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Discrimination in the World Community of Interfaith Harmony

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Global Harmony Association (GHA)

Since 2005, GHA is an international NGO uniting more than 500 members in 56 countries and more than o­ne million participants from the GHA collective members in 80 countries.

Web: www.peacefromharmony.org


Board: 37 GHA members from 14 countries



GHA Founder and President: Dr. Leo Semashko

Address: 7/4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg, 194356 Russia

E-mail: leo.semashko@gmail.com Web: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253


GHA Mission is:

To bring peace from harmony and to pave a conscious way for harmonious civilization o­n scientifically based ‘ABC of Harmony’ through harmonious education


May 15, 2013


Discrimination and Nontransparency in the World's Communities of Interfaith Harmony


Open letter






The Judges for the 2013 WIHW Prize Competition:

H.R.H. Princess Areej Ghazi

H.B. Patriarch Theophilus III – Patriarch of the Holy City, Palestine and Jordan, and others



Monica Willard

United Religions Initiative (URI)

United Nations NGO Representative

Committee of Religious NGOs

at the United Nations, President



Mary Nelson and others in:

Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR)





SUBJECT: Discrimination, lack of transparency and closeness of the Competition for prizes of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW)



In English: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=576

In Russian: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=598



Dear ladies and gentlemen!


Let me share with you my and our international organization Global Harmony Association (GHA) concern and surprise with discrimination, lack of transparency and closeness of the Competition for prizes of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW): http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/world-interfaith-harmony-week-prize/.


In April, the Prize Competition for WIHW ended, which was held o­n February 1-7 and in which were registered 363 events.

Our GHA enthusiastically participated in it. 35 scientists - members of GHA of 14 denominations and 17 countries during December-Janiary have prepared for WIHW our international project: “World Interfaith Harmony o­n Scientific Platform of the ABC of Harmony” (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541), in which its integral part is the project: “Center (School) of interfaith Harmonious Education” (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=561), which started o­n February 9 and which will develop through decades. This project was approved by the GHA more than 500 members from over 60 countries. It contains two key proposals to the Jordan's King HM Abdullah II as the WIHW initiator:


  • Organize the Third World Religions Congress "Global Interfaith Harmony Education" o­n February 1-7, 2015 in Amman, under the UN aegis. It will be logical development of the HM World Interfaith Harmony Week initiative.
  • Initiate in the UN, as a development of your initiative 2010, a proposal of the UN Decade of Interfaith Harmonious Education for 2014-2023, which will strengthen a harmonizing mission of state and religion in global society in a non-violent peacemaking way of qualitative renewal of the education system in the world, especially in the direction of interfaith harmony and harmonious consciousness of nations, instead of militarization. The main purpose of this Decade - to create 10,000 Centers (Schools) of IHE (CIHE, Center of Interfaith Harmonious Education) in the world, each year by 1,000, primarily in the areas of religious tensions: the Middle East, Ireland, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sudan, Mali, etc.


Unfortunately, April is over, but we have not received any response to our project. It was not even registered o­n the WIHW site: http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/submit-an-event/, because here in the registration form there is no category of international events and long-term projects. This form registered only national events and o­nly short-term events in a few (2-7) days. But clearly, interfaith harmony – is not a local and national, but o­nly international and global phenomenon that can not be established in a few days, and requires many decades, if not centuries. But your registration form ignores international and long-term (on decades, like GHA’s) projects of interfaith harmony, that is contrary to the WIHW spirit and UN Resolution. This is the first, bureaucratic, case of discrimination, which reduces the value of WIHW to almost zero.


In late March, you announced o­n your website: http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/newspost/malaysia-is-third-in-world-interfaith-harmony-week-competition/ (Posted o­n March 31st, 2013) as follows:


The WIHW "First and second prizes went to the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria and the Philippine Centre for Islam and Democracy respectively .... Malaysia won the bronze medal in this year's World Interfaith Harmony Week Competition .... The competition was organised by the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute For Islamic Thought. The competition received 64 applications .... The prize giving ceremony will take place o­n April 25, by the River Jordan."


At the same time, the website says: “363 Events were in 2013 WIHW”.

The GHA members are concerned and surprised by the following issues in connection with discrimination, transparency and democracy of the WIHW Competition:

1. Why does the WIHW website not list the 363 events of WIHW and their participants in 2013?

2. Why is there no list of the 64 applications o­n the WIHW website?

3. How were the 64 applications selected from 363?

4. How were the 3 winners chosen out of 64?

5. Why was the GHA International Project of World Interfaith Harmony (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541) not listed, even though we tried to register it o­n the site WIHW?

6. Why, in the registration/submit form of the WIHW events here:

http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/submit-an-event/, was there no category for international events?

7. Why did the WIHW competition form register o­nly national and o­nly short-term events in a few days?

8. Why did the WIHW competition NOT register international and long-term (for many decades) events like the GHA project, which brings together 35 authors from 14 denominations and 17 countries and is destined for decades?

9. Why do you, as the WIHW organizers, deprive the world interfaith movement and the religious community the objective scientific analysis of the WIHW 363 events and their value ​​for this movement? Is there any progress in it? Etc.


World Interfaith Harmony – is the global and long-term event, but not for a few days in some countries. We surprised that the UN WIHW ignored these events. Why is this possible? Who can answer this question? Who can free the WIHW from contradictions in its competition?


April has passed, but the world civil and religious community has not received a response to these and similar questions. This is the other, spiritual, fact of discrimination of the WIHW nontransparency that is dangerous for interfaith movement as a whole. World Interfaith Harmony is incompatible with discrimination and nontransparency.

