In today’s media landscape, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by portrayals of extremists seeking conflict, giving a skewed perspective of the world. However, it’s essential to recognize that the vast majority of people long for peace and tolerance for themselves and others. This holds true for Muslims and Jews alike, with most leading secular lives while cherishing their family traditions rooted in religious cultures, much like how ethnic Norwegians and Europeans uphold customs like Christmas and Easter from Christianity.
Unfortunately, media focus often centers on conflicts between minorities and majorities and issues related to migration and fundamentalism. In Western society, minorities like Jews and Muslims face challenges. The marginalization and frustration they experience can contribute to religious radicalization, and conflicts may arise concerning matters such as freedom of speech and blasphemy.
It’s concerning to witness European Jews facing renewed pressures of anti-Semitism, and we must combat this hatred, just as we should address Islamophobia. It’s unjust to hold young Muslims accountable for ideas they do not hold or actions they have not committed.
As someone with a Jewish background, I believe it would be heartening to see fellow humans carry a symbol that represents a genuine desire to live in peace and harmony. I hold hope and belief that this sentiment extends to my Muslim, Christian, and non-religious co-citizens. The COEXISTA bracelet serves as a powerful symbol of this shared aspiration.
COEXISTA fills a vital void on both an ideological and psychological level, both for individuals and society at large. It allows us to make our commitment to tolerance and peaceful coexistence visible to ourselves and others in our multicultural world. Wearing the COEXISTA bracelet can become a catalyst for intriguing and meaningful conversations, fostering connections and possibly leading to new friendships.
Let us stand together, united by the universal desire for harmony and understanding. By embracing the COEXISTA bracelet, we can demonstrate our commitment to a world where diversity is celebrated, and acceptance is cherished. Let this symbol spark the change we wish to see and inspire us to create a society founded on mutual respect and compassion for one another.
Nina Grünfeld, the founder
Nina Grünfeld, the founder of Coexista.com, is a film director, producer, and author. She is a professor at Inland Norway University, where she teaches directing for documentary films. Currently, she is the vice dean for artistic research at The Norwegian Filmschool and faculty for audio-visual media and creative technology. Grünfeld is best known for her several personal documentaries. Nina participates in public debates and lectures for children and youth, various cultural institutions, and public and private businesses.