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Sulh and Musalaha

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]
in response to reader comment: The root causes of conflict between the west to Muslim Societies

Submitted by M'Hamed CHETTALI (Belgium), Feb 15, 2006 at 07:30

Dear Mr. Livnat,

I take issue with your assertion that Muslims lack a culture of civilised behavior to conflict. All Islamic countries have today formal judicial systems and the function of the judiciary has always been highly regarded. But, more importantly, the culture of peaceful conflict settlement is ingrained in religion and practices.

There is no scope here to dwell into the details of alternative conflict resolution mechanisms in the Islamic world, but let me just mention the ritual of sulh (settlement), musalaha (reconciliation), public sulh to establish the muwada'a (peace or gentle relationship), and hodna (truce) in the process of mediation. There are many other variants here and there. If you have humour, you might prefer the Joking cousin relationships in Mali. But, seriously, it is not true that Muslims don't have a civilized culture of conflict resolution.

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