The Islamic Cultural Center in Lebanon released the first edition of the book “Against Hatred” by Mohammad Mahfoudh. In this book, Mahfoudh believes that the crises and dilemmas in the Arab world are caused by the absence of reform and lack of the political and social will that leads to creating change and development. He, also, stresses the necessity of freedom, justice, equality in opportunities and other values as they promote stability and security in all societies and communities. Mahfoudh, through his three-chapter book, seeks dismantling the discourse of hatred and promoting peaceful coexistence between different social groups.
In the first chapter which is titled “Religion Is for Human Beings”, the author discusses different topics such as the relationship between religion and human beings, religions and rejecting hatred, the right to be different, tolerance, freedom and justice. He mentions that coexistence between followers of different religions requires moving forward in dialogue from the theological range to the intellectual one that enforces the principles of tolerance, freedom and respect of others.
He points out that ideological, political or cultural differences are not justifications for violating the rights of others, but they are quite the contrary. He ensures that all levels of differences must lead to communication and learning about other groups.
Moreover, Mahfoudh confirms the importance of unity which absolutely does not mean giving up the group’s convictions and peculiarities. He indicates that social and national unity cannot be achieved without enforcing the value of tolerance and dialogue and that essentially requires criminating all forms of hatred and attempts of creating division.
The writer, in the second chapter, insists on the significance of recognizing others in a civilized manner that rejects marginalization and alienation and adopts dialogue and communication. He confirms that a diversified society cannot live in stability and harmony without a mutual understanding between all social components.
In the same chapter, he refers to the development of the phenomenon of terrorism attributing it to cultural and religious reasons; not economic ones. Religious or ideological extremism had led some individuals and groups to adopt violent streams which are impossible to be changed without dialogue, tolerance, recognition of diversity and protecting human rights.
“For an Integrated Citizenship” is the title of the third chapter in which the author explains how to establish citizenship in a community or a nation on the basis of equality and justice. He affirms that this approach would greatly contribute in controlling the differences and directing dialogue and communication towards vital issues.