Countering Hate Speech interfaith and intergenerational perspectives

So greetings of peace everyone. Welcome to this panel discussion. Good morning, good evening, good afternoon, depending from where are you joining us today as we have speakers from literally all over the world. Uh it is my great pleasure to welcome all

Of you either who are following us on the live stream on different channels. Uh as I said, this will be the panel discussion under the title countering hate speech interfade and intergenerational perspectives. Uh this is organized as a part of the

Fellowship program. Myself, hello when my colleague Amina Furdak are beside other roles that we are having, we are also fellows. So, as a part of our final Kaisit Fellowship Program, we decide to organize this webinar on the occasion of the World Interfaith Harmony

Week and even though World Interfaith Harmony Week is happening at the first week of the February, as we all know, it is, there is plenty of activities organized throughout the month of the February and one of that is today’s panel discussion that we are

Organizing. So, I would just like to shortly introduce all co-organisers of today’s panel discussion. The first one is of course Kaisit International Dialogue Centre, SBI Dare Fellows. So the Kaisit Fellowship Programme brings together leaders and educators from different religious

Backgrounds from all over the world. For training in dialogue facilitation, intercultural communication and promoting social cohesion. Uh and this is all done by by the pool of Kaisid expert. The program equips fellow ops with the skills to educate their students and communities about

Interreligious dialogues so they can become facilitators and leaders in the dialogue and active peace advocates in their communities and we hope that this today’s panel discussion will contribute this aim as well. The second organizer is Youth for Peace which is Youth

Led Organization from Bosnia and Youth for Peace bring young people of diverse, religious, spiritual expression coming from different cultures and tradition backgrounds from all over the Boston Hertz of Govina And this organization is established to promote dialogue, interfaith and

Interactive cooperation to end all kinds of violence and to create culture of peace and justice for youth. A youth for peace is also CC of United Religion Initiative which is our third partner on this webinar. So United Religion initiative is a global

Grassroot interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. Europe is one of the eight URI regions and I’m very glad to

Say that URIN presence in all in more than 111 countries currently with more than thousand groups called cooperation circles and even for peace is one of them. You can find more more information about all these organization on the links that will be provided

During the livestream. Now I would like to welcome all of our panelists of today’s discussion. We have very nice group of people coming together from all over the world as I said. So welcome again. Thank you very much for making extra

Effort to join us today despite all this time differences and a lot of activities that is happening throughout the month of February. We are really happy that you accepted our invitation And we decide to discuss about this topic of countering aids hate speech

From perspective of interfaith and also intergenerational perspective because we know unfortunately that today’s hate speech is presence all over the world and and especially now when we are using the social media and when we are all present in the online sphere so

Much. So we thought that this will be very important to discuss what can be done in terms of bringing people from different backgrounds together not just in a religious sense but also a different generation. Therefore we would like to hear what our

Distinguished speaker had to say on this topic and I would like to invite Tahil ah Sharma. He is regional coordinator for North America in United Religion Initiative. So Tahil welcome. I will just shortly use him. So, Tahil is an Interfaith activist based in

Los Angeles in United States of America. He was born to Hindu father and a sick mother. Following the Oak Creek shooting of Sikh Temple in 20 12, Tahil become involved in efforts for Interfaith Literacy and Social Justice and he has

Also been doing this very professionally for the past eight or nine years. He also serves as the Los Angeles coordin term for Sathana which is coalition of progressive Hindus and he also serve in various organization in different capacity to educate,

Engage and serve various communities that promote interfaith cooperation and ethic analytical pluralism, a social and and productive norms is society including Interfaith Youth Cord, the Parliament of the World Religion, of course, his role in United Religion Initiative and much more. So I

Think the Tahil is a great person to give us input on the topic that we are discussing today about countering hate speech as a young person, as also in a person who is working quite a lot in Interfaith field. So, Tahil, we are happy

To have you with us today and please floor is yours. Thank you so much, Layla. Good morning, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s such an important time for us to be able to talk about countering hate speech Um mainly because a

Nature of how we address it has been sort of a constant question in the context of many countries in the world but particularly in the United States in a country that professes an idea of the freedom of speech. Um there has

Been a very troubled aspect in approaching this idea of what is acceptable speech and what is not acceptable speech. Um and coming from a space where I work with a lot of religious and spiritual I know that especially in the space of the

United Religions Initiative, the nature of how we engage in this work is centered around creating a space for appreciative inquiry, getting to know people as much as possible, and trying to deepen our understanding of them as making it a process of deeply

Understanding ourselves as people. Um and what happens in this work sometimes can be very challenging because the nature of dialogue in in the context of Interfaith Cooperation especially makes it especially challenging to be able to address differences in a way

That make us really feel like we can really empathize with other people. And sometimes the nature of empathy can be itself very challenging because we like to use the framework of filling in or feeling as if we are in someone else’s shoes. Um

But what happens when you can’t actually fit into those shoes What if those shoes feel uncomfortable? Uh the nature of empathy is actually to go a little more than just trying to make sure that you know the exact person’s experience. You

Don’t need to know their suffering to be able to help them. Um you don’t need to experience their exact suffering to be able to help them either. Um what you do need to understand is the nature of building those powerful bridges between

Communities and individuals. Uh requires us to be able to step into a space of solidarity to step into a space of that appreciative inquiry that allows us to go a lot deeper than we usually do when we’re stepping into spaces that are

Unknown or uncomfortable to us. Um and in the United States for the past several decades the ability of mitigating the the speech that is sort of targeted towards many minority religious and cultural and ethnic communities. Um continues to be a challenge today. Um because

Is in the nature of how we understand even our own United States Constitution that interpretations allow people to understand the nature of the freedom of speech as very different things. Um for me entering this perspective personally speaking, the nature

Of having freedom of speech is essential to the way that we interact with each other but we need to remind people that a speech has consequence, both good and bad. Uh and the nature of the intention and ways that you are expressing the speech

Are essential in how you are able to make or break communities. Um and in my work personally as someone who has been doing interfaith work for just about a decade now. While at the same time being someone that is deeply involved in the

Mission and values of the United Religions Initiative it becomes very clear that when we centre an interfaith narrative or an interfaith foundation to the nature of dialogue. Um we are able actually mitigate hate speech in ways that we haven’t

Been able to see before. Um the nature of this work of standing up for communities that are facing things like anti Semitism and Islamophobia specific examples tend to be pushed by a lot of misinformation, by a lot of conspiracy theories that are

Both historical and new. Um and it it took a lot of Interfaith communities to show up for Muslims and Jews here in the United States to make them feel like they were not alone and to be able to start deeper conversations with them and

Engaging this idea that solidarity looks like a lot more than just seeing you when you’re happy and seeing you when you’re sad. It’s being able to show up and say what do you need and how can we keep this relationship flourishing?

