#1. Violence and Non-Violence in the Middle East

An Introduction to the Principles of Non-Violence

**Together: we will watch

**Discuss as a class:
1) What is non-violence? Come up with a definition that your small group can agree upon and write it down.

2) What are some examples of non-violent movements in history or in the present? Conduct an internet search to find examples. Take 10 minutes to do some research online about this movement and be prepared to share your findings with the class.

**Read Non-Violence Introduction. This is a very useful academic overview of the forms and goals of nonviolent actions, including important foundational philosophies and movements.

**Read The Meaning of Non-Violence by Martin Luther King

In depth, respond to ONE of the following three questions.
(Students, this will be marked and submitted to Global Encounters Canada.)
I will be choosing the best five blogs and also posting them to be read by other schools across Canada.
(Comment directly on this page. Be sure to make sure the title of the posting makes it clear what question is being answered.)

i. What does it mean to choose nonviolence, both in philosophical and moral terms? Use examples from the online articles you read. (Source your examples)
ii. When has non-violence worked to create social change? When has it failed? Provide at least one historical example of each and explain how Martin Luther King’s philosophy would respond to the movement.
iii. Looking at the table that lists types of non-violent movements in the online article, which do you most identify with and which least characterizes your philosophy? Explain why, with reference to personal experiences of conflict and conflict resolution in every day life.


15 comments on “#1. Violence and Non-Violence in the Middle East

  1. JHurley says:

    My Personal Philosophy

    Looking into different types of non-violence, I have deduced that my philosophy is Moral Resistance. This philosophy talks about substituting war and physical violence for much humane ways, such as education or influence.

    I take pride in my ability to influence others with my knowledge and power. I was able to convince others to take my side in a debate through the use of facts and influence. I was also able to win a game where we had to deduce who the murder was. Through keen observation, I was able to deduce who he was, and then through trust and influence, I was able to get everyone to eliminate him from the game.

    In contrast to moral resistance, the type of non-violence that is nothing like my philosophy is Nonviolent Direct Action, which talks about the main objective being victory over conversion.

    In my entire philosophy, the most crucial point that I believe in is collaboration and learning from others. If I am to uses influence to solve a problem, I want the opposition to learn something, whether it be that they were wrong, missed certain points, or made a common mistake.

  2. Non-violence has been a changing factor in almost every revolution. Just by people not choosing to aggressively fight back, but choose a more mature way of dealing with the situation has made so many changes in revolutions throughout history. For example, in the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. chose to respond in a non violent way for coloured folks to get rights. By doing the marches and choosing to go against the unfairness, Martin Luther King Jr. succeeded in getting rights for black people, making them equal to white people. The same with Mahatma Gandhi, he stood against oppression and fought for the rights of the people. These are just some examples of how non-violence has influenced revolutions. Then, there is the times when non-violence has failed. In Libya, Gaddafi ruled with an iron fist, which basically gave the people of Libya no choice other than to be violent. Even if they chose to do a non-violent way of doing things, it would not have done anything. By choosing to go violent they ended up overthrowing Gaddafi, and freeing their country from chaos. Violence may sometimes be able to solve some problems, but it will never be able to solve all of these problems.

  3. scdoll12 says:

    ii. An act of non-violence that had a positive outcome was when Martin Luther King Jr. did a peaceful protest to gain equality for African-Americans. He did speeches and walks to gain rights for his people. An example of a violent protest would be the events that have occurred in Libya. The people were not happy with what their leader was doing. The people then rose up and started a war to get the leader out of power. In the end the leader was killed. With the peaceful acts of Martin Luther King, the people were able to reconstruct what was lost. With people in Libya, they will need to spend years rebuilding what was lost and rebuild a whole country.

  4. Non-violence has worked to create a social change when martin luther king junior made a speech about equality and equal rights towards african american people. A time when nonviolence hasn’t worked was when Gandhi tried to act in a non violent way and the he was arrested in South Africa. Martin Luther King would respond to these movements by finding the good in them. He would help the more good cause and tell people to be equal. If the non violence movement didn’t work he would ask people what really did this person do that made it so bad? What really happened to create such a horrible thing? Why can’t everyone just be equal?

