Malmo, Sweden: September 13, 2019: Statue of a gun with a knot as a non violence symbol designed by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, in the street of Malmo

Quotations about nonviolence. Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi promoted the practice of being harmless to others and to self. Nonviolence can be rooted in religious or secular values. Nonviolence is not passive; the practice of nonviolence includes peaceful means, tactics, and strategies to achieving resolution of conflicts.

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The Holy Prophet Mohammed came into this world and taught us: ‘That man is a Muslim who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures. Belief in God is to love one’s fellow men.’

— Abdul Ghaffar Khan

When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.

— Alan Alda

All who affirm the use of violence admit it is only a means to achieve justice and peace. But peace and justice are nonviolence…the final end of history. Those who abandon nonviolence have no sense of history. Rather they are bypassing history, freezing history, betraying history.

— Andre Trocme

If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.

— Bayard Rustin

The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.

— Bayard Rustin

Everyone’s a pacifist between wars. It’s like being a vegetarian between meals.

— Colman McCarthy

The earth is too small a star and we too brief a visitor upon it for anything to matter more than the struggle for peace.

— Colman McCarthy

Nelson Mandela sat in a South African prison for 27 years. He was nonviolent. He negotiated his way out of jail. His honor and suffering of 27 years in a South African prison is really ultimately what brought about the freedom of South Africa. That is nonviolence.

— Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world.

— Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence would work today, it would work 2,000 years from now, it would work 5,000 years from now.

— Coretta Scott King

Non-violence is a permanent attitude we bring to the breakfast table and bring to bed at night.

— Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence is a method that transforms, first of all, the individual once you understand it and embrace it. It begins with you and, if you can, about transforming individuals so that they love unconditionally.

— Coretta Scott King

Never, ‘for the sake of peace and quiet,’ deny your own experience or convictions.

— Dag Hammarskjold

Never does hatred cease by hating in return; only through love can hatred come to an end. Victory breeds hatred; the conquered dwell in sorrow and resentment. They who give up all thought of victory or defeat may be calm and live happily at peace. Let us overcome violence by gentleness; let us overcome evil by good; Let us overcome the miserly by liberality; let us overcome the liar by truth.

— Dhammapada

I wish I could say to all those people who consider themselves anarchists or radicals: Please join the nonviolent movement. This is how Gandhi freed India. If Gandhi freed India, we can certainly free the United States from our racism, misogyny, and bigotry.

— Dolores Huerta

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

— Dorothy Thompson

I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men’s hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.

— Hafiz of Persia

We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

— Jimmy Carter

We have come a long way in America because of Martin Luther King, Jr. He led a disciplined, nonviolent revolution under the rule of law, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself.

— John Lewis

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Resistance and nonviolence are not in themselves good. There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

A second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding.

— Martin Luther King Jr., “In a Single Garment of Destiny”: A Global Vision of Justice

The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that would praise you when you say, ‘Be nonviolent toward Jim Clark,’ but will curse and damn you when you say, ‘Be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children.’ There is something wrong with that press.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi
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