SUPPORTING YOUNG SYRIANS WHO SAY “STOP THE KILLING!”
By René Wadlow
In early May 2012, there were particularly deadly explosions in Damascus, the capital of Syria, an escalation of a conflict which began over a year ago with nonviolent protests but which spilled over into violence, refugee displacements, and ever deeper division among the people of Syria.
For the moment, the efforts of the League of Arab States and the United Nations have not been able to establish good-faith negotiations or even a permanent ceasefire. Therefore a group of young nonviolent Syrians have created a movement “Stop the Killing,” not related to a political party or a confessional religious group, but which wishes to unite those of good will to stop the violence and to develop a society in which all can contribute.
Therefore, we who are outside Syria, send our support and willingness to cooperate.
I believe in you, and I believe in your destiny.
I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an ancient dream, a song, a prophecy which you can proudly lay as a gift of gratitude to those working for a just resolution of the current conflicts.
I believe that it is in you to be good citizens.
And what is it to be a good citizen?
It is to acknowledge the other person’s rights before asserting your own, but always to be conscious of your own.
It is to be free in word and deed but it is to know that your freedom is subject to the other person’s freedom.
It is to know that killing will never bring a society of justice and harmony. A just and nonviolent society is the fruit of wisdom and love. Therefore let love, human and frail, command the coming day.
Rene Wadlow, a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and of its Task Force on the Middle East, is President and Chief Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva of the Association of World Citizens.