  5. Meaning to Choose Non-Violence
    When you choose non-violence you are choosing to solve a situation peacefully. You decided to not use weapons that will hurt physically but you are using your words that will get through to your opponent. You are doing all this with out physical violence. “Non-violence can also he the basic for a way of life: it is consistent with a belief in the underlying unity of humankind and it is the only method of action, interpersonal or political, that does not block that path to what has often been called ‘self-realisation’,” (Nonviolence: An Introduction). The reality is that everyone in this world has to die but they don’t have to die by your hands. In moral terms everyone is human and we all have ‘self-realisation’, we all have the decision to make. Are we going to live a peaceful life or are we going to live with blood stains on our hands. This is why non-violence is the best choice when you speak out against someone that is doing wrong. Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing man and his speech ‘I have a dream’ inspired so many people to stand up to let freedom ring. After his speech everyone left the Lincoln Memorial as a different person then when they came to listen to his speech.
    Violence is not the answer, there is this saying that I know and it is ‘Forgive and Forget’. It is best to forgive the person and forget about it is some cases this does not apply and that is when you did something that is against the law. When you do something that is against the law it is best to repent your sins so God himself can forgive you but If you murdered someone that guilt will be with you forever. Your conscience is always there to remind you of what you have done until someone tells you that it is ok and that the person is living in peace. Violence is not the answer and it will never be.

  6. troysb11 says:

    Being non-violent has many different meanings and if you ask 100 people there opinion about non-violence and what it means to them you will get 100 different answers. To me being non-violent means acting in a way that you will not cause harm to other people. That includes not physically harming, mentally abusing, or emotionally abusing one another. Throughout history many groups of people and social activists have resorted to a non-violent way of protest, and many have worked and many have failed.

    In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi started the non-violent protest called the salt march. Gandhi and a bunch of other Indian protestors marched 240 miles to produce salt without paying taxes. That march rattled millions of Indians that saw potential in a revolution, started to follow Gandhi. Gandhi’s non-violent protest was a success and years later Gandhi saw his nation along with a bunch of other Indians that marched along him. This was one of the world first non-violent protests that worked and gained the people the freedom they desired from the British rule.

    Though history has saw many acts of non-violent protests that have worked, there have been some that have not worked. In china we saw one of the most brutal acts of violence against a non-violence protest. In 1989 a group of protestors were protesting in Tiananmen Square peacefully until the people liberation’s army came in under the order of General Mau to kill the protest. In this uprising thousands of people lost their lives, mainly students. This act of violence on a non-violent protest is a dark spot in the history of China and shows, not all non-violent protests work.

    The uprising of people for change has shaped our modern world, and it would not be the same if these events did not occur. Usually non-violent methods are encouraged because being non-violent usually spares lives and causes less separation between the two groups involved. Although non violence is usually the way to go, history proves that sometimes people have to take action in more violent ways to bring about change.

  7. What Philosophy Am I?

    From the article we read, I believe that I identify with the philosophy of moral resistance, which states that using other means such as education and persuasion is better. I think that as an intelligent human being, I can find better ways to deal with problems that I have other than violence. It is better to try and convince someone that what their doing is wrong, than it is to just fight them because they oppose you.

    The type of non-violence that I least identify with would be peaceful resistance, which states that nonviolent actions are more effective than violent ones. I believe that violence is more effective, but is not the right way to approach a problem. It may take longer, or be more complicated, but a nonviolent method is morally better than a violent one.

  8. ii. Non-violence has worked when Martin Luther King Jr. made a speech about equality and equal right to the African American. He walked different places and made speeches to gain rights for his people. One example when non-violence did not take place, would be in Libya. Everyone worked together to try all they could to get the leader not in power anymore. They started a huge war and the Libyan leader then was pronounced dead. With Martin Luther king helping them they were able to almost re-create Libya and give the people that they should have got from the start. Now over a couple year they are going to work on re-building what was lost between the country and make everything better.

