• isf2014 may 17 activity about tolerance

last modified May 19, 2014 by admin


Dear colleagues Hope this e- mail finds you well, the ISF secretarial is
honored to invite you to the deliberative meeting concerned with cultural
diversity and Peaceful coexistence, which will be held on Sat. the 17th May
2014 via skype at 10.00 am Iraqi time. Invitation is open to all activists
and specialists or individuals who are concerned with the following
aspects: a. Cultural diversity and civil peace. b. Cultural interaction and
coexistence between religions (interfaith dialogue). c. Intolerance and
negative conflict. d. Iraqi factions Problems that prevent them to coexist
with each other and that led to the migration of many. To participate in
this activity, please send an add request to the skype address: ali_ros87
Kind regards

Ali Saheb
Iraqi Social Forum Coordinator



instant Invitations

  • Ali invited Safwan Ngo, ghazi Martina Nadia, Pierre
  • Martina invited Olfa,batgirl, gershom.
  • Pierre invited raphaël Abdessalam Jason, Jennyka, khalil Fatima chris, ejoussour, Marti, marwa, nezrine, nouhed, Alice

[09:47:09] Pierre: (this written live interpretation from Nadia is about http://openfsm.net/projects/maghreb-mashrek/lists/maghreb-mashrek-discussion/archive/2014/05/1400061876985/forum_view( an activity held in the frame of Iraq social forum today Saturday May 17  in Baghdad)

[10:09:17] Ali photo of meeting room : https://www.facebook.com/iraqisocialforum/posts/693379624042290?notif_t=like



[09:10:48] Ali: Welcome, minutes after we will start

Nadia Hi all, I will be interpreting for you today

Pierre: hello Nadia thank you

 Nadia you're welcome P, we are still waiting for more participants

[09:16:18] Pierre: while we wait may be you can explain how it will work

[09:16:36] Nadia ok our colleague Ghailan is the major speaker, and our colleague Muhammed is facilitating, Ghailan has a paper to demonstrate on data show, deliberations will be afterwards

Pierre: so it is a public meeting held in Baghdad.and we are in a chat room where Nadia is giving written indication in English as the meeting proceeds?

Nadia there will be a call for translation I'm afraid I'm a slow typer in English, no video. Sorry

 Pierre: so will be hearing verbal interpretation through a oral teleconference ( while hearing the meeting in Arabic in the background),and we can comment by written in this chat room while we listen to Nadia 's interpretation(thanks Nadia)

Nadia facilitator is opening the session, speaking of why UN is celebrating educational diversity

Martina: Thanks for the explanations! Good morning from Italy, I wait for the call


[09:24:42] Nadia this is a call to celebrate diversity and tolerance, this is one activity of the ISF to celebrate the Educational Diversity week

Presenting Mr Ghailan about intolerance of the Iraqi society

Thank you all for being here, this is a major problem in Iraq where as in the world they've managed to accept each other we hope that together we can overcome this

Together we have this crisis in Iraq in order to make our society merge with in we will start with some definitions

What is the role of officials and intellectuals?

Tolerance is acceptance and respect for differences. it's not just a virtue, it is a duty as well and it is a tool for peace

Intolerance and hatred is the very opposite, it pushes society to negative directions: discriminations come in levels.Starts with small behaviors up to violent actions

Tolerance is dependent on individual thinking and behavior towards others

The hatred permid is divided into levels as well. The first level is prejudiced behavior. The next is that of prejudice, like sarcasm not just accepting I but performing it. Then it goes up to violent violations for human right. The upper level is brutal killing

Let’s talk about the pre imaging like when we hear about someone’s origin: we might have in our minds a pre image, we might know of some jokes about that ethnicity, I might think that he's dangerous. Expectations are divided into 4 sections

My expectation could be correct, incorrect which is very dangerous, i will do him injustice, it could be incorrect but I might not hurt him, it could be correct but leads me into trouble

How does this image come into our minds? If I heard that someone from Palestine bombed Baghdad, this Image will always be in my mind, because my memory is blank towards him, but if it happens again, media will concentrate now, my mind will work differently : if it happens again, my mind will not listen to reason. Anxiety is now fear, will come as a series of actions and reactions, fear will be persistent, and it will be against this "Palestinian

