Abdurrahman Wahid quotes

  • History is a great deal closer to poetry than is generally realised: in truth, I think, it is in essence the same.

  • The spiritual life is part of the human essence. It is a defining characteristic of human nature, without which human nature is not fully human.

  • The field is a halfway house, halfway between the detail of those intimately known places and the ignorance of a landscape view ... The essence of a field is that the cultural accommodates the natural there. The human being makes room for and makes use of those organisms that are not him. In that way the field is a poem to symbiosis, and a human contract with the natural.

  • We must see what in the Israeli identity - in the Israeli - we can give to other people rather than speaking so often of taking, expanding territory.

  • Universities are not here to be mediums for the coercion of other people, they're here to be mediums for the free exchange of ideas.

  • The science of anti-Semitism finally comes to explain this phenomenon, enlightening further the consciousness of people, fully satisfying their instinct and its violent eruptions thus legitimized by revealing their cause - the parasitism of the Jews. Thus it gives us the formula of the scientific solution for the problem of Judaism, which in order to realize we have only to apply.

  • We want the full works of citizenship with no reservations. We will accept nothing less . . . This condition of freedom, equality, and democracy is not the gift of gods. It is the task of men, yes, men, brave men, honest men, determined men.

  • You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.

  • I told the students that we can exert pressure without resorting to violence, and that we can move towards democracy without violence; that way, God will allow it.

  • The goal of a great democracy should be fulfillment, not ease. It should be adequacy, not serenity.

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