Friday, April 18, 2008

Peace Forum

The Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice organised another of its frequent Peace Forums at which I once again pleased to contribute. The Peace Forums discuss the origins and solutions for peace that exist in each of our religions - in this case from two Christian speakers and two Muslim speaker.
The event was held in the Sydney CBD - in the Sydney Mechanics School of the Arts in Pitt St, and the turn out - as well as the organisation - was excellent. In my case I focussed on the element of compassion in Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem - In the Name of God the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, which pious Muslims are required to say before they perform any act. Combined with this attitude of compassion are the rigorous guidelines of the Shariah - the comprehensive yet flexible parameters which have been debated and moulded over many centuries - a system which ensures security and justice while limiting the negative attractions of society - alcohol, gambling and adultery amongst others. There are also many initiatives being undertaken in all parts of the world, to bring about peace, a state of being that cannot exist without a concurrent feeling of justice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ethical Economics

I was fortunate to be invited to attend a luncheon with an ethical economics advocate in the person of Dr. Kamran Mofid - shown here third from the left - who is a renowned international speaker, academic and writer who spoke to an assembled group of business and faith community leaders at the premises of GHK Ferrier Green Krejci at the invitation of the Edmund Rice Centre. Dr. Kamran ( is passionate about the terrible ethical state of the world's population, the division between rich and poor, and is confident of the potential use of economics as a tool to bring about positive change. Of course, for most of us the economic drive is commonly seen as the ultimate cause of our consuming materialistic world, but Dr. Mofid is convinced that economics can equally be used as a tool to bring about meaningful change, if it is used in an ethical manner.
His talk was enlightening, well grounded in the reality of today's economic environment and challenging spiritually. Although a Christian and born in Iran, he has actively called to other faiths to work together in overcoming some of the greatest injustices to humanity that exist today. He is the co-convenor of the "Globalisation for the Common Good" conference in Melbourne and is due to speak along with Seyyid Mohammad Khatami. (