  9. Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and many, many others are well known around the world, why you ask? Protesting, but not just any protesting.. non violent protesting.. instead of mobs and killing people they were civil and patient. marching the streets, oppressing to equalize human rights, sitting on the ‘white’ side of the bus..
    All non violent protesting.. Yeah you could beat and kill scream and yell, but what does that prove? People should be scared of you so you get your way..
    By choosing to be non-violent you choose to have an equal opportunity with everything, nobody is scared, nobody feels pressured. Would you rather have someone scared following your orders or someone helping you lead giving you ideas..
    How did Non-violent ways help Martin Luther King Jr, he is a well known man to the world he helped change the Civil Rights movement Mahatma Gandhi succeeded in aiding his country, Rosa Parks gave not only women but cultured woman more rights in the world today.

  10. dariahoegl says:

    Nonviolence can be looked at both ways. I think nonviolence is not always the answer, sometimes violence can help some come out with the truth or can be justified because of what they did. In moral terms violence is not the answer, it is something that is not justified, or right. Most religion are very strong with there values and no violence. Choosing nonviolence in Philosophical terms would be agent’s the freedom of rights and not allowed because in most of the world it is not the right way to handle situations. All humans have the right to no violence in there lives and are not allowed to be the one damaging another person. This world we live in there is and will always have some sort of violence, the world is not perfect and neither is any of us. We just need to be aware of whats going on around us. Trying to do the right thing always will help us lead to no violence. We can not always help people who are hurting others.

  11. Choosing nonviolence is choosing not to demand something of someone using physical force. There are many reasons why people may choose nonviolence. Two of the most common reasons are philosophical nonviolence and tactical nonviolence.

    Philosophical (also called ethical or principled) nonviolence is being nonviolent due to religious or moral beliefs. Loving one another is a central concept in the Abrahamic religions and Indian religions. According to Christian tradition, the world would be peaceful without sin. Therefore, if we all did not sin, violence would not be an issue. John Locke stated in the late 1600s that all people’s minds are blank slates when born, and are then corrupted and modeled by society. This would mean that human nature is not violent in itself, but becomes violent over a person’s life.

    Pragmatic (also called tactical or strategic) nonviolence is nonviolence based on a political opinion. Typically, pragmatic nonviolence is used to promote a social dynamic that causes change in the ideals of the public. Pragmatic nonviolence is what people often think of when they think of a peaceful protest.

    The idea of nonviolence is occasionally extended towards animals as well as humans. Certain religions may ban the consumption of certain animals which are considered to be sacred. Others may just be against killing animals specifically for their consumption.

  12. raynamartens says:

    Non-resistance is the act of rejecting all sorts of physical violence based upon principles and the concentration of maintaining ones own integrity. The Gandhian Nonviolence is the will of attaining truth through acts of love and right action. It demands elimination of self, social, political and economical environmental violence.

    As an individual who is opposed to physical threats and extreme force, and an active supporter of non-violence, I would categorize my beliefs under the Non-resistant, and the Gandhian act.

    While researching Gene Sharp’s understanding and knowledge of Nonviolence, I determined that I stand within the two groups, Non-resistant and the Gandhian Nonviolence.

    Is it more effective to be feared or loved as a leader, was a question Niccolo Machiavelli addressed during his lifetime (1469-1527). Empowerment through violence is not newly being introduced to this world; rather, those in authority have always had two paths to choose from. One being that all peoples under your reign fear you, or two, being in a position where citizens adore you.

    There are thousands of examples of rulers who have chosen to be feared. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Muammar Gaddafi to name a few. Why does it seem as though more leaders would rather obtain a position that all fear? Do they, themselves, fear?

    Love is not fearful. Love is confident. Love is sturdy. Love is daring. Love is bold. Love stands out, even when standing alone. There is no trepidation in love.

    My desire is to acquire a stature of leadership, to stand firm in love, and be known among nations. I am neither timid nor perplexed. I will gain all power through truth, love, and righteous acts while upholding my own integrity.

  13. What does it mean to choose nonviolence, Use examples from the online articles you read. (Source your examples)

    Still to this day we do mourn over the horrible tragedy that happened September 11th. The American leaders are speaking to come up with an appropriate act of response to this tragedy. The media and people around us are telling the Americans that they have two options of response: the first is to go to war with the terrorists and those countries harboring them. The other option is to do nothing.