Um so that’s kind of the context I’m bringing in this morning. Um albeit it may not be comparable to others experiences who in the in around the world having interfaith dialogue can be something beautiful but it can also be something that can get

Boring after a while when it is the same people talking about the same things. Uh but there is a a an active role that each of us can play in making sure that we are talking about things that are transformative and being able to improve

Society. So thank you for that this morning Linda. Thank you very much Tail for this very valuable input and I think that you already start this discussion and highlighted some very important thing as you said we definitely need to discuss about empathy but

Beyond just understanding of the empathy but stepping outside of our comfort zone and providing space for dialogue with others and also it is great to hear what is URI doing all over the world especially stepping not just into shoes of

Others but also trying to others when they are attacked and standing there for them. So thank you very much for sending this very important message. Now we would like to go to another young person who is Sahil who is joining us from

The United States early morning. Now we are going in the middle of the night to the Philippines and it is my great pleasure to introduce Ren Zargaro who is coming from different roles that he’s having and a huge biography but

As Tahil is coming from United the Legion Initiate is coming from another very big organization, religion for peace, so I just want to shortly first introduce even it is very hard to introduce him shortly, as he’s quite young person but with impressive and

Huge biography, so Doctor Renz Argao is the president and chief executive officer of Argao Health International. He is a registered psychologist and psychometrician and international also certificate expert in the psychotrauma. He’s one of the handful of Filipinos who hold the status

Of diplomat of the American Academy of Expert in Traumatic Stress and his work as clinical psychologist include over a decade of experience in clinical administration, case management, psychological assessment, psychotherapy, mental health and psycho social support services. He also work

In quite a lot of conflict areas and in addition to his impressive clinical practice, Doctor Renz is also peace activist and he is engaged in a faith-based diplomacy and development work through religion for peace. He is coordinator of the International Youth Committee

Of Religion for Peace which is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition where he also serves as a member of the World Council of Religious Leaders as well as international executive committee and he also has quite impressive academic career and

As you know, he’s holding the PhD diploma and I think that I will stop over here because if I continue it will took half hour to go through all your impressive biography but once again, thank you very much for accepting to be with us today

And we are looking forward to hear your input on this important topic. So, floor is yours. Thank you very much, Leila for that introduction. I can feel that you’re overwhelmed. I I got overwhelmed with, the introduction as well. Um, good

Evening from my side of the world. Uh, from the Philippines. Good morning. Good afternoon to wherever you may be. And ah I’m happy to be joining you in ah this panel and this session that we’re having today. Um it’s very

Important and timely to talk about hate speech and what we can do to counter it especially at this time wherein hate speech is becoming a major threat to peace. Um largely due to the now more connected world that we live in. Of course

Thanks to the internet and our social media platforms. Um the social media platforms and their companies seem to continuously allow the proliferation of various expressions that advocate initiate, promote, or even justify hatred, violence, and discrimination. All over the

World. And all all of this are disguised in the context of the freedom of expression or as he’ll mention the freedom of speech. And true. We have that freedom to express ourselves. But let us not forget that freedom is not absolute. As

Victor Hugo puts it the liberty or the freedom of one citizen ends where the liberty or freedom of another citizen begins. That is your freedom ends where my freedom begins. And hate speech is not mere expression of opinions or of

Your thoughts or your ideas or an exercise of the freedom of speech. It is one that can already step on and one that is violating the fundamental human rights that each of us should be able to enjoy. Ah the European Commission Against

Racism and Intolerance already recognized that there is a dangerous link between hate speech and violence. They add that hate speech possesses grave dangers for the cohesion of a democratic society. The protection of human rights and even the rule of law. Um for

Many of us, we have witnessed this in many circumstances. For us, Asians, for example, many of my fellow Asians have been injured. Worst, some of them have been killed due to anti-Asian expressions, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Um, hate

Speech directed against Asians especially due to misinformation and racism, stigma and stereotypes have caused fear, trauma, and suffering to many Asian communities in the west. Here in my own country in the Philippines, hate speech is already a weapon of choice when

It comes to political propaganda. Um, it was expressions or speeches or even jokes that are filled with stigma that was used to justify the deaths of thousands of people in what called the war on drugs. It was also hate speech that brought emotional

Trauma to those who were even given or receiving death threats. Ah some were being intimidated and some are being wished to be killed, to be sick, or even to be raped. And it is hate speech that continues to divide our people.

And that threatens the very fabric of our own society. And this is not just in the Philippines. This happens in many different parts. Um of the world. Now when we look at it, why is there so much hate speech Well, we can’t just

Blame social media, of course, and the internet. We also have to look at the role of our of our own values and our ethics. Um, for us people of faith, for example, we often look up to our religious leaders, in our religious institutions. To

Guide us, when it comes to fighting hate speech. All of our religions and faith traditions teaches love. And none of these religions, none of our faith traditions teach hate. So when we see hate speech being normalized, we get to wonder why our own values

And principles are leading to this hate speech. Where are our values and principles? Those that make humanity human. In this context that lead us to hating one another or to promote violence against one another. Why are we not reminded or even taught the

Value of respect, human dignity, or even care for the other. Why do some leaders or those who should be guiding us towards what is good? Or those who ignite the flame of hate speech? What are we doing? Or what are we not doing? For the

Youth speech is something that seems so common nowadays and not that I’m saying that it is common for the youth to use hate speech. What I mean is that the youth can read, hear, or encounter hate speech in almost everyday of their lives.

It is on social media. In the mainstream media, in the streets, or in places where we gather. Sadly, I even once heard while I’m in in church. Uh, the thing is, we, the youth, have the potential, and the power to combat hate

Speech. The youth of today is the largest generation of the youth. Um, that is no in the history of human civilization. Today’s generation of youth is also the more connected. Well, that’s a good side of the internet and social media.

Hence, if we use this connectivity to influence positive changes and to counter expressions of violence, hatred, and discrimination, we can affect a shift from hate speech to speech that respects human dignity and human rights. The youth is also more

Motivated and driven by their passion to make this world a better place. We can use this to start conversations that highlight collaboration, common actions, and harmony. We can talk about what peace means and what we can do to achieve it.

We can and discuss our values and ethical principles that can help fill in the gaps that allow hate speech to start and to even grow. More than that, we can start by taking actions like calling out our friends and educating them about the

Impact of hate speech. We can also do so by signing up for others and by being the voice for those who are silenced. I too have seen how young people have fought hate speech. We have a friend in Myanmar that

Started a campaign on what they call as love speech on social media. They respond basically to hate speech with love and care and respect. A friend in India organized learning sessions to talk about the impact of hate speech and the

Danger it brings using sports, using activities that are allowing young children to learn better about values and and ethics. It is possible to bring change. We just have to take that first step towards it. Let us teach empathy. That he’ll mention empathy a while

Ago. As well as understanding. Let’s promote and celebrate diversity and inclusivity. Let us turn back to our faith and values. We also need, of course, to be mindful of our own thoughts which then becomes deeds and words. We all need to

Find the root causes of hate speech and counter or best to address these. Let us advocate for the important balance between ending hate speech while still promoting and of course, protecting the freedom of speech, expression, and belief. We need to hold

Platforms like social media platforms, accountable for hate speech. Report those social media accounts that promote hate speech or those that incite violence. Demand, demand actions from social media platforms and hold their companies accountable. Of course, let us not forget it.

