London 2005 “Non-violence : a choice"

Monday, 4 July, 2005

From the 4th to 10th July 2005, the International Sufi School organised a one week exhibition-conference on the theme ‘Non Violence: A choice’. This call to non violence was celebrated at Goldsmiths College in London.

Among its partners, the event collaborated with organisations like the Gandhi Foundation, the Quakers, members of the Baha’I Faith, members of the Emir Abdel Kader Foundation who participated in conferences.

Objectives of Non violence: a choice

Peace building and educating individuals seeking the path to non violence is the vocation of the International Sufi School. The exhibition-conference also supported the initiative of the United Nations which declared the first decade of the 20 th century “Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World (2000-2010)”.

The purpose of the exhibition-conference was to show the way to sustainable peace in our modern world. We demonstrated that the path of non violence is a choice that relies on each and every individual seeking peace and a peaceful society. 

We presented the lives and work of eminent peace makers that marked the world’s peace initiatives like M.K Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, HH the Dalai Lama, Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, Emir Abdel Kader,  Baha 'U'llah and Abdul' Baha,  Martin Luther King Jr, William Penn, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa and more contemporary peace personalities like Sister Emmanuelle, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Yunus Mohammed or Jody Williams who inspired our approach. Their common path towards peace building allowed us to develop ‘The initiatory way to peace’. 

Research on peace makers

Former to this exhibition-conference, the International Sufi School conducted research on the lives and work of these eminent peacemakers in collaboration with the Research Institute of Human and Social Sciences for Peace Promotion. 

Our research brought to light the common path among these peace makers. This enabled us to develop ‘The initiatory way to peace’ – a 12 step pathway that every individual treading on the path of non violence should practice in order to build peace and reform in society. 

How did the peace makers proceed? 

We concluded that they were able to bring peaceful change and reform in societies of violence through a conscious choice: the choice to live a non violent alternative and to commit themselves to their ideal of peace. The 12 steps way to peace showed that they first arose from their conditioning, embodied non-violent virtues and qualities, acted in conscience and addressed problems of their respective society by proposing non violent alternatives to heal societies from violence.

About the Initiatory Way to Peace

The commonality in the approach of peace makers is what we summarise in the 12 fundamental steps of The initiatory way to peace. In this perspective, the peace personalities we studied are living examples that serve as inspiration to us. 

What all peace personalities demonstrate is: if you are seeking sustainable inner peace and change in society, you need to tread a pathway that leads you to this ideal. 

Awakening individuals’ consciousness to peace holds a fundamental part in the School. We promote the initiatory way to peace  to individuals seeking peace by creating awareness to non violence through discussions, seminars, conferences and workshops worldwide. 

Significant events during the exhibition week

July 2005, in the heart of London, the International Sufi School was resolutely calling for non-violence and peaceful change through its universal message of love, tolerance, respect, peace and service to the whole of humanity.

This exhibition week was marked by significant events like the Live8with the ambition to make poverty a history. The huge humanitarian concert gathered hundreds of rock stars willing to raise people's awareness to poverty in the world.

On the 7th July 2005 the G8 gathered in Scotland to decide on the world's economic future. Down in London, commuters were caught in the inferno of bombings, trapped between fear, anguish, sorrow, anger, despair and a deep sense of powerlessness. 

International Sufi School's Peace Day is declared

In the light of these significant events which show the pressing need for us to focus all our efforts and energies towards peace building, the International Sufi School has declared the 7th July its ‘Peace Day'. All the branches of the International Sufi School celebrate its annual Peace Day. Contact our branch in your country for more information.