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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Sami Rasouli

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?

A lasting peace and sustainable reconciliation between disputed parties cannot be attained unless the leaders of these parties see collaboration (even with former enemies) not as an abstract ideal or as an act of altruism, but rather as a matter of enlightened self-interest and sharing on common ground.
Indeed, the majority of parties that fight internal conflicts and then sign peace agreements remain fragile and often return to animosity after a period of time, despite the international community’s efforts to assist in post-conflict rebuilding. Conflicts addressed solely from a political and economic perspective tend to lead to repetition of the same negative behaviors and the same undesirable consequences.
Typically, peace agreements are the product of extensive external pressure on the conflicted parties. That pressure may in fact yield an agreement to sign a peace accord. However, there is no reason to believe that the signatories of such an externally-induced (or imposed) agreement see each other any differently the day after they have signed the agreement, or understand their conflict any differently. Nor is there any reason to believe that the leaders are any more willing to address the underlying structural inequities—economic and social inequalities, the political exclusion of one party or another—that gave rise to the conflict in the first instance.

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?

Policy-makers often speak of the “institutional” prerequisites of transparent, democratic governance: multiparty electoral competition, a separation of powers, the rule of law, a free and vigorous press, a universal Human Rights and the like. The policy dialogue, however, typically has a mechanistic quality and seems to reflect little appreciation of the dependence of institutions on the individuals that comprise their constituent elements. Indeed, institutional transformation requires in the first instance the personal transformation of individual leaders in the way they understand their conflict, in how they relate to one another, and in their capacity for collaborative decision-making.
The principal challenge in building peace, democracy, good governance programs and reconciliation, in all divided societies, lies not in abstract solutions, but rather in bringing key leaders together in a long-term process designed to resolve the tensions and mistrust that are the inevitable byproduct of conflict and war. This process must build (or rebuild) the capacity of leaders to work effectively together across all of society’s lines of ethnic and political division. Failing that, institutional transformation will have little substance and no sustainability.

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 is an essential element of the reconciliation process in general, but in the Arab culture, forgiveness stems from strong cultural norms of generosity. The Muslim Peacemaker Team is not a religious organization nor am I a religious person, therefore I do not promote “religion.” I promote peace and explain that Islam, as I was taught while spending half of my life within Arab-Muslim culture, is essentially about generosity (forgiveness) and oneness, the central teaching of Islam. Islam includes the oneness of the Creator, who forgives, the oneness of the Universe, which forgives, and the oneness of Humanity, which should forgive. For educational purposes I’m attaching information about “forgiveness in Islam.” Also, please find attached “Hadyain, Ameer and Forgiveness” story.

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?

Forgiveness as an act of generosity – a form of non-violence — should not require repentance from those to whom forgiveness is offered. Forgiveness should not come with conditions.
The structure and activities that I would like to suggest for a universal council on reconciliation, based on my experience working with reconciliation and forgiveness, are “The Four Agreements” concept. The ideas for this concept come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were ‘people of knowledge’ – scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy – material or ethereal – is derived from and governed by the universe. The “four agreements” wisdom is also found in Arab-Islamic teachings. Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, was published in 1997:

  • Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  • Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  • Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  • Agreement 4: Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

When one is fully armed with the four agreements, one is ready to be engaged with reconciliation and peacebuilding.
Still, reconciliation and peacebuilding involve a full range of approaches, processes, and stages needed for transformation toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships and governance modes and structures. Peacebuilding includes building legal and human rights institutions as well as fair and effective governance and dispute resolution processes and systems. To be effective, peacebuilding activities require careful and participatory planning, coordination among various efforts, and sustained commitments by both local and international participants. Peacebuilding essentially involves the transformation of relationships. “Sustainable reconciliation” requires both structural and relational transformations.
In a divided society, sustainable reconciliation will be attainable only when all key leaders of the society perceive themselves to be parts of the same national entity; when trust and relationships among key leaders are restored; when a new consensus has been built on the rules of the game, and when accepted and practiced modes of discourse encourage problem-solving rather than blame-throwing. These objectives are attainable, but only through a more holistic approach to peace and reconciliation-building — one that directly engages the mind-sets of key leaders of the society in a long-term training program directed at the building of collaborative capacity.

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