Articles by Vision21, Iqbal Series, Vision21
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Not in God’s name…Not for Religion’s sake

Posted on January 8, 2011

Shaaista Kazmi

Change and Freedom are the terms that dominate the socio political vocabulary in our times. Some may say that since the evolution of the human consciousness, these have been the most enchanting slogans. Either way, indisputably, these are considered to be the foundations of the process of progress and development for any society and any country. In fact this so well established and taken as granted, that we often forget and ignore why do we all want and crave for Change and fight for the Freedom? The answer to this question may vary in different times and spaces. But the fundamental answer remains the same. We want Change and Freedom for the betterment and well being of Humans and for peace among Humanity.

So betterment of humanity and peace are the goals toward which all the movements in Life ultimately work for. Every prophet, every religion, every socio-economic and political system has promised to realize these very ideals. Nevertheless, there remains a tension among nations, religions, and factions. Irony is this conflict and tension exists in the very name of Peace and Human welfare. Practically, when we set out to achieve these global goals, what we end up with is the hatred, imposition of ideologies onto others, war, mass murder, deprivation of rights and above all the poverty of opportunities to access one’s own rights.

Why does this happen?

Take the case of our country, Pakistan, which in the opinion of many, was created in the name of Islam. The very Islam that advocates the message of peace for all humanity. In this country we have just seen another human life been taken with impunity and openly. His fault? That he stood up for the right of another human being. His methods may have been clumsy and his rhetoric silly, but did he deserve to die for this?

What a paradox. That in a country created in the name of Peace and to protect human rights, one gets killed for the same. So why?

In our opinion, there is this false impression, the world over that this conflict is all about religion(s). Therefore, the religion is being defamed across the globe. We, however, think that religion has nothing to do with this conflict at all. It is all a play of human ego. Religions, sects, nationalities and creeds are just the lame excuses that humans present as the causes of conflict.

Religion is nothing more than a remedy to cure the evils of ego that resists change for better and freedom of intellect.

It is an obvious truth that to kill a human is un Islamic. ‘No oppression in the religion’…everyone who claims to be a Muslim knows this, despite a great number of them  are confused about it and look up to the hardcore members of religious groups for the answer, accepting to lock their own intellect. They simply live their lives for a set of beliefs and rituals, which most often does not make sense even to themselves.

The natural logic that comes to the mind is that how the same God who has endowed humans with sense and intellect can intend us to not use them?

The hardliners who support such acts, impose their views and interpretations of religious commandments so conservatively that actually distort the role of religion in developing any society. Most importantly the hermeneutics of every religion and theory or philosophy made that mistake. The effort to make that theory a grand narrative is what creates the problem. This is where theory fails in its application where some hardliners think that logic of any religion is more important and only its extreme inculcation can deliver the results.

They justify their actions by giving the false threat that Islam is in peril. And so the Muslims must take up their weapons to save its life.

This too is a mere assumption. If anything, it is the Humans who are in peril.

Islam is a set of principles, it is the light of knowledge and self-discovery, It is a lesson of respect for Humanity. It is not a piece of land or an object that can be damaged.

In fact, it is the Ego of Man, which interpret religions in his own language of hatred, selfishness and aggression that has created an estrangement in the hearts of the people for the religion. Religion just provides a vehicle for egoistic men to vent their own hatred and spew their own venom.

The counter-weight to this distortion of Islam can only be revival of its foundations…which are humanity and peace. If they come to realize in the first place that it is Islam which protects them while they can only protect the humanity…


This entry was posted in: Articles by Vision21, Iqbal Series, Vision21
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Vision 21 is Pakistan based non-profit, non- party Socio-Political organisation. We work through research and advocacy for developing and improving Human Capital, by focusing on Poverty and Misery Alleviation, Rights Awareness, Human Dignity, Women empowerment and Justice as a right and obligation. We act to promote and actively seek Human well-being and happiness by working side by side with the deprived and have-nots.

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