May 25, 2022

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Thich Nhat Hanh After 9/11: Ignorance, Discrimination, Fear & Violence Are Real Enemies of Humanity

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In memory of Thich Nhat Hanh, the world-renowned Buddhist monk, antiwar activist, poet and teacher who died Saturday, we reair a speech Hanh gave at Riverside Church in New York in 2001. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Hanh urged the audience to embrace peace in the face of anger, citing his experience of witnessing suffering on both sides during the war in his native Vietnam. "The real enemy of man is not man," says Hanh. "It is ignorance, discrimination, fear, craving and violence." We also speak with Hanh’s longtime friend and fellow peace activist, Father John Dear, former director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the organization that first brought Thich Nhat Hanh to the United States in the 1960s. "He was really an embodiment of peace and gentleness and nonviolence," says Dear.

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