Religious harmony in Pakistan road to peaceful solution | By Umar Riaz Abbasi


Religious harmony in Pakistan road to peaceful solution

NOWADAYS, talking about religious harmony is the most frequent subject matter of debates and conversations at every corner of the world in all possible levels of the human society.

How to reduce religious conflicts, if not totally at least partially? This question not only bothers the world leaders but also agitates mind of every common man at some point of time or the other.

Here, the most important question which has remained in our minds for years and years and has been unanswered till the date, “what is the main motive behind religious cacophony”? The answer lies somewhere inside us. Yes we are liable for the gratuitous mess.

A harsher word is more harmful than the knife because when some parts of our body are cut by the knife, the injuries can be healed within some days, but the injury of hearts caused by the harsh word cannot be easily healed, instead it remains years after years unhealed.

People at times while giving out their views on religion have a trend to damage sentiments of individuals belonging to the other side of the line i.e. different religions.

As it is unknown to none that Pakistan is the homeland of numerous religions, and when we read the holy scripts of every religions we can come across to know that each and every religion of this land preaches to its followers peace and harmony.

One religion tells us “salam alaikum” may be peace on you “while the other religion says “love your neighbour” still another religion tells may all beings be happy. Be it Islam, Christianity or Hinduism, every religion promotes peace and amity. The promotion of compassion is the sole objective of all religions.

When every religion encourages its followers to make them compassionate then why atrocities in the name of religion are done even today? Actually, there are some people who use their scriptures in advocating hatred and intolerance to other religions.

They break out a particular passage from its context to justify their actions, first actions are done then the people escort to the scriptures for the justification, no doubt it is an act of irreverence to the religious scriptures.

We are the sons of a purified land that has promoted many different schools of philosophy and spirituality over the decades.

Despite some remote and rare instances of bloodshed, our country has been a model of peaceful co-existence.

In some places such governments and rulers even now exist. An example is the noble king of Oman, who has showed his friendly relation for other religions as he sponsored land for churches and temples of other faiths while practising his own religion with all devotion and diligence.

We should keep always in our minds that the country where we are living is not state of any monarch, but it is a democratic country ruled by the people for the people.

Above this all we have also a set of laws in the form of written constitution which every Pakistani citizen trusts on. The preamble to the constitution describes Pakistan as a sovereign, Islamic, democratic and republic.

It secures to all citizens the liberty of thoughts, expression of belief, freedom of faith and worship. Articles 5 to 38, in particular guarantee to everyone the right of religion, freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practise and propagate his or her religion.

This is actually a glad tidings for the new generation that today the distance between different religions is gradually decreases.

Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians are showing their capability of living in peace together like they have done for centuries in the region. As a matter of fact there are even now some mischievous and malignant elements in our society who divide people, much like the British divided and ruled the subcontinent for years.

In my humble piece of advice there are some factors; if we are really firm to uproot the religious disharmony from our land and from whole world and mould a world of mutual understanding, compassion and affection we should affectively implement those factors in this world.

Religious education to co-exist in peace and harmony in a multi-religious society all over the world is one of those factors.

Every country should have a sound religious education with strong emphasis on moral and ethical values as the first positive step towards better understanding and mutual cooperation amongst all religionists.

All religionists should unite and co-operate with one another to promote and institute a proper and systematic religious education, welfare activities and fellowship meetings.

The institution of community service programs and other social and welfare activities where all religionists work hand-in-hand for a common humanitarian cause, to uplift the lot of the more unfortunate ones in society will help to present a good example of co-existence and multi-religious community.

Every individual mirrors his society. To crush the religious fanaticism, an intensive effort must be geared towards individual enlightenment on the imperative of religious harmony and everyone should keep this in his or her mind that violations of human rights often start with individual before it becomes a collective phenomenon.

So, it became cut and clear that when individuals acknowledge the norms of both democratic and human rights principles and strive to live it, then the government and human rights agencies will have less work to do. Solving the scourge of racism, religious fundamental and terrorism is the work of all.

The whole world must unite in condemning acts inimical to human rights, but we also must be part of the healing process. No one thinks, this fight will be easy, but it is our belief that religious harmony can be achieved in the 21st century and beyond.

We are eagerly waiting for the dawn when a new sun will rise with its colourful rays joining each other to shine the whole universe, the sun will be our country and the colorful rays will be we, Pakistanis.

—The Writer is Award-Winning Presenter, Author of Five books and Lecturer at NUML Islamabad.



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