This will lead to violence

For example now we have this pre image against Jews, without taking into consideration that there are children or good individual

Even when violence subsides, the image still the same, so many social sciences worked on this violent cycle

I wish we can work this out at least with Iraqi intellectuals as a beginning so that we can change this tendency to violence in our society

This is similar to what happened for African- Americans, but now they are able to get over it there are many examples for experiences of violence that people were able to heal

But if incidents that repeat the violence cycle it wount be repeated from scratch it will be repeated very violently

In order to break the cycle we must create new culture. there should be restoration for national identity and we must gain legitimacy to our resistance to the hatred culture

In Iraqi society science, I only was able to find only two studies about this : we need more field studies to be made. There was a public opinion survey that we made

The question was: are you Fanatic the answer no was 23%. The other question was: is there a solution for Fanatic the answers were no 73%

Some of the people said that Fanatic is in our genes, the people who thought there were solutions for Fanatic, they thought that the solution is in violence!!!

One of them thought that the solution is in social justice, but we also need culture in addition to justice

During the survey, a picture of a solder pointing his gun to a child was shown then we divided the people in two samples A and B person from section A of the sample was asked : is this picture humanitarian? the answer was no, but when telling the same person that the solder was pointing his gun at a child from section B of the sample, the answer was: they deserve it. Asking about if high ranked officials can be from the other section, the answer was no 65%. Are you afraid from raids by the other section militia?: 67% yes

So how is Fanatic dangerous? It affects public peace, state construction, resources distribution\administration corruption development, political system and many other aspects

We can estimate the size of the problems we should measure. Monetary, providing solutions promote hatred, provide solutions, and tolerance..The problem lies in Criticism, whereas the solution is in tolerance

We need more input to construct a public opinion for tolerance.it is important to measure the presence of hatred in our society and try to measure the tolerance culture; there are so many Criticism publications, but so little tolerance publications. Civil society worked hard for tolerance, and there are many recommendations but they are not activated. All these recommendations are about behaviors and not in culture, but people who are working in hatred culture were inducing hatred culture and education. This took less effort to induce huge violent behaviors

It is not enough to collect different people and ask them to say draw together, this will have an effect in bringing them together, but to a short range, but if we start to give them thoughts and education that will bring them together, it will have much more effect

What to do??? it is important to have new educational input. the officials and media are not efficient and not neutral. We need academic intellectuals that can build tolerance culture in society, without provoking any part of society, we should build a positive relations between different components of society

[10:15:28] Nadia Pierre Pls, can you start a call I can't keep up writing

Pierre: (:) thanks Nadia) please everyone put your mike in mute so we are not disturbing Nadia while she speaks

*** Appel terminé, 01:09 ***

Martina: Nadia, maybe you can just sum up the main concepts, and write us a post every 3 minutes if the connection doesn't work

Pierre: ( yes Nadia writen is a more practical solution and you have done very well so far...)

 [10:18:54] Nadia OK. …. he is talking about what the society of hatred looks like and what we need to change this: we need to find good relations between intellectuals and decision makers. This will change the society completely if decision makers listen to intellectuals.

This was what changed things in south of Africa, It is not Nelson Mandela who started this. Nelson was the one who listened, and was convinced and made the change. it was a bunch of activists who made his quite armed resistance which led to his release thus made the change and he kept listening to intellectuals and started negotiations with the white society, but brfore that there was a great Chaos... that gradually subsided to a stable society

So the lesson is to create a level of intellectuals that can make officials listen, and there are many elements to create this level

So we need inputs which are scientific studies and lessons to be taken from other experiences around the world

Two girls from Sweden created an organization to publish tolerance, but they were killed by a Somalian. Their father dropped the case against him because he thought that the Swedish society made this Somalia a victim to intolerance

The Speaker ended his presentation


deliberations will begin now. Anybody wants to say something?

 [10:31:18] Martina: shall I write my question?

[10:31:31] Nadia yes but wait for your turn pls :) our colleague Yahya is talking about intolerance

it's definition. It relates to psychology and depends on the individual background. Family plays a definite role, parents teacher

the question is: is intolerance a psychological sickness??

