Re­spect other re­li­gions

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - FAKEHA FAIZ

Lately, a news ap­peared in me­dia about the sale of shoes on which Hindu re­li­gion’s sa­cred sym­bol was in­scribed. The in­ci­dent is ap­palling and de­serves con­dem­na­tion in the harsh­est pos­si­ble words. How can one stoop so low to in­sult some­one’s re­li­gion in such a de­based way? How can one claim to be a bet­ter Mus­lim by show­ing dis­re­spect to some­one else’s re­li­gion? The act reeks of a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to cre­ate dishar­mony and fric­tion between fol­low­ers of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions. It also de­picts the prej­u­diced men­tal­ity of a small sec­tion of our so­ci­ety against non-Mus­lim mi­nori­ties.

The per­pe­tra­tors of this crim­i­nal provo­ca­tion and the ones hav­ing sim­i­lar mind­set must bear in mind that they should not ex­pect non-Mus­lims to re­vere their re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tions when they them­selves bla­tantly in­sult other faiths. If we can’t re­spect others, we shouldn’t ex­pect a re­spect­ful com­port­ment to­wards our­selves.

What we need is an en­vi­ron­ment of in­ter-faith ac­cord and plu­ral­ism. If we are un­able to cre­ate such an in­clu­sive and tol­er­ant so­ci­ety, which re­spects di­verse cul­tures and re­li­gions, we are plung­ing deep into re­gres­sion and back­ward­ness. It must be noted that Is­lam has al­ways en­joined to re­spect other faiths and asks to in­duce a spirit of tol­er­ance within one­self. So, abus­ing any­one’s faith ten­ta­mounts to go­ing against the spirit of Is­lam.

Hav­ing said that, po­lice has rightly taken ac­tion against the cul­prits and they must be awarded ex­em­plary pun­ish­ments, so that in fu­ture, no one has the au­dac­ity to re­peat such ac­tions that can deeply bruise the re­li­gious sen­ti­ments of peo­ple and in­cite dis­or­der in so­ci­ety. I urge gov­ern­ment to take more ef­fec­tive long-term mea­sures to­wards pro­mot­ing in­ter­faith har­mony and de­vel­op­ing a tol­er­ant and plu­ral­is­tic so­ci­ety - the one that sows re­spect rather than big­otry to­wards other faiths in the hearts of peo­ple. —Via email

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