As long as Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyib do it everything is normal, but if the invitation to consider your neighbor as a brother comes from the UN a religious question becomes cultural and political.

Episodes of violence inspired by religious hatred have been on the rise since the pandemic began. This fact highlights how aversion towards others is directly proportional to economic and social difficulties. We feel insecure because the salary does not arrive, the bar in which we have invested all our savings is closed, the ski lifts are frozen, the hotel is empty and theaters are deserted. Valid reasons to be worried, even angry. Good reasons to ask for political transformation, radical changes of direction, greater firmness or more flexibility. All that is wished for and considered useful, but the "unbelievers" have nothing to do with it. It is not their fault. Yet the attacks which stem from intolerance towards those who profess a different faith are increasing in this period faster than the value of Bitcoin, so much so that, as we reported in the last issue, even the Council of Europe has recently established the figure of a new special representative responsible for dealing with this issue full time.

Episodes of violence inspired by religious hatred have increased sharply since the start of the pandemic

Covid has opened a new horizon of convergence between the two religious leaders who signed the document on “Human fraternity for world peace and living together" in Abu Dhabi on 4 February 2019 and the United Nations Assembly, which announced the International Day of Human Fraternity on the same day exactly two years after the event. The aim is to promote intercultural dialogue and foster mutual knowledge. The period, however, is unfavorable. The economic crisis has exacerbated hearts and souls while lockdown has clouded judgment. Perhaps it is for this reason that the UN promotes the World Day of Social Justice in the same month of February, on the 20th. Such an initiative is considered an indispensable condition for the achievement and maintenance of Peace and security both within countries and between nations. The UN invites member states to consolidate their efforts to eradicate poverty and promote employment, gender equality and the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants.

The economic revival may also serve to calm the friction between populations

Fraternity and social justice didn’t just come together by chance but they might just trigger a short circuit between values that represent the two sides of the same coin. Social justice is an essential prerequisite for Peace, but also for overcoming hatred of any kind, primarily religious hatred, which is after all the easiest to trigger. Recovering economically also helps us to get closer to our neighbor (the one who has his wife with her face covered by a veil) and to realize that he experiences the crisis with the same difficulties as our cousin (the one with his girlfriend who goes to mass every Sunday).

A piece by the French street artist Combo from the "COEXIST" series

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