As long as we continue to define peace in terms of war, there will be no peace. That was the overwhelming message I heard last weekend at Brandeis University’s commencement, with a speech delivered by HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan.
Unfortunately, that message is something we seem to be lacking here at Cal Poly. In the Middle East situation, both sides seem more concerned with slurs and stereotypes than solutions. These are not tools to start a dialogue of peace, but rather weapons in a monologue of hate. As Bin Talal put it, “interdependence means committing to live with each other, not despite each other.”
It is my opinion that we will never begin to take a step towards peace, even in the Cal Poly context, if we continue to attack and provoke each other, rather than work together and find common solutions to our common problems. Terror is terror, “it has no race, religion or nationality, nor is it something done only by those we happen not to like.”
In short, this university needs to find better ways to communicate amongst itself. To Humza Chowdhry, Jeff Pathman, the MSA and Hillel, there can be no progress in the context of a fight. I urge you to open a forum to discuss your differences, and moreover to reconcile them. The next time a speaker is invited to campus, let him be supported by both sides, let him be the start of speaking for peace.