THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Friday, January 15, 2010

News from the Network, Vol. 3, No. 2

The big news for the week, of course, is the Haitian earthquake. Little more needs to be said about that, however, than (if you feel up to it) you should consider contributing something to the immediate relief effort. Please note, however, that CESJ is not accepting contributions for the relief effort. Please direct your contributions to the American Red Cross or other charitable or relief organization.
• Anyone involved in the Just Third Way should, however, consider in what way the principles of the Just Third Way can be applied to rebuilding Haiti, not just in meeting the immediate short term needs. Primary among the country's needs in the long term is fundamental institutional change that will allow all Haitians to participate fully in the common good as full persons, especially the economic common good. In this respect, the current disaster may be a blessing in disguise. We spoke with a university professor today who had formerly been with the World Bank and had spent some time in Haiti trying to convince the leaders to adopt certain structural reforms, but with no success. The need to rebuild almost everything from scratch, however, may open people's minds, both in Haiti and in the international community, to the need for such institutional changes.

• We received word early this week that Al Qaeda has called for the assassination of Dr. Ahmed Mansour, head of the International Quranic Center in Northern Virginia, and a world-renowned Quranic scholar. Dr. Mansour is a leading expert in the philosophy of the 14th century Aristotelian Ibn Khaldûn, who is in substantial agreement with Moses Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish Aristotelian, and St. Thomas Aquinas, a contemporary of Maimonides and a correspondent, on the essential principles of the natural moral law. While the point of difference might seem esoteric, as an Aristotelian Dr. Mansour bases the precepts of the natural moral law common to all religions and philosophies on the divine Nature reflected in humanity, while Islamic, Jewish, and Christian fundamentalists base the precepts of the natural moral law on their own private interpretation of something they believe to be a revelation of the divine Will. Basing the natural law on Nature means that its precepts are discernable by everyone through human reason, while basing the natural law on Will means that its precepts are discernable only by faith to a self-appointed elite.

• A great many meetings have taken place this week, none of which make for interesting news reports, but which are nevertheless very important. A number of critical projects are moving forward, slowly but surely.

• Marie T. Kurland has begun a project to assist Mr. Robert Ngobito of Kenya, a school teacher, in teaching people in his district about the Just Third Way. His district has virtually no internet access, and there is an extreme scarcity of basic materials. Mr. Ngobito has indicated he would like to host a conference with Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, as the main speaker, but lacks the resources and outreach. If you are interested in helping to move this initiative forward, please send Marie an e-mail at thirdway [at] cesj [dot] org. This could be a very interesting as well as educational project for a high school or even junior high, as well as for individuals seeking meaningful ways to have a positive effect on the world community. This would also be ideal if you have a foundation that is seeking worthy objects for its efforts.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 46 different countries and 39 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, Brazil, Canada and the Philippines. People in the Netherlands Antilles, Taiwan, Malaysia, France, and Venezuela spent the most average time on the blog. The "News from the Network" postings are the most popular, followed by those on "The Political Animal."
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.