peace and acceptance prevail among them. Naturally, the results of such negotiations will be positively or negatively reflected not only on these countries but also on their peoples, too.
As a result, it is of great importance that the results of these negotiations should be connected and related to the needs and aspiration of these peoples.
Naturally, this will greatly affect their religious beliefs, habits, traditions, their social values, morals and cultures. So any consequences that neglect such basic aspects in the lives of peoples will not encourage them to support or adopt these results. A lively example can be seen in the Arab Israeli conflict. It is not an easy task to put aside the religious dimension which formed from the beginning a focal point in that conflict. Clearly, Jerusalem with its religious importance still stands the main obstacle in the resolution of this conflict.
Moreover, norms and ethics play a very important role in this conflict. Peoples adhere to and strongly defend their ethics, norms, and tradition. As a result, it is very much difficult to make them accept resolutions that do not give weight to these norms.
To conclude, reaching final solutions in any conflict would be very difficult if religious convictions and beliefs of peoples at conflict are not taken into consideration. Any of these resolutions not based on the consideration of the system of values and norms will collapse.
True reconciliation is not that reached by countries on political and economic interest. On the contrary, it is the one adopted by the peoples of these countries and that certainly ensures the dominance of justice, forgiveness, and reconciliation among the peoples of these countries.
Countries many come to terms, but what we really need is the forgiveness, and reconciliation built among peoples themselves.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

It should be taken for granted that any conflict resolution attempts must consider the interests of both struggling sides. However, there are other important things that should also be taken into consideration as that of ensuring justice and dignity for everyone involved in the process. It is not allowed or fair to reach resolution regardless of the dignity of the peoples or other parties.
Achieving dignity, justice, security and peace, and considering norms and beliefs are of paramount importance and should be greatly considered. Fore example, solving the Arab Israeli conflict requires considering these issues and the parties affected by the decisions taken. Palestinians living in Israel or in Arab neighboring countries or even in Israeli territories.
On the other hand, any conflict to be solved would fail if not based on the already established matrix of human values based on justice, equality and consideration. For example, the policy of imposing orders and using force to oblige the other party accept the situation will certainly lead just to temporary resolutions and not based on what people aspire.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

Forgiveness it the basis for achieving reconciliation. In the absence of this, no chances of success would appear. Moreover, religion and beliefs, customs and culture play an important role in this respect. Sometimes, the habits and traditions stand as an obstacle against reaching a reconciliation based on forgiveness. For example, the Arabs before the advent of Islam believed strongly in revenge from the killer and his family. They resent themselves in case they do not take revenge. Islam came to launch war against such beliefs and worked hard to demolish this habit, seeking justice and forgiveness. Moreover, it worked hard to educate people the principle of acceptance and forgiveness and to do good for others.
Quran expresses that it is natural for peoples to have differences. In so many verses of the Quran, reasons conflict are clearly stated, but it also confirms that religion should solve the problems and to put an end to conflicts and struggles. Allah (God) sent prophets as preachers boding well and as warrens against evil. “He (the Almighty) sent revelations of the holy book, for the benefit of all humans to state what’s right and settle disputes among people on the basis of justice”. “Al-Bakara:213
Quran in so many places also called for reconciliation and forgiveness and to end conflicts peacefully. It considers this as a way of worshipping Allah and a way for gaining Allah’s rewards as stated, “Reconciliation is better”. “Al-Nissa:12” And as stated in “Al-anfal:61”,“And if they abide for peace , follow them”.
Quran also stated methods of reconciliation in so many verses. It also stated the basis for that. These can be in: forgiveness between rivals .as shown in: “If you forgive and excuse, in that will be a sign of fearing Allah”. “Al-Bakara:237”., realizing justice, benevolence for others, considering and consulting others, belief in brotherhood among humans, recognition of the other and contact him/her through dialogue.
Prophet Mohammad “peace Be upon Him {PBUH}” gave so many bright examples in this respect with his followers as well as with his opponents and enemies. He, {PBUH}, strongly advocated that achieving reconciliation and forgiveness between rivals is preferable to God than fasting, praying and giving alms.

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

If the mistaken admits committing his mistake and expresses repentance, this will be the shortest way to achieve reconciliation and forgiveness. This is very important especially when it is related to others dignity, the confiscation of their properties or the harm of their beliefs. It is not easy to reach true forgiveness and reconciliation while the other is occupying your land and steals what you own, or say wrong about your doctrine. It is sound that rights should be given back to their original owners, to confess doing wrong and to ask forgiveness. These are real steps towards the realization of true forgiveness and reconciliation. This means that reconciliation and forgiveness are great values that we should adore and foster in the individual as well as in the society. It should be an adopted behavior. Without that, our life becomes difficult and harsh.
Based on your experience on working with reconciliation and forgiveness, what are the structure and activities you would offer for a universal council or reconciliation?
Our message at the Jerusalem Center for Studies & Islamic Media is based on enhancing and fostering norms, ethics and high ideals and working on realizing equality, justice, acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation among all humans. This is the real message of Islam and this is what we preach for in our center. So, there is no wonder, the staff of the center are professors in religious education and doctrine in the Palestinian universities.
Some of our activities can be summarized in the following:

  1. Holding meetings and seminars every month to discuss issues of reconciliation and forgiveness and the means of applying and realizing them.
  2. Emphasizing the principles of forgiveness and reconciliation through lectures at universities.
  3. Through the two religious programs presented by me live on Palestine Satellite Channel(PSC), many issues related to forgiveness and reconciliation might be discussed and highlighted
  4. Holding a conference in Palestine in cooperation and coordination with the Council of Forgiveness & Reconciliation to discuss issues of forgiveness and reconciliation from a religious perspective.
  5. Participation in meetings and workshops organized by the Council of Forgiveness & Reconciliation on reconciliation
  6. Conducting studies and research works on forgiveness and reconciliation with regard to Palestinian Israeli conflict.
  7. Conducting studies and research works, and holding meetings with regards to forgiveness and reconciliation ( Muslims , Christians, Fateh, Hamas )
  8. Publishing brochures and pamphlets on such topics.
  9. Holding meetings and interviews on local TV Channels.
  10. Organizing meetings and conferences with regional centers and institutions to discuss these topics.
  11. Writing essays in local, Arab and international newspapers to foster and enhance the principles of forgiveness and reconciliation adopted and encouraged by Islam.

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