In the Independent Online Edition, there’s an article about an amazing development in Northern Ireland:
“The big news they contained was that Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party will be going into government together, launching a new era and underpinning the peace process with a political foundation.
But even more striking was the absence of accompanying threats or conditions – no begrudgery, no condemnations, no blame game. The two listened carefully and politely to each other, conveying something new in Belfast politics – mutual respect.”
The title of the Independent article reminds me of the statue in Derry, of which I took some pictures. I created a small photo tour of Derry as part of a case study on dialogical spaces.
One of the pictures I took of the statue in Derry, was intentionally from an angle which appeared to have the hands come together, and for me the title of the Independent’s article was a reminder of everything I was thinking and feeling then.
I came upon the article via The Osterly Times, which points out:
“Only by treating the underlying cause can one hope to defeat the cancer of terrorism. That’s a lesson that can be applied to almost everywhere that terrorism flourishes. Grant the Palestinians a territorially contiguous state based on the 1967 guidelines and, not only will the suicide bombs stop, but al-Qaeda will lose their most potent recruiting tool. Treat the cause, not the symptoms.
When one does so, miracles like the one we are today witnessing in Northern Ireland become possible.”
It’s about mutual respect, but it’s also about trust. I don’t think that the suicide bombs magically stop. However, I think that if trust is established in a process that gives people a voice in their lives that people want to live those lives. When there’s respect, people won’t feel the need to shout. When there’s trust, people can join together in good faith to create peace.