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In the News

Multi-faith Peace Walk

Sarah Butler

14th February 2024

Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists walked side-by-side from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and back in solidarity with people affected by the conflict in the Middle East.

They walked without flags. placards or chants, in a silent multi-faith peaceful protest on Sunday January 21st 2024.

Several religious leaders spoke out, including Rabbi Alexandra Wright, the president of Liberal Judaism and senior rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, and Rehena Harilall, from Plum Village UK, a Buddhist group that organised the walk alongside Quakers in Britain, and Imam Asim Hafiz, an Islamic religious adviser to the Ministry of Defence, who addressed the crowd, saying that collective prayer and reflection were needed to establish peace.

Representatives from the Sikh, Quaker, Buddhist, Bahá’í, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths also read prayers during the event coordinated by Together for Humanity

Laura Marks, of Nisa-Nashim, a Jewish and Muslim women’s network told reporters: “The idea behind the movement is to bring unity to a very, very fractured world.”

The group wore knitted white flowers symbolising peace and included those who were not religious.

Links to the Beliefs topic:

This visible display of ecumenical social solidarity allows us to consider the positives of religion. What might consensus theorists such as Parsons or Durkheim make of this religious pluralism? Would they focus on the social solidarity and shared values? Might Malinowski see this peaceful, silent walk as an example of the calming psychological functions religion can bring, allowing uncertain times to be managed through faith, ritual and togetherness? What might Peter Berger make of this potential shared sacred canopy?

Might our Neo-Marxists such as Bloch, suggest that utopian religious images have inspired this snapshot of heaven on earth? What may Gramsci make of these religious leaders who are peacefully fighting for change?

We can even evaluate the extent to which a religiously fragmented society can still come together and prompt social change, perhaps overshadowing the effects of western secularisation?

Read the full article here.

Sarah Butler

Sarah is an experienced Head of Social Sciences, EPQ Coordinator and Sociology examiner.

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