Ah, we need to give support as well for those individuals who are victims and targets of hate speech. We can all do this together only if we work together. This emerging tradition of hate in speech, in actions, has gone a long, long

Time. So let us all choose to be the generation that breaks the habit on behalf of the world and of generations to come. So again, thank you for having me. I hope I was able to share some of insights from

This side of the world and from our generation to all of you. Thank you very much and may peace be upon you all. Thank you very much. I hope that you are okay for me calling you Renzo. We are almost a similar

Age. So Doctor Ergo seems a little bit too special. Great. Uh thank you very much for bringing this insight and for sending this important message and I’m sure that all our listeners on our live stream got really inspired by all

These words that you share and you highlighted same as Dahil very important things because we usually forget that hate speech is not just hate speech somewhere online but this is affecting people in offline and that it can lead to the hate

Crime and of terrible things that you mentioned some of them that are happening but on the other side it’s great to know that young people are are starting these great initiatives that you mentioned some of them and we definitely

Need more love and more peace and less hate and we hope that this webinar will contribute into bringing a little bit more more positive stories into this space where there is too many too much hate present everyday so thank you once again and I’m

Looking forward to our question and answer discussion because I’m sure that there will be some question in the line with all these great initiative that you mentioned and now we are moving to if I may say a little bit older generation because as

We said this is intergenerational approach. So more wisdom that we are looking forward to hear from our dear Sally. Sally welcome and thank you again really much for accepting our invitation to join us today as you are really inspirational for a lot of us

In URI but I’m sure beyond URI as well. So I will just try to shortly introduce you even it will be very hard to short introduce. So Sally Mahe is senior consultant and she’s a founding staff person at United Religion Initiative so this

Great organization that I present at the beginning. She held her has held senior staff position for over 20 years. And Sally formerly served as URI, director of organization development and director of global programs as well in United Religion Initiative Sheberg primarily with regional

Staff across the world. and a senior consultant right now, Sally is on call for consultation and makes career high values, practices, and in-depth organizational wisdom available to DRI community globally. Uh Celia also co-authored the birth of the global community in 2003 and

Another book is the great greater democracy day today, day by day. Sally also hold master’s degree from Harvard and she lives currently in the Bay Area with her family. Uh she maintains the every voices which I highly recommend all of

You to take a look at the URI website as there is plenty of inspiring stories from URI community all over the world and there she writes about the variety ways URI cooperation circles or member groups all over the world give voices to

The URI and also contribute to it to its success so thank you Sally for as I said founding URI and being inspirational person as you are and really looking forward to hear your on today’s topic so floor is yours. Oh. Well, thank you so

Much, Layla. I so much appreciate your enthusiasm and it’s like receiving a flow of just earnest desire to do good and to be together at this moment and again, I appreciate the fact that we get to have this conversation. It’s so

Important even though we think we know about it to be engaged with ideas, with perspectives that really matter. And really matters. I want to begin with the sentence to ignore injustice, hurts. I heard that a few days ago and it stopped

Me in my tracks to ignore injustice, hurts, And they made me feel really for in a new way the emotional connection between hate speech and our intrinsic need as human beings for justice. So we all maybe have experienced this topic from many perspectives. But

It’s important I think and I’m happy we get to talk about it here. We get to raise up these feelings and these issues here. Cuz hate speech in all its forms isn’t justice. Hateful words or prejudice, making assumptions, ignoring, propaganda. They’re not just

Bad behavior. But they violate justice. And they hurt us as individuals and our societies. So to allow micro or macro expressions of hate speech to proliferate. Without confronting them. It rips in our souls. And it it degrades a nation. It’s not just bad

Behavior I think, but it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous habits. It’s dangerous patterns that deeply hurt people and society. So, we are called to confront our own interactions with hate speech. It requires introspection and personal choice. So, what do we do? When

We maybe are confronted that we’re helping to perpetrate it. What do we do when we witness it? What do we do? When we’re victim So some choices are we can just let an incident go by kind of minimize its impact Uh we can

Remain fixed in a perspective and just unaware of of assumptions we might hold. We can choose to let our own victimized feelings fester and get buried inside of us. We can choose to continue to spread the stories of the bad ways

We’ve been treated by retelling these stories of mistreatment over and over. Now, a personal experience with that. My daughter converted to Islam many years ago and I have a Muslim, in-law family, and three grand kids and we were out on the sidewalks. Oh,

Again, maybe three, three, or four years ago and yeah, here are my, me and my daughter and little grandsons and People hurled some hate language towards us. As Muslims because she was wearing a hijab. So I had a choice then. And I I

Often fell down. I would I just kept telling. Oh do you know what happened to my daughter? Do you know what happened to us? Do you know what happened? I kept repeating and repeating. A very ugly incident. Yes it was emotional. But that made me

Realize that I forgot to say multitude kind, generous, protective, solidarity acts that they also experienced. So again, the choice of what we choose to amplify, what we choose to carry on is really ours to make. So, another choice, choices that I think

Tahil and Rent have spoken to. Is it we can be open to learn. There’s a lot of learning that’s that’s available to us now. We can be trying to recognize our own undiscovered prejudice within ourselves We can become, learn more about

Becoming empathetic. I like to call it listening ears but we’re really listening hearts. For people who we know are feeling afraid or feeling victimized by hate speech. We can practice and it usually takes practice to speak up against hate speech, especially

When it’s directed at us. to take courage, to intervene when we witness this. So I think each of these choices involve usually new behaviors. For us and for organizations. So whether we’re unaware of perpetrators or angry or hurt victims, letting these kinds of

Experiences go by unattended. Believe it eats away at our insides. And it infects our environment. So again to ignore injustice hurts. As people have said here, the bad news is that hate speech in myriad forms is on the rise. It’s fueled as you

All have said, social media, migration, insecurity from climate change, economic insecurity and injustice and unrelenting change. But the good news is that this is kind of entrenched behavior of hate speech which has been with us for a long time. It’s coming

Out of the shadows. It’s demanding our attention. I did just a brief Google search before this to prepare for this call. And it turned up many different kinds of training programs and how to understand it, combat it much of what was spoken here. I’ve

Learned a new term which you may know called counter speech. So, there’s trainings now in counter speech which is ways to present alternative narratives rather than censorship of offending speech. Counter speech is a direct response to hateful or harmful speech which seeks to

Undermine it. So there are, as you know, there’s lots of good training programs, so I encourage all the people listening, to go online, and to look for them. So, I was asked to speak from an intergenerational perspective Um, and I think Layla and Amina

Invited me in part because I was involved in an intergenerational project, hosted by URI, a few years ago. So our of this project was to launch, you might say, a counter movement We wanted to create new ways for elders and youth

To interact We wanted to just practice behaviors that would replace traditional attitudes and assumptions. With meaningful listening, a new ways of cooperating and standing with each other. So, our purpose statement, I think is still relevant. It says, our purpose is to establish

And intentional international community of millennials and elders of different backgrounds to explore dialogue, relationship building, and cooperation between these generations. Our aim is to be a learning laboratory where we learn from each other. By honestly addressing the issues our different generations face.

