An international platform prompted by increased threats of extremism, racial intolerance and intellectual violence is being launched today in Malta.

With its headquarters based on the island and liaison offices around the world, the primary mission of this international council will be to propagate a culture of tolerance in order to achieve worldwide peace.

“We have all been affected by such threats. Sometimes we don't even feel safe walking down the street – we don't know what will happen in the next 10 or 15 minutes.

“At other times we spot someone and wonder whether it would be safe to walk past them,” Ahmed Bin Mohammad Al-Jarwa, president of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace told Times of Malta. 

“These thoughts are not based on just fear, but facts as well – we have seen people mowing down pedestrians.”

The launch of the council comes two days after a truck driver carried out a murderous rampage in lower Manhattan, New York, killing eight people – including two children – and seriously injuring 11.

We have all been affected by such threats

Mr Bin Mohammad Al-Jarwa questioned what was driving people to commit such attacks. Some of the terrorists were originally considered ‘good people’, but something had reshaped their values through the years.

The former head of the Arabic Parliament insisted that “we need to start from scratch” and educate people about respect, acceptance, and learning to live together.

The eight founders of the council originate from all over: the US, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Comoros, Albania, India, Egypt and Indonesia. But there is one thing that binds them together: their love of tolerance and ambition to spread a culture of peace.

Mr Bin Mohammad Al-Jarwa explained that apart from a presidium and a general assembly, the council will also have a parliament consisting of MPs from around the world.

“We need their experience and influence to help us spread a culture of partnership irrespective of creed. Despite the differences, there is one common factor among us: we are all human beings.”

Asked why the council had chosen Malta for its headquarters, he noted that the island’s geographic position and history were defining factors in setting base here.

The islands, geographically set between European and Arab countries, have historically been caught in events and struggles between the north and south. The link to the Middle East is also strong, as it is believed that the Maltese originated from the Phoenicians.

Those interested in supporting the GCTP in its mission of tolerance and peace is asked to get in touch on http://gctpnews.org/ .

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