The organisation Convergence of Cultures held a gathering over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of October 2012 at Park’s of Study & Reflection – Toledo.

Erica Naomi Ishikawa, from Sao Paulo sent a message from the Brazilian organisation of the same name: “We ask for us and for all, the ability to transcend all our differences and connect with that deep space where love for all mankind. We asked for the ability to reach people of all cultures to share this profound experience where all hearts converge.”

As an example of the work of Convergence of Cultures we reproduce here the organisation’s call for responsibility to be taken by religious leaders – Friday, 12 October 2012.

As follows:

The unfortunate events that occurred in the last weeks, triggered by the release of a video based on the prophet Mohammed, founder of the Islam, have led Convergence of Cultures to issue a call that we consider of extreme importance.

In the current context, as the anti-humanism forces of big capital continue to suffocate the people, “incoherent proposals arise that gain strength by exploiting people’s discontent, focusing it on various scapegoats. At the root of all such neo-fascism is a profound negation of human values”. (1)

We can observe nowadays how the obscurantism and fanaticism revive and how the most retrograde elements of every culture appear along with their experts in the exaltation of differences. They act as modern inquisitors stirring up the worst of each community. They prosper in every civilization crisis, as it has happened before all throughout history.

But we are aware of how the concerns are focused on the analysis of the trigger that caused this phenomenon, in its origin and composition; and only a few seek to understand the nature of the “explosive charge” in which this trigger operates.

How is it possible that a video or some caricatures provoke such response and counter response? How are these gears of action and reaction started with no one apparently controlling them? What was going on before the sparks gave off? The sparks alone are not enough: in which kind of atmosphere should they fall in order to start such a fire?

Today more than ever, “religions have responsibilities to humanity that they must fulfill. Today they have a duty to create a new psycho-social atmosphere, to address themselves as teachers to their faithful, and to eradicate all vestiges of fanaticism and fundamentalism. They cannot turn away and remain indifferent to the hunger, ignorance, bad faith, and violence in today’s world. They must contribute vigorously to tolerance and foster dialogue with other beliefs and every person who feels a sense of responsibility for the destiny of humankind. They must open themselves—and I hope this won’t be taken as irreverence—to manifestations of God in the many cultures. We are waiting for them and expecting them to make this contribution to the common cause in this exceedingly difficult moment.” (2)

We hope this appeal will be able to reach governments and institutions and be welcomed by the religious community, in particular.

We also wish this appeal resounds among the Humanists from every latitude and culture.

That it reaches anyone who wants to contribute to the advent of a new sensitivity. Starting the actions that will help the first Universal Human Nation to be born.

Translated to English by Ana Pérez
1) Silo. “Chapter V. The Anti-Humanist Camp”, from Statement of the Humanist Movement, Sixth Letter to my Friends, in Silo, Complete Works Volume I, Latitude Press, San Diego, 2003.

2) Extract from the talk given by Silo during the Seminar on Philosophical-Religious Dialogue (Power and Light Workers Union Hall, Buenos Aires, 29/10/95, published in the book Silo Speaks, October 1996.