To commemorate the victims of violence based on religion or belief, every 22nd of August is globally celebrated as the International Day to show a worldwide support for its innocent victims.
The bond between religion and humanity goes back to the very beginning of time itself. Ever since the dawn of humanity we humans have always found a particular set of ideas and beliefs, acts and practices, to be an anchor for our sanity. As such, from the ancient days till today they give meaning to our existence and are indeed an integral part of every society. Consequently, every religion strives to keep intact the morals and conscience of its followers, and by doing so it attempts to make them realise their responsibilities to themselves, to their societies, to the world at large, and indeed to their faith in God. So it is that If anyone transgresses the limits prescribed upon them by their faith, they not only commit treason against their own faith and religion but also against their very own kind; which in effect, tears apart their conscience, their humanity and make them despicably condemned in the courts of man and God alike.
No matter who we are. Muslims or Christians, Hindus or Jews, our religions teach us tolerance and humility, and on pain of severe penalties, they require us to respect and value human existence in its entirety. However, it also raises a question that if all religions preach peace and harmony, how is it that innocent blood is splattered across the pages of human history and is spilled by those who sincerely claimed themselves to be faithful followers of their respective religions? The answer is simple but bitter. For it requires us to acknowledge the significance of our own roles in such happenings, and needs from us the courage to own our own responsibilities in such matters.
To begin with, according to many sociologists since the beginning of time religion has remained and it shall continue to be one of the most powerful institutes of a society. As a result, it has the power to channel peoples energies into creating a better, brighter versions of themselves in establishing a world of wonders and prosperity. For every religion in its essence serves humanity and aims to make this world a better, more secure place to live in. At the same time, its influence can be employed to manipulate the blinding devotion of its followers into becoming the deadliest of weapons to do the bidding of those who have the audacity and the cunning to be their manipulators. For instance, there are politicians who play on people’s emotions to strengthen their vote banks. There are religious leaders who forget that they are merely humble guides to their people in a quest to serve God in good conscience, and mislead their people into committing actions which contravene the very ethics and morality of our mutual existence which only bespeaks their own ambition. And finally, there are those who are manipulated amply because of their ignorant attitudes towards understanding the truest essence of their religions, towards realising that every religious devotion needs to be steered by an honest faith in divine wisdom and by a clear understanding of our respective religions.
In essence dear reader, greed and ambition, sloth and ignorance, are what cause such incomprehensible violence in the name of faith and God. In order for us to have interfaith harmony in our societies, it is essential that we ourselves take the initiative and endeavour to comprehend the actual teachings of our respective religions, and faithfully abide by their injunctions. Also, it falls upon us to do all that we can to minimise the general prevalence of materialism, and in effect of greed and ambition. In doing so however, we owe it to ourselves that we take into immense consideration the legal and social conformities of our societies. Let’s not deceive ourselves anymore! Let’s not play the blame game anymore and own the fact that if we tend to follow a religion, we need to mature our religious grooming and become true followers of our Religion! Let’s be the end to all such violence!