Now this project didn’t take off. Um but I its main intent is valid here at this time. So, again, it goes to something really at the core in us. Whether forms of bigotry happen among elders or youth, different people of diverse religions, classes,

Races. I believe what doesn’t change is people’s basic need for people for we each need to be seen. We each need to be heard. We each need to be understood. So People, I don’t think need to be agreed with as much as we

Need to be visible. To be given dignity for who we are. And I think most of us have experienced what it feels like to be misunderstood, rendered invisible, or without value. Uh, most of us hold onto these bitter feelings. And when we’ve

Had our own words ignored, or have been made invisible by another person, or a cultural mindset. The and the diminishment lurks inside of us. It was that long ago, I think two years ago now, maybe last year, I participated in a URI

Panel yet led by young adults regarding the role of youth leaders in the Interfaith Movement. And I remembered, I took notes, and I heard these speakers express anger at being stereotyped, or assumed to be people who are good at computers, yet the young people

To help us with the internet. And I feel as well. I heard the pain inside of the young people who say, well, we’re we’ve been used as tokens by our organizations. They want young people to show up for them but

They don’t really give us responsibility and authority. And I heard frustration about misguided compliments. Oh, the youth, the young people. We are relying on them at this time. We we need them so much. But they still are denied actual roles and responsibilities and

Important decision making. So, these are hard feelings to take but again, in this situation, the good news is that the results of lifting up those different feelings and experience actually was incentive to produce a book and it’s called the toolkit for

Meaningful youth participation. When I’m finished, I’ll put it in the chat box. It just came to me yesterday, hot off the presses and it’s quite practical in bringing up the very issues that I spoke of and offering perspective, offering alternatives. Well,

What can we do when we feel this way? Um so, that’s a very good homemade kind of resource that did come out of a group of young adults who are all part of the URA network. And it’s yeah a lot of practical situations. So

Wherever we encounter it, hate speech, I think and it’s dramatic and it’s subtle expressions. It won’t. It’s not going to go away anytime soon. So, I encourage that each of us make it a priority for ourselves and within our organization To acknowledge it

Is here with us and to humbly but actively learn better ways to listen and to treat one another. I wanted to close with two practical points. What we’re involved in is personal. It’s not out there. It really connects with most of our own

Experiences. And what we elders learned in school and in university. We learned over 40 and 50 years ago. The world has changed. We do have wisdom from life experience. But we don’t understand well the world as it is now. So elders need the

Knowledge and leadership of youth to meet today’s issues. Many elders have learned resilience, have learned perspective that’s can be removed and a bit distanced which is helpful And wisdom. But youth and elders need to listen to each other. And give

Elders a chance to offer offer assurance often encouragement and offer courage. So confronting hate speech is also political. I think both Tahil and Rentz mentioned it. As autocracies gain power across the world and use hate speech, propaganda to secure power. All

People are called to stand up for core democratic values. That demand respectful listening. And the inclusion of all voices. We’re called to create all of us are called to create safe spaces. For diverse to come together And raise their voices and be listened to

And make decisions that affect their lives. So it’s it’s the impact lunch deep. Combating hate speech is about standing for justice. And it’s about upholding values. At the heart of democracy. Every day we make choices about how we interact with other people. Important

Choices that can be overlooked as being trivial. But these choices define us. There are statements of who we choose to be in this lifetime And what impact we will have. On the ones close to us and our nations and the whole world. So

Thank you so much for this opportunity to offer some thoughts about this really crucial topic. Well thank you very much. I I listen to you in different occasions but always somehow you managed to impress me by all the level of the wisdom and

The words that you are sharing with us so I’m I’m really glad that you accepted invitation to join us and thank you very much for sharing all these important things that I hope will inspire all our audience to take the

Action as you said and yes you highlighted some very important things we all need fight especially in justice and this is something that is hurting all of us and I’m glad that managed to bring together a Legion for Peace and United

Legion initiative which is their core values are having desire to create peace, to create peace in the world, where there will be more justice and peace and healing for the whole human beings. So I’m really happy that they managed to bring these younger

People and wisdom from the older generation that we speak today and also thank you very much Sally for all these practical things that you share with us because I think that we all need to take action idea of this webinar and panel

Discussion is not just to share our ideas and thoughts but to motivate our audience and ourselves as well to do something after this webinar. At least maybe to letting some of our stereotypes and prejudice that we may have and

Next time when we set in our computer or meet somebody else on the street maybe to think twice how we will approach this human beings and what we will share with them. So thank you once again and you also mentioned something very

Important. This practical toolkit that we will share a link to it and I’m really happy that URI produce something like that that we will be able to share it with others but you also mentioned in a few times that hate speech should have

Alternative and counter narratives that hate that we should fight with hate speech not just by ignoring it but we need to bring some extra values and I’m so happy that my colleague Amina is is with me here today and even though we

Will now move to the Q&A section before that I would like floors to her because we were also part of the project called Alter Hate. Which was the project bringed by you know organised by young people from Religious for Peace Europe. And

Idea was to provide alternative alternatives to the hate speech. So I mean I think that this is the right place right now to share a few information about that. Before we move to next session of our webinar. So thank you Sally once again and

Amina Flores yours. Thank you Layla. Thank you very much. Um I will try to share a few words about the outer heat which is what the campaign that we had the opportunity to do in the Western Balkan specifically Um we were concentrating on

Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia, Herzegovina. But also it’s really important to say it’s a a part of the larger platform called speech for change which is a platform within religious for peace. And more precisely we were doing it inside the framework of European

Interfaith Youth Network of Religions for Peace. But one of the one of the very, let’s say, immediate results that we had and that we actually did last year on the occasion on the World Interfaith Harmony Week. We’re actually two important

Things. It was again one webinar. We already talked about the interface perspectives and interfaith importance of countering hate speech to let’s say bringing a better Interfaith Corporation. But very important and very dear to me. Output is that we try to root our alternate

Response in the interfaith. And we decided to create a post where we decided to you know just dig into different religious traditions. And we found 11 different religious traditions and again I want to say that there are many more spiritual directions,

Traditions that were not a part of our poster because again we were working also with limited resources, limited time, limited number of people who could work on this poster and it took us a lot of time to actually come up with this

Poster and to find quotes and verses inside religious traditions, inter religious scriptures and inside just oral traditions of the of different religious traditions and create this poster where we that we actually symbolically called no hate speech rule poster. And we

Found in those 11 different traditions we found quotes that are supporting good speech, that are supporting supporting positive speech. Speech that is actually encouraging people to listen to each other not to use harsh words as be and and also sometimes those were there were

Some quotes that are basically somehow prohibiting people to use harsh words to hate each other and to use words that are going to do harm to those to whom we are speaking. So I will just briefly share with you

This poster. Uh some of you had the opportunity to to see it already. The post is already available on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and it’s completely free for use because we had some inquiries from people. Is it okay that they

Use it? That they promote that they you know put it in their classrooms even. So for me this is like really important output and really important, it’s here, it’s really important to hear from people, their reactions, and their wish

Actually to use this as a learning material. So I’m just sharing this very briefly with you. Um, and probably you, you will see it, so just tell me, give me a thumbs up when you can see the poster, and as you

