Peace and Disarmament
Soka Gakkai Malaysia Holds Month of Peace Activities
In September, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) held its second annual Month of Peace, including a specially created musical and dance performance titled "V Peace." Paths to establishing peace in the twenty first century and the role of the individual as a protagonist of peace were common threads running through all events.
On September 22 and 29, "V Peace" drew audiences totaling over 2,300 people to the Ikeda Peace Auditorium at SGM’s Culture Centre. The performances were the culmination of two months of preparation by over 200 youth members. The show marked the anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's September 8, 1957, declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Based on the premise that we can all be peace builders, "V Peace" aimed to inspire action for peace. The show consisted of five segments titled Cold War, Youth Sports Day, Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Peace Movement Expansion, and People’s Determination.
On September 23, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) gave a lecture at SGM’s Wisma Kebudayaan center on the significance of the exchanges that took place between British historian, Arnold Toynbee and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda forty years ago, published as Choose Life: A Dialogue in 1976. In his talk, in front of an audience of 350, Dr. Muzaffar highlighted reverence for the irreplaceable value of human life as a central tenet of the Toynbee-Ikeda dialogue and a pillar of peace. He proposed that a spiritual and moral transformation is as vital in establishing a twenty first century of peace and overcoming the challenges facing humanity today as it was forty years ago. Noting a resurgence in religion since the 1980s, Dr. Muzaffar agreed with the authors of the dialogue that the solution to humanity's ailments lies within the insights offered by the world religions.
Before Dr. Muzaffar's lecture, the film "Another Way of Seeing Things," based on an essay Mr. Ikeda wrote in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was shown. The film discusses Dr. Toynbee's reporting from Turkey during the Greco-Turkish War and the dangers of stereotyping and prejudice.
From September 15-October 7, an exhibition of 50 works donated by Malaysian artists and organizations titled "Blossoms of the heART" was held. Presenting artists as ambassadors of peace, and their works as a way to erode the cultural barriers that can divide people, the exhibition showcased the work of artists who have contributed their works to SGM’s permanent art collection. Certificates of appreciation were presented to each artist. The exhibition was visited by over 800 people and was officially opened on September 23 by Dato’ Mohd Yusof Ahmad, director-general of the National Visual Arts Gallery.
[Adapted from a report from Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM); photos courtesy of SGM]