I’ve been reflecting on a most interesting speech, by a great American General and President, a tremendous man to whom we in Britain and Europe owe in great part, our 20th Century deliverance from Nazi aggression.
While the Soviet Union is thankfully no more, the “Chance for Peace” speech by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower resounds just as strongly with us today. As a Human Family, we must grasp the Chance of Peace and not throw it away yet again, through more wars that only destroy the lives, dreams and prosperity of everyone.
To ensure the future well-being of their own people, nations need to work together, mutually reducing armaments and striving to resolve any difficulties they face peacefully. If our Human Family invested just as much time and effort, as we do in developing and producing ever more sophisticated and lethal ways to destroy one another, instead in actually solving the challenges we all face living on this planet, there would be no reason to go to war in the first place. Indeed, we would realise just how counterproductive war is.
Like Eisenhower, I’m not a total pacifist; every nation has the right and indeed a moral responsibility to defend itself. Nevertheless, living in perpetual fear of destruction, expending vast accreted debt on arms, is not any kind of sensible defence, for it only guarantees future demise.
A most poignant consideration, is the damage this glorification of violence is having on our children… We can only wonder if violent incidents in schools, resulting in the brutal mass murder of our most innocent children, or massacres like the one we saw in Norway last year, would be so prevalent if it weren’t for the common acceptance of violence in our societies; brutality in movies, dramas, video games and other forms of popular entertainment.
We harvest the fruits of the seeds we sow… If we want to live in a more peaceful, prosperous world, we need to start sowing the seeds of Peace, instead of beating the drums of war.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Director, Khilafah Online
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
Audio of complete speech:
Transcript of speech: