FR. FAYSAL HIJAZEN: OUR COMMUNITY IS BASED ON COEXISTENCE AND ACCEPTING AND RESPECTING THE OTHER

04-03-2015  08:12

 

FR. FAYSAL HIJAZEN: OUR COMMUNITY IS BASED ON COEXISTENCE AND ACCEPTING AND RESPECTING THE OTHER


Jerusalem: On behalf of all our Christian schools in Palestine, the General Secretariat of the Christian Educational Institutions offers it condolences to the administration, staff and students of Martyr Damiana School, and through them, to the Coptic church and the whole Egyptian population, on the tragic martyrdom of 21 Copts at the hands of ISIS terrorists ,and express its revulsion at the savage and barbaric act, asserting that it is a crime against humanity and human rights and dignity.


Those martyrs left their homeland to seek a living abroad. They kept up their faith and offered their lives for their religion, and preferred to die rather than deny Christ. We assert that they are not at all dead, but that they have passed to the real and eternal life, to the glories of heaven where their saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ awaits for them. Congratulations to the martyrs on gaining paradise, and felicitations to the Copts on the martyrdom of their children and on the solidity of their faith.


We, in our capacity as general secretariat of the Christian educational associations, strongly denounce this crime against humanity and against the Egyptian people in general and the Coptic Church in particular.
“He who keeps silent on what is right is a dumb devil.”


Where do our educational institutions stand from protecting our society from extremism? We, as educationalists, assert to all that the schools and the universities play an essential role in fighting terrorism. Several questions should be asked here : Do we, in schools in our country , raise our children on openness and on respecting the thoughts and religious beliefs of the others? Are our curricula in line with the approach of accepting the other, or do they contribute to extremism and lead to terrorism? Isn’t there intentional negligence of the Christians and the Christian history in the history books? Do we, in our curriculum, call the Christian “infidel”, and consider him polytheist at the time when he is monotheist. Do our curricula urge us to kill the other or do they corroborate that life is a gift of God and He is its master, and that when we decide to kill a person, we put ourselves in God’s place?....and many other questions.


Let’s awake from our stumble, and let’s first of all begin with upgrading our curricula with what is proportional to the values of openness and respecting the religion of the other , his human rights, dignity and life. We call upon the Ministry of Education to develop a curriculum of courses designed to enhance accepting the other the way he is, and not condemn those who belong to a different religion, or thought, or party affiliation. We also call for teaching human rights in our schools and the culture based thereof. I hope that, by the grace of God, and through our educational institutions, we will be able to create persons who live side by side with their fellow men who differ from them, and to build a society based on coexistence, accepting and respecting the other. A society that respects the individual human being.

 

Fr. Faysal Hijazen,The secretary general