Can see, we decided to, dig in, let’s go in into Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, the high fate, Jainism, Hinduism, Confertianism, Islam, Zorastrianism, Tao and Christianity. And of course, as I said there are many other spiritual thoughts, many other traditions that we did not

Manage to include, but we invited people to send us also the, the quote. So, maybe we will have another version of the poster, maybe we will have no hit pitch rule number two, or maybe we’ll have something like more comprehensive, and

Added with other religious traditions, but, I just wanted to to share this as one of the ways how we as young people wanted to react to hate speech. How we as young people wanted to root ourselves in the interfaith and you know show

That that religion you know is a source of of positivity, is a source for peace, not just for violence because unfortunately in media we mostly see how religion is being manipulated and used for not so nice actions. So we we decided to

Show something different, something alternative. And that’s how this hate no hate speech roll poster was actually born and I do hope that you like them, you like it, and I do hope that also our viewers will be able to see the poster

And will be able to you know, get something out of it but you can definitely find it on our alter heat Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as I said. So, Layla, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this

With you as well. Uh and thank you to you panelist for your amazing inputs. I have to say Layla that all the three speeches were so powerful. I really You know, I found myself asking like, you know, where were all these people? I mean,

We were doing campaigns, you know? Where were all those inputs? Because you know, you really touched my heart. I’m not saying this just because you know, you are our panelist, but you really spoke from your hearts, and this is important

Because you understand, and you see when people are speaking from their hearts. And it’s really touched me because, you know, you spoke about hate speech and about the real problem without like, you know, I don’t know, citing different like definitions, citing you

Know, you can do this, you can do that, you know, because you’re really speaking about practical and very important things that we need to consider where we are countering hate speech and I really hope that our viewers actually could

Sense this. Uh I was really moved by also personal experiences that you decided to share with us because those personal experiences, I think it, they have to be much more present in the media, much more present, on social media, much

More present in the public, that people actually see how people, you know, react to hate speech and what hate speech can do to people because a lot of times I spoke I spoke I spoke to to different you know especially to young people and

They, they say, you know, sometimes, you know, it’s just words, it’s hate speech, maybe it’s not going to harm anybody, you know, we were just joking, etcetera, etcetera and then like, it’s not a joke. Because at some point, this hate speech

Can lead to hate crimes unfortunately. Luckily, most of the hate speech is not that dangerous, but we never, we can never know, you know, who can be listening and who can actually take seriously what we just said. And and act upon

That. And we we saw that many times you know with the public persons who were spreading hate speech. They were just thinking okay I’m saying something because I it’s my freedom of speech. And then actually somebody takes that very very

Seriously and acts upon it. But again thank you for your inputs. Um I had a lot of questions roaming around my mind. When you were speaking that I would actually try to address to each of you one of the questions that came to my

Mind that I would like to learn more. That I will also give to lay life. She wants to say something. Uh but I would like to start with Tahil because he spoke the first and I’m just going to follow the order. And

Tahil I know that a few days ago you moderated one event that was again dealing with hate speech. It was called the power of words to say or not to say. And you had also three amazing panelists. I know that

Because I was part of the event so I had the opportunity to listen to those people but I would like to ask you just to with us few highlights from this event. Just few highlights, you know, few important messages that you

Actually found in this event. So, Tahil the floor is yours, please. Thank you so much Amina. Um thank you for the plug for our last event. It’s nice to be able to be able to share some of the highlights from that space because I think

You know we often times do not consider the role of how we use our very own languages in the nature of addressing hate speech itself. Because we always look at hate speech from the frame of this is specific language that we’re using

Against a specific community that is targeted. But sometimes what actually happens is both historically and traditional we note that there are of terms and phrases that are picked up by our own mother tongues that are actually rooted in injustice, that are rooted in

The oppression of certain communities. Um especially from the context of looking at the lens of anti-blackness, many communities around the world use words and phrases to be able to describe people of African descent or of darker skin colors as people who are

Inferior in society. Um one of the major things that actually came out of our conversations with folks from a couple of days ago was the fact that the nature of challenging this means being able to step up our ability to be able to stand in

The way of using this language. When it comes to people using this language very naturally, they don’t assume that they’re going to be challenged and we don’t think about how certain words and phrases have a certain etymology or origin

That allow them to to you know prosper in certain communities. So, it is up to us in a lot of ways to be able to step in and say, you know, I think you should consider using another term or phrase that allows a

Person or a community to feel humanized. A good example that came up was of a colleague of ours by the name of Firaz. Um who was speaking to his friend from Saudi Arabia. Um I don’t remember the term exactly but when it came to referring

People of African descent, particularly Um the term that the Saudi colleague of his used to describe them is translated to the word slave. And the person used it so naturally in conversation that Firaz got taken aback and said I’m sorry

Are am I hearing this word correctly? Are you referring to this person by this term? The person said yeah it’s just been a part of conversation so like what other term do I have? And Firaz took the initiative to be

Able to say actually you could just call person by their skip color or you could just call them by their name rather than demeaning them in the way by using such a derogatory term. And often times we don’t feel comfortable in being able to

Step in to be able to interrupt or try to cause discomfort when it comes to these kinds of things. Um but a major point that I actually brought up is how do you stand up for people? Or a community when they’re not

In the room? And what Firaz did was one of the key ways that you’re able to do that. When you know that someone is using certain derogatory terms and they sometimes use it only because they’re in the safety of one of their own

Communities. It’s up to us as allies and accomplices for justice to be able to step in and say, no, that is not the right thing to do. You should not be doing that. Um because it takes a lot of effort from,

You know, folks who are learning about communities who are showing solidarity to be able to do so when spaces do not have the representation necessary for folks to be able to intervene and say no this is not the language you should be

Using. Um it would also became very clear is that the nature of using language itself can pose a lot of different challenges. Um one of our colleagues on the panel by the name of Izzy had spoken about his journey in getting to study

Hebrews specifically. Um and when he was asked about you know what he does for a living, what he does for his studies and he had mentioned that he studies Hebrew, someone explicitly asked him, why are you studying the language of

The enemy? In other instances, one of our colleagues, Sibu, who, you know, is a polyglot in her own right, has studied numerous languages, decided to go to China and was using Mandarin Chinese with people, and was abused by people who

Thought she was of a different ethnic origin, but was still able to speak Mandarin Chinese. Mind you, she is not Chinese in origin in any way. She comes from a Costa Rican and a Polish background. But her ability and her interest in studying

Chinese brought her into a space and because she looked different and was speaking the language of the people that people were disrespecting her. So the nature of hate speech is very complicated. It is rooted in so many different forms of

Injustice. It doesn’t look the same everywhere you go. Hate speech can be directed at you. You can espouse speech that is a culturally a part of community or you can just talk and hate can be thrown towards at you for using speech. Um so

The nature of being able to combat all of those things is rooted in us being able to speak up and to stand up for what is right in the face of any of those challenges. And I think it becomes even more

Clear that in the nature of addressing that we do have to learn about the nuance of where language is used and how it’s being used. Uh because often times we don’t know the roots of why language is the way that