Fauzi is talking : since 2003 till now so many things changed in our society. before 2003 we had no intolerance?? we should study the reasons that made this change??We think that a civil state is the solution; the national ID will bring peace and prosperity to our society

The reasons for intolerance in our society are so many, the Iraqi issue is special and we need to study our own problems

A participants is asking: there is a religious occasion approaching and there are roads that are blocked by the people who are celebrating it. is that a form of violence? They are affecting the rest of us, and they are preventing us from living our normal life, like going to work

Mrs. Fatin is saying :this new culture that you are suggesting needs lots of work, and it will be a long hard rough way. We should commit to it and those who believe in tolerance should all come together, and join efforts and should start this culture from Kindergarten and mothers as well

Mr. Ahmed: the survey said that 77% are Fanatics. Even if we change Curriculum in schools it is really hard to change society. The question is : do we have to wait a whole generation to pass till we can overcome it

Another participants: we should work on parents and teachers, these are the people who are affecting our generations. the Censorship is very weak on what the ministry of education is doing to our kids

[10:47:58] Nadia martina pls type your question

[10:48:01] Martina: This is Martina from Italy, President of Un ponte per… and member of Secretariat of Al-Mubadara Iraq. Thanks a lot for the very interesting presentation and the excellent translation. You may know there is an Arab Network for Tolerance, composed by NGOs from six Arab countries (Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine). It is a regional network established by the Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies in June 2008 (registered in 2012) to serve as a forum where activists, academics, media professionals and youth can come together to identify new strategies for improving tolerance and the human rights situation in the region. It may be good if an Iraqi organization joined the network, also to brainstorm and discuss about ways to favor the exchange between intellectuals and politicians, which is key to make a change. Maybe the Iraqi Social Forum could propose to the new Iraqi government to found an Iraqi Council for Tolerance, where intellectuals and key politicians could meet once a month to develop positive cultural policies, like developing educational activities on tolerance to be done in all Iraqi schools. See more on the Arab Network at: http://www.annalindhfoundation.org/members/arab-network-tolerance. If you are interested please let me know, since Un ponte per… is developing a project with this network right now.

[10:48:11] Nadia thank you. Mr Hussam is saying :after that change happened in Iraq, we thought that we can still live together in tolerance, but what happened shows that it was planned for Iraq to be torn with crisis, ethnic ones because they know that if Iraq is a stable country, society will build up quickly. He was in an economic conference and there someone asked him, :and this was back at 2004, when situation was stable there. He asked: will there be a civil ware in Iraq???

Martina, People here are appreciating your suggestions and thanking you for it. They are really interested and will contact you after this meeting. Coordination will be through ISF

[10:57:42] Martina: (handshake)great, perfect

[10:58:23] Ali: (handshake)

[10:58:56] Nadia a participant is asking: what is the relation between the education of tolerance and the freedom of speech. Since freedom of speech and work both ways because it also can produce intolerance culture

Mr. Mohammed is saying that the history of Iraqi tribes is armed, and also after the war with Iran, people are trained to use weapons and they are familiar with killing, so violence has a history in Iraq, and is not coming from scratch, but Iraq is a mix of different religions and cultures, maybe if we tell Iraqis of how much the Iraqi Jewish gave to the Iraqi culture and society. So I say if we Know those famous people who we love and respect are from different backgrounds, our intolerance will be reduced

Another speaker: Iraqis who came with the occupation have weak sense of belonging to Iraq, and most of those are decision makers, and are corrupting our society

[11:07:45] Nadia the session is ending thank you for staying with us

Martina: thanks to you!

Ali: thanks to all

Nadia we are now talking about the coming two seminars the session is over; bey bey bey

ghazi السلام عليكم جميعا ناسف لعدم المشاركة لكون مولدة المنطقة اشتغلت الان

 نتمنى المشاركة في المرات القادمة متمنيا لكم ايضا النجاح والموفقية

Martina: bye!

Pierre: bye and thanks Nadia, i propose to collect your translation in a text so it can be published in Iraq social forum spac