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Building Peace And Justice - Wendi Momen

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Power point slide of Dr.Wendi Momen presentation in New Zealand - December 2009 (Auckland).

Text of Building Peace And Justice - Wendi Momen

  • 1. Building Peace in Pursuit of Justice A Bah Approach Parliament of World Religions Melbourne December 2009


  • The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbour. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behoveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My lovingkindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

3. What is justice? OED definitions

  • the judicial administration of law or equity
  • the quality of being just
  • an administrator of justice

4. The judicial administration of law or equity

  • the maintenance of legal, social, or moral principles by the exercise of authority or power; assignment of deserved reward or punishment; giving of due deserts

5. The quality of being just

  • quality or fact of being just;
  • (the principle of) just dealing or conduct;
  • integrity, impartiality, fairness.
  • theological definition: the state of being righteous, righteousness
  • and conformity (of an action or thing) to moral right or to reason, truth, or fact.

6. An administrator of justice

  • People, e.g. judges, magistrates

7. The judicial administration of law or equity

  • Bah'u'llh refers to the maintenance of social order through justice:
  • O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to the world.

8. Responsibility of governments to maintain order through justice

  • God hath committed into your hands the reins of the government of the people, that ye may rule with justice over them, safeguard the rights of the downtrodden, and punish the wrongdoers. If ye neglect the duty prescribed unto you by God in His Book, your names shall be numbered with those of the unjust in His sight.

9. Justice as giving of due deserts

  • . . . bounty is giving without desert, and justice is giving what is deserved.
  • . . . for the God of love is also a God of justice and each man must inevitably reap what he sows.
  • . . . to give every one his due is justice.

10. The quality of being just: fairness

  • Equity is the most fundamental among human virtues. The evaluation of all things must needs depend upon it.
  • Observe equity in your judgement, ye men of understanding heart! He that is unjust in his judgement is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man's station.

11. An administrator of justice

  • Had they acted [according to what they knew] they would not have been heedless of the light of the Sun of Justice.

12. Manifestation: manifestation of divine justice, personification of God's justice in the world

  • . . . the Manifestations of Divine justice, the Day Springs of heavenly grace, have . . . appeared amongst men. . .

13. Justice and the individual :Nature of the human being

  • human reality stands . . . between the world of the animal and the world of Divinity
  • Therefore, we say that man is a reality which stands between light and darkness. From this standpoint his nature is threefold: animal, human and divine. The animal nature is darkness; the heavenly is light in light.

14. True station of the individual

  • . . . the station conferred upon their own inmost being, the station of the knowledge of their own selves.
  • Say: no man can attain his true station except through his justice.

15. How to be just

  • Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the AllSeeing.
  • The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice, is for man to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye.

16. Justice is a spiritual quality to be developed

  • The development of such qualities is both a prerequisite of peace within oneself and the result of such peacefulness.
  • Bah'u'llh calls us to the heights of selfsacrifice, to a breadth of vision, to confident hope, creative joy, uncompromising integrity, exemplary discipline and inward peace.

17. Achieving such qualities

  • detach himself from all who are in the heavens and on the earth,and renounce all save God.
  • when he hath inscribed upon his soul that which We have vouchsafed unto him of the quintessence of inner meaning and explanation, he will fathom all the secrets and
  • God shall bestow upon his heart a divine tranquillity and cause him to be of them that are at peace with themselves.

18. Peace & justice in the individual

  • The person at peace within himself or herself is in the best position to appreciate the complexities of society and ensure that justice prevails in his life and in the environment around him.
  • She who acts with justice inher life and who seeks to establish justice in her environment is most likely to be at peace with herself.

19. Purpose of personal justice

  • that people may be fair, and may strive to provide for the comfort of all, that each member of humanity may pass his life in the utmost comfort and welfare. Then this material world will become the very paradise of the Kingdom, this elemental earth will be in a heavenly state and all the servants of God will live in the utmost joy, happiness and gladness. We must all strive and concentrate all our thoughts in order that such happiness may accrue to the world of humanity.

20. Linking personal justice and inner peace with global justice and international peace

  • Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, goodwill and friendliness . . . should they be unjust toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you attract them to yourselves, should they show their enmity be friendly towards them, should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores.

21. Justice as the organising principle of society

  • Justice, then, is the practical expression of awareness that, in the achievement of human progress, the interests of the individual and those of society are inextricably linked.

22. Justice and Equality

  • Bah' texts suggest that while everyone is a person and is therefore equal and should therefore be dealt/treated in an even-handed - equal - way, the outcome of such equal treatment will not be the same for each person, as otherwise there would be no justice. Justice requires that one person does not receive the same reward for doing nothing as another person receives for doing something.

23. Justice and the evolving world society

  • The world is presently engaged in a struggle to emancipate itself from practices, attitudes and behaviours developed in an earlier period of its maturity, when its social relations were dramatically different from today and when social interaction for most was at the level of the family, village or town.

24. The emerging global society

  • Many of the current political issues facing humanity reflect the conflict between an emerging globalized society and those who wish to control that emergence in particular ways. Some have called this a clash of civilizations but it is just as true to call it a clash within civilizations. Bahs see this as the deathpangs of the old order and the birthpangs of the new, the emergence of a new civilization based on divine teachings.

25. Justice as the organising principle of society :the oneness of humanity and world citizenship

  • The fundamental spiritual truth of our age is the oneness of humanity. Universal acceptance of this principle with its implications for social and economic justice, universal participation in nonadversarial decisionmaking, peace and collective security, equality of the sexes, and universal education will make possible the reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind.

26. Justice, peace and unity

  • Justice is the one power that can translate the dawning consciousness of humanity's oneness into a collective will through which the necessary structures of global community life can be confidently erected.
  • The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men.

27. The concept of world citizenship

  • encompasses the principles of social and economic justice, both within and between nations; nonadversarial decisionmaking at all levels of society; equality of the sexes; racial, ethnic, national and religious harmony; and the willingness to sacrifice for the common good. Other facets of world citizenship . . .promote human honour and dignity, understanding, amity, cooperation, trustworthiness, compassion and a desire to serve.

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