It is. Um much of it can be rooted to you know colonialism and the ability of those who have conquered various countries within Asia and Africa to be able to hold onto language mainly because of languages like English and

French that sort of pass on from generation to generation. And many other times through observation of what the community sort of examine and express. You’re able to also determine that there has been you know connotations that are intentionally negative towards

Specific communities that have developed over time So, this is both a historical challenge to the status quo and both the modern challenge to the status quo when we are trying to counter hate speech. Thank you very much Tahal for

This input Tanya. It is very interesting Respective when you are when we can discuss about language itself. Being the root causes of the hate speech. So thank you for bringing this dimension and I want to use this opportunity to invite all

Our people who are following us right now and watching this live stream to go to your Facebook account and account of the organization who coordinated the seminar yesterday and take a look as it was really interesting discuss and a lot of inputs that relate

To the to today’s topic as well. Uh now I want to as this presenter on the TV say like we have interruption in the program I would like now to bring us back to our speakers. So Doctor Lakshmi welcome. Uh

We hope that you manage to find the space to join us. We understand what we are organising events in different time zones than it can be really confusing. As we said at the beginning. Some of us are coming in the early morning,

Afternoon, evening, so we are glad that you managed to join us. And of we’ll be more than happy to hear your input to this topic as well. So far we have our three amazing speakers, the inputs and we start with the question and

Answer but we will now give floor to you to share to give your inputs on this topic in like five to 10 minutes and then we can continue with the question but before we give Lord to you I would like to

Shortly to introduce you as well. You also have impressive biographies like all our other panelists so I will try just shortly to give some glimpse of of your incredible and I’m sure that our followers will be able to read more about it. So

Doctor Lakshmi Viyas dedicates a lot of her time for charitable organization and her main objective is to unite the Hindus of Europe under one umbrella. Hindu forum of Europe. She coordinate recently celebrated Diwali in European Parliament that was held last

Year on the 9th of November which bring together attendance of members of European Parliament, High Commissioners, NGOs, spiritual organization, non-political communities, from UK and all over the Europe. Uh she also coordinates the UK census on their consultation and being a standing advisory

Council on religion education. Doctor Lakshmi is also well versed in Hinduism and has clear view of immigration and in an integration as the head of quality and she also works with you with people and learners from all walk of life.

She also had quite impressive academic career with writing different of books and publications so we are really happy to have you with us here today and I would like to give you floor, to give your inputs on important topic that we are

Discussing. So, Doctor Lakshmi Floor is yours. it please unmute yourself. nice, thank you very much Eliza for that wonderful introduction. Um I was wondering, I mean, are we starting the meeting or are we going to start it at at five

O’clock? Yes, so the meeting already started. We are in the middle of the meeting already one hour. So, you were a little bit late. It’s probably there were confusion by the time zones. So, our speaker already gave their input. We started

With Q&A session but we will now give floor to you and continue with the Q&A. And and that I joined late. No problem I have confusion. It was the time confusion. I am very sorry about that. No problem. We are

Happy to have you with us. So please floor is yours. Yeah, hate speech and countering hate speech is one of the biggest problem for leaders And of course, people who may run the organization, different organizations. It’s it’s a nightmare sometimes. So, it is

A hateful hate speech is a form of expression through which intent to vilify, humiliate or incite hatred against a group of people. I mean all these things everybody must have spoken. So I’m not going over it again. Ah I would like to

Say that technology has made it a lot easier for ah all all of us to share ideas and information. Seek advice and much more. And while most of this interaction is kind and respectful. There are those who use it to demean, insult, bully

And abuse. Hate speech, by and large is dangerous and may to low esteem, depression, isolation, anger, anti-social and self destructive behaviours. So, ah generally we as leaders have to provide the right direction to parents and educators seeking to prevent

Children under their care from experiencing or engaging in hate speech. As well as dealing with it in healthy ways when they encounter it. But it’s not just for a caregivers, hate speech can affect people of any age. Including adults which is why

We need to curb and allow it to happen at the same time, punish the perpetrators. Here I, I’ll give you two live examples of ah what happened in the past one or two years ah, of ah, ah, hate speech, ah, and, and, and,

And their true incidences and we, may be all of you may be familiar with it also. The first is the Oxford university incidents where ah Rashmi Samant a small town girl from Karnataka was all excited about being elected. The first

Indian women to be the president of the prestigious Oxford University Students Union. Rashmi Samant who ran her campaign on decolonization and inclusivity platform won the elections. She made the headlines in India and across the world all major Indian and diaspora

News outlets proudly covered the news. Two days later, however, it all fell apart. Samantha had to resign amid allegations of racism, anti Semitism and transphobia. A few days later, Samant quit Oxford and was on her flight back to India after being bullied,

Threatened and abused with hate speeches. For being Hindu. Leading the charge against Samantha, a staff member who still works in Oxford University and he goes scot free. When all the trauma was faced by Samant, who attributed all this to cyber

Bullying, hate speech, against Hindu student. Ah I mean this is the story and finally I think ah ah Rashmi Samant has come back and she has been reinstated ah but ah the staff who actually initiated all this, he is still

There, he is not moved out. Ah this is what happened in Oxford University. And I mean it was widely publicised by BBC and other newspapers. The second issue again ah an Hindu ah harassment by ah for a by not by Hindu. For the Hindu

Students. Ah this this is in ah New Jersey ah university Audre was the faculty member who is the main person who was ah instigating the Hindu students when traumatic. So, what happened was the the Yuva Student Union of the Regulus

University they ah they all Truscare had tweeted that Mata Sita in Valmiki’s Ramayana basically tells Bhagwan Rama that he is a misogynist pig and unkuth. I mean these are all ah worded from whatever it it came through. Nothing is cooked by

Me. She tweeted an announcement of her extremely provocative ah new course ah history of South Asia, Modi to Moguls. And also she suggested that Bhagwan Lakshmana was lusting did not allow the festival of Holi to happen in the she tried

To block the campus event on Kashmiri Hindus. Where the film maker Vivek Agnimoti was the main speaker. Ah the students were shocked and crestfallen when they found out that the animal administration did not only support Trust Gate but also childed students and other

Attacks on Tuskegee and her academic freedom. Trust K is full of hate and demean Hindus openly and was suing hate and hate speeches against Hindus. She also instigated Hindu students to join her and try to achieve her end through them. She was openly abusing

The Hindu Gods. The sad news is the university authorities did not take any action against her. The students were forced to go in in groups and came around with copied of copies of trust case social media posts. In their present to the university

Administration. They demonstrated how Truscare had repeatedly and consciously mocked Hindu deities, misrepresented the rivered ancient texts such as Ramayana and Mahabhata. Ah and tried to whitewash ah other historical atrocities in the Indian subcontinent. Finally ah after several ah rounds of

Presentation the ah the university bosses apologized. But trust K goes ahead with her agenda. She is still free. So hate speech is something which happens on all around. It’s a very very difficult scenario to tackle individually. So ah we can

