Peace Inwards And Outwards, Within And Without

The Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, may share the same lineage, but they were never strangers to conflicts among themselves. The genocide in Gaza, which we are witnessing in real time, garnered the entire world’s attention. Everyone, well, almost everyone is wishing for peace, and among those who went online to express their heartfelt desire, one caught our attention… 

Towards the weekend, my editor sent me this clip and asked me if I could write something out of it. Both of us share (sometimes bombard) posts on Facebook, especially on the genocide committed by Israel in Gaza (now they have set their vicious sights on Rafa).

@matthewcooke

#freepalestine #freeisrael #freeamerica #usa Yesterday, at least 232 Palestinians were killed in Israeli air attacks on the Gaza Strip according to medical sources, launched after a Hamas terror attack against Israel. At least 250 Israelis have been killed. Hamas, which runs Gaza, said its offensive is a response to the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told residents of the besieged enclave to “leave now”, saying Israel’s forces “will turn all Hamas hideouts into rubble”. Residents of Gaza cannot leave. They have nowhere to go.

♬ original sound – Matthew Cooke – Matthew Cooke
Documentary filmaker Matthews Cooke ruminating aloud the element of peace found in the three Abrahamic religions.

I am not familiar with this guy, but his Twitter handle was his name, and he has an official site, www.matthewcooke.com, and he is a documentary filmmaker, among others.

Message of Peace

Cooke’s message was the usual one, of peace. But I understand why my editor was touched—the writer/director spoke eloquently about the three Abrahamic religions, the factors that unite the three, and also included Buddha and Hinduism for a greater measure.

Here are some of the things he noted:

“I think it was the idea, the guidance of what’s now called Islam … and Christianity and Judaism came from three people after each fasted for a month, to reduce influence of this material world. To leave themselves empty. To receive something from the highest good, which they did.”

Each had revelation that human beings should not associate anything physical or that springs from desire, of self-interest, with an unfathomable all-encompassing ones, God, Yahweh, All, which all mean the same things, regardless of the religion or tradition. A word that means, “that which is everything”. That which surrounds and exists inside and outside all that exists.

Mentioning the likes of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Prophet Muhammad (PBH), Cooke said they came in successions because “the world was not listening to the sibling who had come prior.”.

“It turns out all the children of humanity are also completely compatible with Gauthama Buddha, who reminded humankind that our attachment to material things will lead to suffering,” he noted, adding that it is also compatible with Hinduism, which advised that humankind must be aware of our karma, which can simply be interpreted as “that which we hate, we become, and that which we love, loves us back.”

Peaceful Co-Existence

Cooke speaks for many of us. But Cooke and those yearning for the days of peaceful co-existence between many faiths and races should come to Malaysia.

When the founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, set out to work for our country’s independence, he consulted the community leaders and brought them along during the negotiations. He also benefits from the culture of these races, not religion, for the peace-loving Malays had no issues accepting hordes of Indian labourers or the settling Chinese migrants in this country.

I firmly believe that if the Malays had been some warring tribes that gargled blood before breakfast, Indians and Chinese would probably just be found at the embassy offices. The Malays are the pizza base for many fillings. But now, thanks to intermarriages, we have the Mamaks, Babas, and Nyonyas. Every family has someone who has married someone from another racial or religious background. It’s difficult to hate someone of another race or religion because he or she could be related to us, for heaven’s sake.

Yes, those damned westerners and that puny country in the Middle East with the worst serial killer with traumatic past syndrome should look at us. Sure, our neighbouring country (the island of Singapore) too has those three ingredients. And I have not even mentioned Sabah and Sarawak and all the colours they bring to the canvas.

Focus

Cooke ends his clip thus: “May we focus on the job we have in front of us, which among others at this time, is to always speak and act and vote against violence, and against all those sins so clearly described by our mothers and fathers. May we devote ourselves to peace outwardly and inwardly, for as long as they are wars in ourselves, there will be war in the world.“

Malaysia has had some issues in the past; a couple of race riots and lots of tensions between the races often would just end up as newspaper headlines and disappear come the festive seasons. We may squabble like siblings, have tensions like relatives, and be dissatisfied with each other like neighbors of different economic backgrounds.

Only, we don’t bomb their houses and kill their children. – NMH

Also read:

This New Year It Is Time To Reflect Upon Ourselves And Palestine
Gaza: Crimson-Tinted Brands And Their Roles In The Genocide

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