Senegal-World-Religion-Reflection

“One cannot desire peace and stir up what causes war”

APA - Dakar (Senegal)

In this article Maurice Soudieck Dione, research professor at Gaston Berger University (UGB) in Saint-Louis, Senegal, writes that caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed which French President Emmanuel Macron continues to defend are simply “unacceptable.”

Can we say everything and laugh at everything? Certainly not! In general, we say in Wolof wisdom (one of the main local languages of Senegal): “Fu jamm am suba bo ngoon nit a fa xam lu mu waxul” (Wherever there is peace from dawn to dusk, it is because someone knew how to keep quiet about something that he knows). We must therefore return to the ethics of discourse.

For the cartoons of the Prophet (Pbuh), specifically, freedom of expression is a constitutional freedom just like freedom of conscience and worship. 

So the deployment of freedom of expression must not undermine the enjoyment of freedom of conscience and worship.

In addition, the two freedoms do not fully flourish in the same areas. 

The area of predilection for freedom of expression is that of reason; but in religion, which is certainly also based on reason (Know me before you worship me; God speaks through signs to those who are endowed with intelligence), there are also aspects which escape reason, especially dogmas or the feeling of faith lived as an inner experience.

Besides, one cannot want peace and stir up what gives rise to war. 

In addition, terrorism would not be fought solely by force. 

Moreover, we must work on culture, mentalities and representations; and from this angle therefore handle religion and its symbols with thoughtfulness and prudence.

In the fight against terrorism, I published an article in which I distinguish between coercive power based on physical constraint and military violence which prove to be unsuitable, because of the terrorist conflict itself, as asymmetric warfare; and to which I oppose the thoughtful power, based on the dialogue of cultures and civilizations, in tolerance for peace. 

Ultimately, caricatures of the Prophet (Pbuh) are unacceptable.

 Because, as much as we are free to believe or not believe (no constraint in religion); as much as we are free to express ourselves, we must respect other people's faith. 

Otherwise we fall into devaluation and stigmatization, which do not promote coexistence. 

The President of the French Republic must be the first to ensure social peace and harmony in his nation, in all its components. 

May the Spirit of God descend upon the world and guide the thoughts and actions of human beings!

    

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