Counter counter it very intelligently and very politely. So ah some of the points ah how can we counter the speech? Or the trolls. So challenge the message. Never the person who spread it. This is very important. Secondly, use facts and data to call out

Generalization and inaccuracies. I would also add here, display the harm of hate speech by showing a different perspective. Politely. And be polite in your reply. Don’t become abusive yourself. sorry The biggest source for source of hateful comments on the

Internet is trolls. A troll is a profile intentionally created to spread controversial or off topic content and provoke inflammatory responses while remaining anonymous. So, once again we need not keep quiet about it. Um if if you are not

Scared, if you are not ah ah afraid of anything, you can counter ah counter them. So what ah some things which you need to remember is we need to recognize them first. Here are some points which you can follow. Their

Name is usually non descriptive. The the one who trolls and or even just series of numbers. Remember, trolls always aim to remain anonymous. Secondly, not setting a profile picture. They generally don’t do that. So, that makes them suspicious. The same applies if

They use famous person’s image or a stock foot Next, look at their followers. How many do they have? Are they trolls themselves? And lastly, now look at their account behavior. Most of them, their activity is very irregular and repetitive. So, once you

Identify the trolls, don’t give them the recognition they search for. When you see their provocative comments on social media, the best thing to do is probably ignore them. Never feed the roles. If you have, if you are a victim of hate speech

Or online shaming, it might be better to mute your account that is provocating you and harming you when you recognize the troll, immediately block and report it. So, you have to learn how to respond to the Facebook et cetera et cetera.

And it is better that you know you work in a group rather than in single. Let let your friends also join you in replying to such ah notes. And look after yourself very carefully. So these are some of the words

Would like to ah suggest to people to counter hack. At the same time ah there is too much of politics in all our rules and regulations. It is sometimes very difficult to keep a watch on all the atrocities that happen in the

Social media ah television and news media. Each country has to monitor its own social media and remove the apps in all those mobiles and ah cell phones who deal with abuses. Ah I feel the media is also paid to do ah hate speech. And

Generally hate speech weakens and destroys communities. Sowing seeds of fear, hatred and distrust. Ah when left unchecked it can lead to violence and even genocide. So ah when I am talking about the Hindus ah Hindus all around the world are generally soft

Spoken, a God fearing and they believe in their scriptures. Ah the term it means ah respect to all the religions and follow the paths accordingly and do what is right and fair. We I will ah in conclude with this statement that we have all we

We have and will always remain committed we as Hindus we will always remain committed to our guiding principle of Vasudaiva Kudumpakam that is the whole world is one family Means the whole world is one family. The diverse of the Hinduism is

Uniquely beautiful and the principle of meaning leading those benighted by ignorance to the light through equation and genuine mutual learning. Thank you. Great. Thank you very much for this reminder about hate speech and how we can react and on all

These concrete examples that you share even though some of them are very painful but I think that it’s very important to highlight them and to discuss about them. So, thank you Doctor Lakshmi for joining us. We are glad to have you

With us and you definitely contribute with your speech and especially highlighting from your Hindu perspective which is highly appreciated and now we have about 15 more minutes left so I will now give Floor back to Amina because she mentioned

That she has some more question for other panelists and the time is really running when you have this nice discussion but Tamina Floor is yours and let’s discuss about few more things that were on your mind. Thank you, Layla. Thank you very

Much. Um and as you said like I really had a lot of questions that I wanted to ask our panelists. And my second question will go to the corner of Friends because we know that rents as a psychologist. He

Works a lot with people on on mental health. And mental health is also connected to hate speech at some point. So I wanted to ask you how does hate speech actually affect our mental health? But both of those who are you know target

Of the hate speech but also of those who are perpetrating hate speech. I think in conversations about hate speech, we tend to discredit people who are perpetrating it. We don’t speak about it. So, how does, you know, all of that

Hatred that we try to perpetrate also affects us and what we can do about it. I know a question is probably too wide and you could pick hours about it but please give us some of your thoughts about it. Thank

You. Let me try to to do that in a few minutes so you can ask the other questions that you have. Um The effect first on those who are targets or victims of hate speech. Um since hate speech incites violence, it incites

Discrimination in in in hatred towards a certain individual. That person experiences severe threats. Um and varying degrees. And this threat becomes not just a threat to their lives but also a threat to their dignities. Now when each of us are facing threats

That causes us significant amount of stress. Um and worst part of that would be what we call traumatic stress or trauma in in simple terms. And whenever we are traumatized that causes negative impacts in the way that we think, the way

That we feel, and the way that we relate with other people. Um, some of our panelists mentioned that, hate speech has caused depression, suicide is actually the second leading cause of death among young people all over the world. Um,

It’s not even, I, actually now, it’s the leading cause of that. And a lot of that come, comes from hate speech as well. Because, it it removes your sense of humanity. It pulls down your self-esteem. And of course you’re afraid for your

Life. So it it causes you to hide in fear. So it causes many of these negative impacts on an individual that often leads to many long term complications in their emotional and psychological well-being. Now we do not usually talk about perpetrators of hate speech.

But when we try to understand where all that hatred is coming from we also need to look at the cycle of violence and the cycle of hatred that exists. Uh are theories that explain that someone who might be bullying or abusive of someone else

Themselves may have experienced a form of abuse or violence or bullying. So the human mind basically learns what it observes. So if you as a young child for example grows up in an environment that fosters violence, hatred, and all of

These things. You learned that that’s the normal way of doing things. So if you grow up in a household where your parents for example throws violent curses with one another. They disrespect one another. You learn that that is the way to

Deal with other people. And it it continues. Okay? For you you become a victim of it. You start victimizing other people. Those you victimize will start victimizing other people. So it’s a never ending cycle that perpetuates violence and

Hatred. So when we look at that perspective as much as we would like to say that we condemn those who are doing hate speech. If we ourselves condemn them then what makes us different from them, right? If they’re doing hate speech and

You respond with hate speech we’ll never achieve the goal of ending hate speech. That’s why we respond with love. We respond with understanding, with empathy, with care. All of this because we try to understand that this human being is starting to promote

Hate because they may be hurt. In in my practice as a clinical psychologist, we often say that hurt people hurt people. So, maybe try to understand where they’re coming from. And then understand that pain Give them love. Give them care, empathy,

And understanding. Maybe that way we can help them change the way they do things. I hope I answered your question. I mean it’s quite a short time but I hope I was able to explain that. Thank you very much friends. As as you said it’s

Very short time but this is coming from you as as somebody who’s working a lot with people with you know a mental health I’m sure that our viewers now will you know take this into account because as you said, it’s always easy to just start

Judging and it’s always easy to just start, you know, somehow pushing back, but instead of trying to put yourselves in the, a style set, sometimes the shoes are not always easy to put ourselves in, and it’s not always easy to understand, but

Anyways, thank you very much, and I think you provided very, very clear, very concise answer in such a short time, and, I really appreciate it. Uh, and third question will go to the Sally’s corner because I would like to ask you a bit more

Because you you were mentioning a lot intergenerational cooperation and you were mentioning a lot what you were doing in URI but can you tell us how effectively we can actually you know foster and and go forward with this intergenerational approach. How

