Salam in Arabic means peace and Asalam Alaykum is a Muslim greeting which means "Peace be upon you". To be at peace means letting go of anger, hate, resentment, fear and mistrust. One whose memory dwells on past injuries cannot be at peace. Peace must begin in the human heart and this is a fitting greeting to any human being on the face of the earth.
President Obama has well summarized the lack of peace between the West and the Muslim world thus: "The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam."
How is peace to be restored in the world?
President Obama in his Cairo speech to the Muslim world on on June 4, 2009, has challenged humanity to work for peace.
1. Terrorism or the killing of the men, women, and children must be rejected. This means that extremist must be isolated and unwelcomed by Muslim nations. Peace cannot be restored solely by military force but also by helping those in need to build up their economies.
2. The aspirations
of the both Israeli and Palestinians must be met by the creation of two states
where they can live in peace. This means that Israel must stop building settlements
in Palestinian territory and Palestinians must stop the shelling of Israel
and killing Israelites.
3. "The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons." This means that nuclear weapons must be ultimately eliminated from the face of the earth. It also means that those nations that do not have such weapons give up the dream to build or obtain them. A nuclear bank must be established where nations can get nuclear energy for peaceful use.
4. The fourth issue he addressed was democracy. "So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other." But regardless of what form of government each nation chooses the people must have some say in the government and the government must respect human rights and govern with justice.
5. The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom." People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul."
6. "The sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice.
"All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings."
people of the world can live together in peace.
We know that is God's vision.
Now, that must be our work here on Earth.
And may God's peace be upon you."