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Quotations from Rajmohan Gandhi

September 11th, 2017

Rajmohan Gandhi covered a range of topics in his two lectures at Bethel College. Read on for some of the thoughts he shared on specific themes. Peace after Sept. 11, 2001: "After 9/11, which joined America to the suffering soil of the rest of our earth, Americans cannot afford to think only of uniting America. ... All of us have to strive to heal and unite the world and to seek a just and lasting peace everywhere. ..."

Non-Muslims: "If a probing of the so-called Muslim psyche is natural, such probing may also be required in all of us. ... Let us not pretend that the non-Muslim world has always been at peace with itself or with others."

Terrorism: "How does America wage war not against a nation but against a statement?"

Afghanistan: "The jury is still out on the future of Afghanistan. I for one am fully with those who celebrate the freeing and education of the girls and women, ... but we do not really know what the Afghans as a whole think about America's attitude toward Islam, about the war or about their own future."

Iraq: "There seems no assurance that America's troops there can soon return home or that Iraq's people will enjoy democracy or peace or decent relations among themselves. ... There are suggestions that in much of the Muslim world, anger toward America may have increased and the soil for terrorism fertilized."

Middle East: "It is hard to maintain that the Middle East can be cheaply remade, or remade with its own oil revenues, when the U.S. administration asks for $87 billion and hints that it might need a lot more."

Kashmir: "Since 1989, not a single day has passed without someone being killed."

The Islamic world's portrayal of the U.S. as Satan: "This America may make mistakes and may at times hurt the feelings of many people, but to call this America satanic is not only to utter a terrible untruth, it is also the surest way of keeping the Muslim world insulated from the progress of humankind."

Those with whom we disagree: "We judge ourselves by our ideals, but we judge the other side by their deeds."

His grandmother: "The power of NO he [Mohandas Gandhi] learned from his wife."

Mohandas Gandhi's suffering: "What hurt him the most was the continuing hatred between Hindus and Muslims. He was always conscious of those who had suffered more than him."

Nonviolence: "Find modern ways for doing nonviolence. If you are willing to suffer but not inflict suffering, that's very powerful."

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.