We can meaningfully include young people because you were mentioning precisely that you know unfortunately you put young people in people very often feel as talk of and somebody just to brag about them. We have them. Uh so what what would be yours let’s say

Some kind of advices or tips and tricks for for all of us working in this especially in the interfaith spaces because I think these spaces are super important and it’s very very important that we connect those on the seniors with the with

The younger ones and and you know provide the space for for exchange. Um and we are already exchanging on an interfaith basis but what about this generational one. Thank you. Again, not so much time to answer but please, the floor is

Yours. Yeah. well, thank you, Amina. It is so much easier to talk about it than to do it and to make the changes. Um I’ll just say a few things when we were doing that project. One elder gentleman in my age

Group, he said, you know, I humbly, he was humble and open and he said, I really don’t understand the challenges that the twenty Five year olds are facing. I’m curious. I really want to know. So for elders check your curiosity. Do you really want

To know what’s inside a person who’s in their 20s or in their 30s right now. What’s going on? What their their fears are. What their hopes are. So that struck me as something that isn’t about a manual. It’s just about giving true curiosity Um

I what Elder the other thought that we did and I think it was Tahil. This appreciative inquiry, this way of creating a condition where you really are asking each other questions. In that same manner, about who, you know, who you are and what

You, where you have been your best in your life, on both sides. So, within an organization, for instance, we think we can just sort of notice it and then, it’ll kind of get better. But I don’t think so. I think you have to

Make it a priority and and bring people of different age groups in this case into these kinds of conversations where they are asked to tell each other about their stories, about their life issues, and then be listened to. Um this

Book, this toolkit, go to it. It has very practical answers to just these questions. They point out myths And then in assumptions and then they point out what the reality is and then they also it also gives what you can do to bring people

Together. So, I think I’ll stop there and really refer people to that toolkit. Thank you. Thank you very much, Sally. Um I already shared the link to the toolkit on our Facebook comments below the this very panel discussion that is live

Streamed so I do hope that people will have the opportunity to see it yesterday. I saw it. It was very nice nicely done and it’s very you know very lively and very youthful and with all of those colors and and you know,

As you said, very very practical recommendations on how to meaningfully include young people and I think more resources like that are very very much needed and more conversations like this are much needed because intergenerational operation is something that we are

Definitely speaking and we are definitely doing a lot about in the lawsuit years I would say. I think it wasn’t that prominent before but in the last few years it became very important that we need to work together in order to let’s say

Somehow confirmed and face all the issues that that this planet and we as human beings on it are facing. So these intergenerational perspectives are super important. So my another my fourth question which is going in the corner of Doctor Lakshmi. Uh we’ll be you

Know about this cooperation between youngsters and between seniors and about hate speech and about you know these initiatives countering hate speech. So can you tell us you know if you’re familiar with some of these kinds of corporations and you know if

You are familiar and if you have worked because I know that you had you have a lot of experience in this and I had the opportunity to be on one forum that is concerning hate speech against migrants and refugees and I had the

Opportunity to work with you. Uh so maybe you can just give us a few inputs and hints about the initiative that you worked on. Thank you. Please unmute yourself. Yes, I have been working on with the migrants and refugees, not personally but on their

Work and how we can support them. Ah so culturally, cultural diversity in Europe should be taken as an advantage. Ah and celebrated instead of being seen it as negative thing. That is number one. And secondly ah migrants and refugees ah they have miss

Perceptions and misunderstanding regarding the laws, customs and conditions in their host country. You know because they come from different places. These gaps can be reduced by promoting their participation. Moreover their full non intervention decisions that have an impact

On their lives. So I mean we keep it keep the migrants at a distance. Instead cooperate them in the you know take them in your work and in you know in make them more and more inclusive. That would help a

Lot. So my request to each and every person. Mix with the variety of people. Much different from you. Ah may be difficult in the beginning but it is very important for religious leaders and important ah ah both you know people holding good portfolios. That

Ah they it’s ah they mix with a variety of people. Ah political leaders and managers to know different kind of people and rediscover your relationship and make life happy for everyone. So, if you mix, for example, people travel all

Around the world and they have different kind of food. But why not mix with different kind of people and enjoy their food, you know, going to their house or restaurants or something like that. So, that’s, that’s sort of an attitude has to

Develop all round. So, valuing multiculturalism is an important aspect of ah ah you know hate speech and abuse abusive speeches. it’s very important that every become, everyone should start liking or or or at least in start doing a sort of a multicultural group

Work or something like that which will bring people together. Where every every religion is a different but they have some common things and and finally we are all human beings. You know we are not in you know any other persons. We are all human

Beings. So, why can’t we come together? If we make an effort, definitely we can. Thank you, Doctor Lakshmi. Thank you for this, let’s say, call, call to people for coming together and basically asking ourselves if we are coming and if we are

Human beings and why can we just come together and and understand each other but thank you for addressing this issue of hate speech against migrants and refugees because Europe for the past year was you know, all entangled in this you know, a

Lot of people were migrating from different parts of the world to Europe. So Europe was facing this. And a lot of hate speech was rising there. Uh I had the opportunity to work on several initiatives in Bosnia Herzegovina which is just small

Country on the route. Um on the migrant route and not a lot a lot of migrants coming but still there is you know boiling hate speech because it’s something unknown. It’s something that we don’t know and it’s something that we you

Know are as you said like not trying to understand not trying to to come as human beings and understand what those people actually went through to to come to our country and you know what kind of road and path

They had to go through. And you know you you just have to understand what is what what can happen to you that you have to leave your home to go somewhere else. You know this is the question that mostly we

Don’t ask ourselves when we are working with refugees and migrants and this is something that we we should definitely think of. So Layla I finish with my questions and I have a lot of them now but yeah it’s

Already 6: 30 PM in my in my place and it’s very late in Philippines so I would like to you know send back send rents to go to sleep. And for the sake of time I will just hand you over to wrap up the finish

And thank you very much again. Thank you very much Amina. Yes as I said when we have this nice discussion always time runs really quickly and there’s so many open questions but there there is beauty in this because then have chance to

Meet again and to continue a discussion and to open floor for discussion in online. See you again. So I would just like to thank all of you for participating, for giving you a very valuable inspo for being such a great inspiration and

Not just inspiration but for all this call for action and I hope this all our viewers will learn something that they already learn something from this and then they will take action after this and so according to all your suggestions all your nice

Inputs. I want to invite all of those viewers who are watching us right now to step outside of their comfort zone, to try to be more empathic, active listening and now to go outside if it is not too late in the

Airplane and maybe to meet somebody that they didn’t have chance to meet earlier. So as you all said, may peace prevail on earth and let all us come together for the sake of the peace, justice and healing. So thank you once again and thanks

All of those of you who are watching on Facebook and especially thank you for all of you who woke up early in the morning to join us and who stayed late in the evening. It shows how dedicated you are for

This work and I’m sure with all of your efforts and passion and knowledge that we will bring some more positive change to this world. So thank you again and thank you Amina for co-hosting this event. Thank you.

#Countering #Hate #Speech #interfaith #intergenerational #perspectives

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