There is a saying that goes, “No man is an island”. And it is true in every sense of the word. We live in a social world. We have a relationship with everyone in our family, school/ work, community, and to the world at large. At times we are in harmony but conflicts may also arise. While personal differences are often the reason we may have relationship issues with someone, it may also be about religion or religious beliefs.
Religion has sparked countless wars over the centuries. And until today, religion still manages to disturb the world order even though most faith teaches to respect one another. Not surprising as well, many terrorists fight for their religion – as many of them are die-hard Muslims. It is also the reason for the U.S. travel ban since President Trump not only dislikes most Muslims but thinks they’re terrorists as well. And as such, it has fueled an ongoing yet often unspoken debate about one’s religion. So, has religious extremism blinded people and affected relationships for good?
The post 9/11 scenario changed the course of history causing disastrous consequences and now the leaders must come out with an alternative strategy to promote peace and harmony. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of love who guaranteed the rights of followers of Christianity and Judaism. The Pact of Madina introduced by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the first ever charter of humanity granting recognition to human rights. It is time to eradicate all anti-human ideologies especially the one, which is taking its roots from religion. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are Abrahamic religions that could save the drowning boat of the humanity and convince their followers to understand one another, and live peacefully. Think-tanks, scholars and the political leadership of Pakistan and the United States need to make collective endeavors to end tensions escalated out of political fissures.
Radical interpretation of Islam must not be allowed.
Speakers said that despite improvements in security and economy in Pakistan, tensions continue to grow between the governments of Pakistan and the United States, which is not good for the people longing for an egalitarian society. Islamophobia is on the rise in the United States, Britain, France, Australia and other Western countries. They said that violence against minorities in Pakistan is hinting at uncertain future. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism need to find similarities rather than difference. Their followers should be convinced at the intersection of faith and reconciliation so that all sorts of stereotypes are wiped out paving way for real democracy and goodwill.
While the whole world sees Muslims as dangerous religious extremists, nobody is more at risk and in danger than ordinary Muslims who has nothing to do with the bloodbath yet they are the ones who are persecuted the world over.
“Saudi Arabia, which is the heart of Islam, wanted a coalition of Muslim state to fight terrorism… Terrorism destroys Muslims more than any other people. This terrorism was mentioned 1,400 years before it happened,” he said.
“The prophet said before the end of time, you will find youths claiming to be Muslims using the Qur’an to kill people. It was even mentioned in Islamic books that terrorism would come.
“Fighting terrorism, I am telling you, can only be effectively be done by Muslims themselves. So, when you see Muslims coming together to fight terrorism, and you you hear Christians voices saying ‘Nigeria should not join this force because it means we are Islamising Nigeria’, this is wrong!”
Gumi said Muslims ought to come together to combat terrorism but the lack of cooperation from Christians had become a big setback.
“We need the Muslims to come together to fight this terrorism, but we don’t get the cooperation of our Christian citizens because of lack of understanding of what Islam is all about,”he said.
“We want the Christians to open up their mind allow Muslims to fight terrorism.
Nobody understands the religious ideals of the Koran than the Muslims themselves and perhaps they are also the ones who can effectively wipe out the threat of terrorism if they unite and fight the common enemy. What the West is doing right now does not help address terrorism at all but discriminate ordinary Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorists and sow hate in their hearts.
While the issue of religious extremists is a hot topic globally, a growing concern among relationship conflicts ending personal relationships is also seen everywhere. Most people are immune to divorce already because most marriages end in one.
Back in the olden days divorce rates were very low. Religion had a strong influence and the world offered less life options and opportunities. Wives and husbands honoured their vows and stayed together through thick and thin. The bible is quite clear that marriage commitments must be honoured, which are at sometimes hard to fulfil.
At present about one in three marriages end in divorce. All are based on religious commitments. I do wonder about exactly what is the flaw in the process, and what does religion say about what we should do afterwards?
As far as I know, the bible only goes to the point of marriage and after that it’s not prescriptive. It only says that women (wife’s) should submit to men (husbands), and to stay together through thick and thin forever. (Corinthians 7)
Many of us think of religion as our saving grace but many times it proved as wrong. Nothing has been as more divisive and destructive as religion and religious ideals. Even churches do not always practice what they preach. Conflict happens because we try to impose our beliefs on others when we should actually be respecting theirs and try to live in harmony. Even in our personal relationships, we attempt to dominate the relationship by telling the other person to embrace our beliefs and follow everything we say and do.
Religion should be about our faith. Remember that your religion will not save you in the end but your faith will. Do good to others and make the world a better place to live in. If we can only accept this truth, there will be less hate in the world and everyone will be more understanding of our personal differences. But for now, we can only hope that the time comes because human nature is making it harder for everybody to achieve that higher world order.