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Religious conflicts around the globe and a solution

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Amna Shaukat

“When adherents of one faith take to the extreme and force their religious views on those of other faiths, religious conflicts emerge”

It is evident that prejudices arising from adherence to religious forms and imitation of ancestral beliefs  have hindered the progress of humanity thousands of years. How many wars and battles have been fought, how much division , discord and hatred have been caused by this form of prejudice.

Religious conflict is caused by intolerance against another’s religious beliefs or practices. Much war and death has emerged from these conflicts. Today we see such intractable inter-religious wars between Muslims and Jews in Palestine, Hindus and Muslims in south Asia and in many other places. Attempts to bring out peace have failed again and again. Most religiously motivates hate crimes are acts of vandalism. But personal attacks are not uncommon. Religious conflicts have escalated dramatically since the onset of cold war. Throughout the1950- 1996 periods, religious conflicts constituted 33% or 47% of all conflicts.

The reason why there is so much of conflict and bloodshed is very simple. It’s the fact that both the parties don’t understand the true essence of their faith. It is about proving which religion or which faith is better and which is superior.

While a religion is often a significant generator of armed conflict both in the past and in the present, the two principal causes of human warfare are in fact culture and greed for territory, resources or power.   –  Meicpearse

There are a number of conflicts in the world, and religion has played a significant role .

Australian conflicts :

The state government rules that the police in Australia have the power to demand a Muslim woman to remove her face veil. The Australian government allows its people to dress the way they want as long as it does not interfere  with the smooth functioning and safety of society. According to a survey, there are more than 340,000 Muslims in Australia of whom 128,904 were born in the country. Australia is along way from baning the burqa in public, unlike France where women can face fines up  to 200$.

Europe conflicts:

Tensions and violence involving people from minority groups of Muslim culture are perhaps the greatest source of societal tensions and violent conflicts in contemporary Europe.

The Bosnian war:

In Bosnian war over 8000 unarmed Muslims were killed by the Serbian military forces.  During this conflict Muslims seemed to pay the highest price. When  the massacre  began in different cities of Bosnia, it was clear that the aim was to cleanse the country from Muslim population. After years of bitter fighting between Bosnia (Muslims), Serbians and Croats western  countries stepped in (backed by NATO) and imposed a final cease-fire. The death toll of Bosnian war was 102,000.

Sudan genocide:

Complex ethic, racial, religious conflict in which Muslim regime committed genocide  against Christians in the south of the country. For more than 2 decades the Sudanese government has waged war against the Christians  in the state.

North American conflicts:

58% of Americans believe Muslims face a lot of discrimination in the united states. After September 11, a religious violence in the name of a holy cause has escalated. A series of four attacks that were committed in the united states on September 11, 2001 suspicion fell on Al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden. The FBI reported increase in anti- Muslim crimes nationwide during 2001, largely due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Israel and Palestine conflict:

The roots of the modern day Israel and Palestinian conflict can be traced back to mass migration of Jewish people to Israel following the world war two. Both the Muslims and the Jews regard Jerusalem as their Holy land and both have been trying to occupy it completely.  Israel has fought many wars with the Arab neighboring countries.

Hindu- Muslim conflict in India:

Two atrocities have been largely associated with religious unrest in India; the burning of the Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh in 1992, and the 2002 massacres in Gujarat. Both also sparked national protests and reprisals and have played an important part in exacerbating violence among the Hindu and Muslim community. The  key causes for religious violence in India are the systematic incitement of religious hate for political purposes.

Religions are meant to create peace and unity among people but they begin to cause conflicts. There can be no single causal source of religious conflicts here. Nonetheless, if we are to see what causes religious strife, it is ignorance. In order to fulfill their fixed agenda, some people ride in the ignorance of the majority to whip religious sentiments.

How religious violence can be reduced :

Religious violence can be cured by deeper understanding of religion. An international campaign must be launched to teach people to respect other religions. If our children are being taught that Christians are disbelievers, Muslims are terrorist, Hindus are extremist. Then what could we expect?  We are pouring hate in them and we will get hate out of them. We must teach them the simplest rule that is  tit-for-tat. When you act towards others, so others act towards you. If you are wanting respect, then you must give respect . You must show empathy if you ask for empathy. If you do not want to be insulted, you have to make sure that you do not insult others.  We must teach them to respect other religions, despite the differences. It doesn’t matter if there god is different from ours, we must be tolerant towards others. We must be open and we must be broadminded to accept the similarities and respect the differences.

“The more people come together, the more borders will be opened and people and opinions get together, the more tolerance will be a fundamental part of our social life. Without tolerance there is no religious liberty, no freedom of conscience and no freedom of thought.”~ Thomas Klestil