The third fact of discrimination: all comments o­n the WIHW site: http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/ are closed. Comments are not available, as any attempt to write stumbles here to insurmountable technical barrier: "Your entered code is incorrect. Validation errors occurred. Please confirm the fields and submit it again." We invite everyone to try to overcome this barrier of discrimination and closeness. Is it avoidable? Maybe it is surmountable o­nly for the elite, possessing this "entered code"?

Could we, GHA, like other NGOs of the world, hope to get answers to our questions, as well as o­n release of WIHW from elements of discrimination and nontransparency?

Thank you for your public response, which will be published in our network.


Sincerely Yours,


Dr. Leo Semashko

GHA President




Dear Leo,

I am not pleased with this correspondence and want no association with it.I strongly object to even being listed as a recipient of this bitter correspondence.I am surprised and disappointed that you raced to confrontation as you are working to create harmony and cooperation.Please do not ever use my name, title or email o­n correspondence like this to email lists, newspapers and to especially to Missions and Governments.

You are accusing "Discrimination, lack of transparency and closeness of the Competition for prizes of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. " From my perspective, you submitted an unsolicited project idea that you expected the King of Jordan to support.The process for developing and presenting any proposal needs to meet the objectives of both or all parties.

From my experience, it is rare that any group to just accepts a proposal from another group that they do not know.First, Although you mention some problems with o­ngoing projects and international organizations not having access to listing projects.This can be addressed in other ways.An attacking headline does not build cooperation or even open a door to invite conversation.Did it ever cross your mind to have the various GHA projects lists activities from all the countries you say are promoting WIHW?This could have given GHA even more publicity o­n the website and possibly caught the interest of the organizers to get to know the organization.

Building harmony begins with looking at ourselves and seeing how we can be better partners and listeners.It doesn't start with imposing ideas, projects and expectations o­n others.From my perspective, you need to build a working relationship before you ask for the other to take your idea and pay for a conference!I think no response was a kind way of dealing with your proposal.

May Peace Prevail o­n Earth,



Dear Monica,

With regret, after years of communication with you since 2006, we have to state the following.

Your mentor response, ignoring our constructive criticism in the interest of peace and harmony, non-cooperation with the dissidents (you ignored the GHA collective letter of 14 March o­n 2 pages with detailed proposals of cooperation), your closeness and intolerance to another view, forcing us to recognize that you have established in Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN personal dictatorship. We have not seen a single collective decision of your Committee. You trample the basic norms of democracy and freedom of speech.

Harmony, including harmony of religions (interfaith harmony)  is incompatible with dictatorship, anti-democracy and the suppression of freedom of speech
. Therefore, we stop contact with you and exclude you from the GHA mailing list. But we keep hope for your self-critical understanding with help of God.

Best wishes to your inner harmony, without which peace can not prevail o­n Earth,


PS. Your letter and our response to it are published together with the GHA Open Letter: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=576. It is our freedom of speech, openness and transparency. Everyone can see our arguments, our facts and our conclusions from them.


Leo. I am not even able to say DEAR LEO--

Monica is o­ne the finest human beings you will ever meet. She is a dedicated world server, ethical, committed, hard working, humane, trustworthy, loving and most of all a peace maker!!! She is a true friend to many of us. She is always available to help and to discuss how to further work within the United Nations as well as in many of our projects.

How dare you use such words accusing her? How dare you write these people with words like this? It is a reflection o­n YOU and not her! These are your projections of how you think and what is in your mind. No o­ne I know would ever speak like this to anyone in the name of Peace and Harmony. Your words are of a dictator ...not getting what you want.

It is easy to agree and like people who adhere to your desires of how to run GHA but to learn to integrate other ideas and ideals is more the learning of how to make peace in the world. Your words are so aggressive and nasty that I am deeply stunned as to what to say or how I shall continue here. Ask humbly to be forgiven...that is all I can say.

Nina Meyerhof


Dear Nina,

You have o­nly o­ne emotion, like a girlfriend. Where is your objectivity? Where are your facts? Why GHA project, in which you are as coauthor, not was register even? The work of 35 authors of the GHA project was shamelessly thrown into trash? Why? Why? And after this you suggest humbly ask forgiveness? Do you respect your work? Do you respect yourself? I respect the GHA 35 authors work, therefore, as the GHA responsible President I can not be in silence, I must to stay my questions. Am I right to put questions to the officer? Or you deprive me of that right? Why of the 363 events of WIHW in the Competition were o­nly 63? Why do you not respect and do not think about the WIHW 300 participants? Do you respect world interfaith community and civil society or you respect o­nly your girlfriend? See also 8 questions/facts in my letter. Why you neglect these facts also? Please, think calmly and without emotions as woman with mind, without which can not be nor peace, nor harmony and etc. nothing. Thank you. With love, best harmony wishes,


Leo..I am sorry, I am not like a girlfriend but more an admirer of Monica's work. She is a KEY figure at the UN for spiritual, global, peace, interfaith work and is recognized as a point person for many endeavors. You do not know that you have insulted a very important person!!

You do not see this as you see o­nly what you offer and the group's work. There is much more out there in this world and the idea is to collaborate even if o­ne has other perspectives o­n peace and harmony. An example of this is the difference between interspiritual and interfaith...they are very different. o­ne looks at the universals and the other tries to weave faiths together with their differences. Yet, we are able to advocate for both.

I think you do a great mis-service to all of us when you put out a non-professional instigative letter like this!!

Nina Meyerhof, Pres. COE,www.coeworld.org 

Dear Nina,

You, like Monica, are afraid my questions, ignore them and write o­nly baseless emotional abuses me. I can o­nly forgive you and to finish o­n this the letters with you. Please, release me and others from your emotions. Thank you. With love, best harmony wishes,



© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005