Justice is prerequisite for World Peace A Bahá'í Perspective

  • 21 September, 2018

As we celebrate another International Day of Peace on September 21, it is opportune to reflect on relations between justice and peace.

As we celebrate another International Day of Peace on September 21, it is opportune to reflect on relations between justice and peace.

World peace and security, well-being and prosperity can only be realized when grounded in justice. The chief instrument for the transformation of society and the achievement of world peace and unity, Bahá'u'lláh asserts, is the establishment of justice in the affairs of humanity. "The light of men is Justice,” he states, “The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men.” “No radiance can compare with that of justice. The organization of the world and the tranquillity of mankind depend upon it.”

We can observe all over the world today a common yearning for order and a just society. However, legal systems worldwide convey a confused set of standards as to what order, justice and fairness represent. Justice systems in many parts of the world not only overlook, but sanction injustices towards those who are not within their boundaries or are not from the same background. For example, “If a man kills another, no matter what the cause may be, he is pronounced a murderer, imprisoned or executed; but the brutal oppressor who has slain one hundred thousand (in a war) is idolized as a hero, conqueror or military genius.”

With the rapid development in technology, commerce and economics – in an increasingly interdependent world – the nations have to cooperate for mutual progress and survival. The international community have tried to bring about peace and unity with the likes of the formation of the League of Nations after the First World War and currently the United Nations. Despite the noble intentions of these international organisations and all the international treaties we now have, we still witness continued strife among the nations, terrorism, political confusion, economic crises and religious animosity.

The root causes of war cannot be removed by banning nuclear weapons, prohibiting the use of poison gases and germ warfare. However important such practical measures are for the peace process, they are in themselves too superficial to have lasting influence. In the Bahá’í view there is need for change in individual attitudes and creation of a universal framework to uphold peace.

Need for belief in the oneness of the human family.
Any new thinking about peace must begin with the belief in the oneness of humanity – of every race, nation, tribe or religion.

In every living organism there is a need for the complete harmony of many diversely functioning parts. No advanced living organism could consist of and function with identical cells and organs. This diversity of form and function is absolutely necessary for the life of any complex, well-developed organic entity. Furthermore, there is a direct, positive relationship between the level of development of the organism and the diversity of its cells and organs. Perfect functioning of the human body is due to the unity of diverse cells and organs. The same way well-being and well-functioning of body of mankind is dependent on unity of its diverse elements – of all races, nations, tribes and religions.

‘Unity in diversity’ implies the development in the individual of a global consciousness and a love for humanity as a whole. Only when we, as individuals, see ourselves as members of one human family, sharing one common homeland, we will be able to commit ourselves to the far-reaching changes, on the individual and collective levels, which an increasingly interdependent world necessitates.

Need for a profound change of heart and a new mind-set.
Although any well-intentioned group can devise practical solutions to the problems facing humanity, but, good intentions and practical knowledge are usually not enough. It is through the spiritual principles that one can find solutions for social problem. A spiritual solution induces an attitude, a dynamic, a will, an aspiration, which facilitates the discovery and implementation of practical measures.

In order to overcome the various prejudices that are currently dividing us and to accept the oneness of humanity there is need for a profound change of heart and a new mind-set. It is the power of the Word of God that can produce such a necessary transformation.

Religion, of course, has a limitless power to inspire change and long-term commitment in its followers and a peaceful and prosperous global society cannot be built without directly and substantively involving religion. However, for religion to help in meeting the diverse challenges confronting the humanity today it must promote ‘unity in diversity’ and be free from fanaticism, prejudice and animosity.

While recognition of the oneness of mankind and the abandonment of all types of prejudice by individuals is the first requirement towards establishment of justice and peace, in addition, the Bahá'í Faith envisions a system of collective security within a framework of a global federation. It foresees the creation of a global commonwealth of nations to uphold world peace, in which all races, creeds and classes are united and the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals are safeguarded.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger