The restorativeness of traditional conflict resolution practices in the Middle East are being explored.
- A Separation
- from Judy Bello's entry on Fellowship of Reconciliation: I just saw Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation last night. I’m not going to send formal reviews (do I ever?) but I just want to share my feeling that it is a really great film. ....One aspect of the film surprised me because it wasn’t the aspect of the film that was publicized. Farhadi’s depiction of the Iranian justice system as chaotic, overwhelmed, but intensely immediate and direct, is quite powerful as a ground for other aspects of the drama.... One might say that the film gives an insight into what might be right about the Iranian system in comparison with our own.
- Afghan women trapped in tribal court system
- from the article by Jean MacKenzi in Huffington Post: ....Sakina’s imprisonment stems from her attempts to evade a uniquely medieval form of restitution practiced in tribal courts and known as ba’ad. It is Afghanistan’s version of restorative justice in which women and girls are bartered from one family to another as a way to settle a dispute.
- Alberstein, Michal. Israeli-Jewish cultural aspects of an event of violence: between biblical codes and Zionist ideology - Israeli perspective
- "The response to the event requires understanding of the cultural perception of justice in the Israeli and Jewish society, as well as some overview of existing restorative justice mechanisms which currently operate in Israeli society. This paper aims to explore the ways in which the truth about such violent events could be revealed, in order to attain justice and to begin constructing mechanisms for redress." (abstract)
- Irani, George E. Islamic Mediation Techniques for Midde East Conflicts
- Irani describes the problems of using western forms of conflict resolution in the Middle East. He describes the rituals of suhl and musalaha. In doing so, he stresses the need for cultural understanding in peacemaking processes.
- Jabbour, Elias J. Echoes of Peace From a House of Hope
- The Middle East has been and continues to be a region of intense, bitter, and violent conflict. Amid the conflict are certain movements or currents for peace and peacemaking. One of them is the House of Hope International Peace Center in Shefa-Amer, an Arab town in Galilee in Israel. At the time of writing this book, the town had a population of about 30,000 people made up of three different communities: Christians; Muslims; and Druze. The director of the House of Hope is Elias Jabbour, a Palestinian, Christian, Israel-Arab citizen with a vision for peace and peacemaking in a region of tension and conflict. The House of Hope was established in 1978. In this book Jabbour discusses the issues in the region, as well as the origins and aims of the House of Hope; voices of peace in the area and traditional Arab methods of conflict resolution and peacemaking; efforts to promote peace between Arabs and Jews; and challenges to peace. In addition to explanation and analysis of the situation and approaches to resolving conflicts, the book contains many resources. These include illustrative stories and experiences relating to actual conflicts and efforts to seek peace and reconciliation, letters and accounts from visitors to the House of Hope, and speeches given by Jabbour in various settings.
- Nathan C. Funk. and Irani, George E. "Rituals of reconciliation: Arab-Islamic perspectives."
- Many in the Middle East view conflict resolution as a Western program, and therefore as an outside, imposed practice with little regard for the indigenous (i.e., Middle Eastern) context. Irani and Funk contend that Western policymakers, in efforts to build peace in the Middle East, should engage in dialogue and peace strategies that take into account indigenous rituals and processes of reconciliation. Hence, in this paper they deal with a number of key topics: the limitations of the applicability of Western approaches to conflict resolution in non-Western contexts; traditional Arab-Islamic approaches to conflict resolution; and, in particular, Middle Eastern rituals of settlement and reconciliation. Furthermore, they draw out implications for policymakers and practitioners in promoting peace efforts.
- Restorative Councils help Pakistani police
- from the article in PeaceBuilder: As the founding director of JustPeace International, Ali Gohar (MA ’02) has worked at updating the practice of jirga, an ancient tradition in Pakistan whereby respected and wise elders deliberate in an open community forum to resolve conflicts. In 2003, he and fellow CJP graduate Hassan Yousufza (MA ’03) co-authored Pukhtoon Jirga, a book available for downloading at www.justpeaceint.org. In a 2010 interview with Insight on Conflict, Gohar explained that he was raised in a traditional Pashtun culture: “My family was involved in enmities, which affected my childhood so much that I promised to do something against the traditions of revenge, honour killing, shame factors, and cruelties by the name of honour.” As an adult, he worked as a social welfare commissioner for Afghan refugees, where he saw “more violence, destruction, kidnapping, murder, and displacement of refugees.” In April 2011, Gohar told journalist Lis Horta Moriconi of Comunidad Segura (www.comunidadesegura.org) that EMU professor Howard Zehr and his teachings on restorative justice inspired Gohar to tap his own jirga system as a “means to mitigate conflict and contribute towards peacebuilding.”
- The Taliban and restorative justice
- Himal Southasia is a regional magazine published in Nepal. This article in the January 2009 issue by Aunohita Mojumdar, the magazine’s Kabul-based contributing editor, suggests that former Taliban practices were an extreme form of generally-accepted customary laws in the region that are based on tribal codes and restorative justice principles.
- Yousufzai, Hassan and Gohar, Ali. Towards Understanding Pukhtoon Jirga.
- The Pukhtoon peoples – that is, those who share certain ethnic roots and the Pukhtoon language – live in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of their longest standing cultural traditions or institutions is the jirga. It is a public assembly – involving political, legal, and social elements – for the settling of public and private issues and conflicts. In this booklet, Hassan Yousufzai and Ali Gohar introduce and explain the jirga for those not familiar with it. They began this project based in part on their experiences as Pakistani Muslims who arrived at Eastern Mennonite University to study conflict transformation – only a few days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against targets in the United States. They ask how, in the era of globalization, contemporary people should treat ancient, indigenous institutions like the jirga. Should modern institutions simply overwhelm and push aside older institutions? Or, is there a way whereby modern, more codified systems can benefit from and work together with traditional systems? To explore all of this, they interviewed a wide range of individuals and groups with knowledge of and experience with the Pukhtoon jirga. Thus Yousufzai and Gohar document and present the dynamics of the jirga, discuss it as a peace-building body, characterize it as a grass-roots organization, and speculate on the future of the jirga.