    The first option of going to war will carry with continuous and many consequences. The most important consequence is bloodshed. The blood of the terrorists, the blood of the countless thousands of innocent people, and the bloodshed of more Americans in the form of troops and victims of retaliatory terrorist acts. The polls are showing that 83% of Americans favor war. This is understandable due to the heinous crimes committed against civilians.

    The second option we have been told is to do nothing. If we take this option, we are sending a message to the world and to the terrorists that if they attack us, we will hide in fear.

    There should have been the third option and that should be nonviolence! Most people believe that nonviolence is passive, that it is the weaker path to take. But the truth is nonviolence is the more difficult of all three. Nonviolence takes courage and it means putting the past behind us and moving on. Nonviolence is not acting aggressively, it is making a social and political change. Taking a stand without taking When Gandhi told the world he was going to regain India’s independence from the British Empire, and that he was going to do this without aggression, and that Britain would leave as India’s friend, the world laughed at him. Gandhi was able to pull of the largest example of peaceful revolution. There is another man who has shown the path of nonviolence. That was Jesus, there were three main teachings: love, forgiveness, and nonviolence (turning the other cheek). There are many more people like Jesus, and Gandhi such as Moses, Buddha, Mohammed. If we did choose the path of war, so many people, hundreds of thousands of innocent people will be killed.

    We will always tell people the story, and our children will know the story, what the terrorists did was wrong, but how would we explain the war that it caused. Americans would be in the wrong to. A war would be resulted in much more deaths and life’s taken away. Aggression causes aggression that causes aggression, and the cycle will continue. America hits them, they hit america. America hits them, and so forth. War and violence does not accomplish anything beyond “payback”. War will always lead to another war. There should not be crime, but there should be deeper punishment to the laws extent. Nonviolence is a path im sure many people think of. I think it takes a lot of courage and love for someone to choose this path. There does not need to be more anger, and hatred and fear. War is a simple and quick answer, but it most definitely is not the correct one.

    Martin Luther King said, The goal of nonviolence is not the humiliation or defeat of the opponent, but the winning of the enemy’s friendship and understanding. To be nonviolent does not mean never fight back, or fight for what you believe in. It means to take things and keep it under consideration that other people might get hurt while you giving your “payback” and ask yourself is it worth it.

    Nonviolence can consist of people agreeing of all faiths and cultures from Christianity to Atheist. God does not ask us to kill in any religion. God asks for us to love our neighbors.
    Now that they are already in war with the Middle East, they should have told the option of nonviolence, They should stop the war and just come home. Canada being known as the peace keepers we should stop the war and let it be, take the Nonviolence path, and continue on with life.


  14. baileywalker says:

    What should be chosen? To be violent or not?
    Violence is not the answer. Being non-violent gives off a stronger message by being calm and giving others a choice to believe what your believing. Real leaders can get people to listen without force. Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr are great examples of people who had gotten their points across by being non-violent. But in the end violence always comes back, Ghandi (October 2nd, 1869-January 30th, 1948) and Martin Luther King Jr (January 15th, 1929-April 4th, 1968)where both killed for spreading the Human Rights that all people are supposed to be exposed to. It does not make sense to me how a person can kill another person for speaking their mind.

  15. Knowing if you are fighting a noble fight, are you responding or reacting. When a conflict presents itself there are a lot of different ways to deal with it. If you have use all the nonviolent options, and you are presented with a choose is Violent needed? Throughout history non-violent protests have brought great changes, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior. Gandhi’s hunger strikes (some lasting 116 days) and peaceful speeches help to change the way his people were being treated. Martin Luther Kings Junior’s speeches (I Have A Dream speech presented on August 28, 1963 at steps of the Lincoln memorial) and walks help to create equality for African Americans. Through out my life I have been blessed with a very peaceful and non-violent personal life, I haven’t had to deal with any violent conflicts, I am still impacted by the decisions made by other to at violently or non-violently.

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