September 26, 2005
About 25 persons including 9 delegates from Pakistan met today to discuss the role of religion and education to bring peace in the world.
The delegation from Pakistan was very much interested in how URI could create safe space for dialogue, the various projects that URI is doing around the world for peace, justice, and healing the Earth, and possibilities for building more interfaith cooperation.
The Pakistan delegation shared with us that President George Bush was more feared in their country and the Arab world for a number of reasons. They included:
1. Many Arab governments were working to please George Bush at the expense of the needs of their own people.
2. Osama Bin Laden has never been convicted of anything in any court.
3. Many believe that Osama Bin Laden is a fictional character that does not exist.
When many in the Utah URI group shared that an increasing number of Americans were not pleased with the Bush Presidency especially the war in Iraq, the Pakistan group then wondered why he was elected as the American President.
During the discussion a brief break was taken to see a demonstration of the new Vizufon where members of the group were able to see a call from British Columbia, Canada come through a telephone and then be projected on a large screen TV for the entire group to see the person calling and hear his message.
The possibilities of every URI CC having a phone like this to communicate with each other around the world where exciting to all.
The Pakistan group also were very curious as to why Americans had such suspicion re: Islam and were quite interested in sharing their perception of Islam to the group.