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The RoundTable

Nonviolence and Terrorism: Healing the Divide

Winter 1999


Major Articles

  • Nonviolence: Untried or Untrue? - Teka Childress
  • Interview with Osman Handoo – Ellen Rehg
  • A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun: The U.S. in the Middle East - Mark Chmiel
  • Speaking Terror to Terror – John Kavanaugh, SJ
  • An Exercise in Nonviolence – Amy Gerth

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Regular Features

  • Cover –Artwork by Jeff Finnegan
  • Why This Issue – Carol Giles
  • Centerfold –  Poems from Rumi -
  • From Abroad – Honduras, Nicaragua – Mary Dutcher, Christie Huck
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • From Karen House – Christie Huck
  • RoundTable Talk – Bill Miller

Why This Issue:

Terrorism. The word itself is fearsome. It is bloodied faces and bodies. It is bombed buildings. It is often reduced to sound bytes on the nightly news. If one looks no farther, it appears to be random. But is it really? Does terrorism occur in a vacuum? Does it necessitate a violent response? This issue of The Round Table addresses those questions in light of the United States strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan in response to bombings of United States embassies in Africa.


Teka Childress begins by encouraging us to look for a deeper understanding of the Middle East and its people. In doing so, we may come to see that nonviolence would be a better response. Mark Chmiel places the conflict between the Middle East and the United States in an historical context so we can see that recent events did not, in fact, occur in a vacuum. He also asks us to look beyond the stereotype of the Islamic Fundamentalist label. The interview with Osman Handoo helps us to see Muslim beliefs more clearly. John Kavanaugh challenges us not to use the same tactics as the Bin Ladins of the world, lest we participate in that which we say we abhor. Amy Gerth shares her experiences during the demonstration to close the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia last November. She encourages all of us to give voice to the truth of disappearances, torture, and murder, which are the results of training at the School of Assassins.

In From Abroad, Christie Huck and Mary Dutcher describe their trip to Nicaragua to establish a sister community with Rio Abajo, Limay. They offer us an opportunity to help the people in this rural area to relocate and rebuild after hurricane Mitch destroyed their community.


In Round Table Talk, Bill Miller speaks of the meaning of The Word and The Eucharist, especially to those who are weak, vulnerable and diminished. May The Word and The Eucharist help us to see that terrorism and violent responses to it feed on each other and do not result in peace. The ones who are hardest hit by terrorism and violence are often the most vulnerable. May we also see that the One Body of which we are all a part includes our sisters and brothers in the Middle East.


- Carol Giles



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