Importance Of Religious Pluralism In Achieving Peace And Development In Pakistan

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In the old ages, the world was divided into several parts due to geographical boundaries. These boundaries caused people to live in different environments and they encountered different situations. The experiences they had resulted in their own unique beliefs. Some people feared fire hence ended up believing fire to be the most powerful thing in the world and they start worshiping fire,others found sun,moon or wind powerful. There were people who believed in many Gods,people believing in one God and people not believing in any God.

Religious pluralism refers to the acceptance of the religious diversity that exists in a society now and has been existing for ages now. It is an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in society. It signifies the understanding which people cultivate for each other despite the differences that come in the way.

Religious exclusivism, or the idea that only one religion can be true, fuels hatred and conflict in the modern world. Approaches to religious education should embrace a moderate religious pluralism.Considering the diversity of religious beliefs and practices in a society or country, it is of paramount importance that the idea of pluralism and acceptance be practiced for the sake of peace and harmony in a country. No country can flourish and prosper without having a respectful approach towards others’ religious beliefs.

Pakistan is among those diverse countries which portray a great variety of religious and cultural beliefs and values respectively. Despite being a muslim country pakistan has been a home to other religious group as well for example hindus, christrians, zorastrians, sikhs and many others. People have been free to practice any religion they wish to practice. When pakistan was founded back in 1947 it was explicitly mentioned in quaid-e-azam's speech that “you are free ;you are free to go to your temples.you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of pakistan.you may belong to any religion,caste or creed -that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

From his speech we can imply that pakistan was not meant to be only a muslim state. Every religion could be practiced and every religious festival could be celebrated indiscriminately and no forceful conversion of religion was allowed. Thus we are harboring people of various religious beliefs with different cultural values adding to the cultural beauty of Pakistan which accounts for one of the strengths of Pakistan. But the question is are we really sticking to quaid’s notion of an independent islamic state? Are we tolerant towards other religious groups? Are we living in harmony and showing the attitude of genuine care towards people of other faiths and cultural and religious values?

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Alongside diversity comes the worry of conflicts and fights pertaining to religious intolerance. It can lead people to inevitable war if it is not dealt with acceptance. In past incidences evident of religious intolerance have been witnessed. People of a particular religious group have tried to impose their superiority over others by the use of power and weapons. Places of worship have been set on fire, large scale massacres have been carried out and marriage has been used as a tool for religious conversion. Blasphemy laws have been misused to dominate minority group and assert religious superiority. The case of asia bibi is living example of shaking interfaith harmony. She was accused of blasphemy after an argument with coworkers while harvesting berries. She was subsequently arrested and imprisoned. After she was sentenced to death she was proven not to be guilty.

This incident reflects the use of blasphemy as a tool for revenge. Every other day we get to hear about out of faith marriages and forceful conversion especially among women. Husbands force their vulnerable wives to practice the religion of husbands choice by intimidating them and by the use of physical strength. Sometimes this practice is even used as a source for spread of a religion. “The Human Rights Council of Pakistan has reported that cases of forced conversion are increasing. A 2014 report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) says about 1,000 women in Pakistan are forcibly converted to Islam every year (700 Christian and 300 Hindu).” An attack on the church in Quetta in December 2017 that killed nine people and injured 57. A suicide attack targeting christians celebrating Easter at a Lahore playground in March 2016 left 70 dead and more than 340 wounded. Two bomb blasts at churches in Lahore in March 2015 killed 14 and injured more than 70 people. A twin suicide bomb attack at aPeshawar church at 2013 left around 80 dead. In 2009, nearly 40 houses and a church were burnt by a mob inGojra town in punjab, with eight people burnt alive.

All these incidences are indicative of the dire need of religious acceptance that people have been lacking for quite some time now. Unless the idea of pluralism is practiced, harmony and peace is unattainable.

Giving one religion or denomination special rights that are denied to others can weaken religious pluralism and in turn can give rise to riots and dispute in a country. Minorities may not constitute 50% of Pakistan’s population but refraining from giving them their rights can lead to consequences much greater than their number. They must be given the basic human rights firstly and most importantly. Secondly they should have the right to enjoy their own culture, to use their own language, to profess and practice their own religion, to have the right to freedom of expression and assembly, to have equal opportunities to education and employment, and to enjoy full participation in public life.

If they are refused their rights they can built a feeling of hatred and dislike towards the government and the country. This feeling of loathing can impair the development process of the country. There will be a number of events leading to shaking peace, cracking harmony and shattering bond of alliance among people. The riots, strike, war, massacres which will follow can weaken the position of a country in the global world. Pakistan is a developing country and is in dire need of recognition from developed countries around the globe. Thus it can not afford any circumstance that can in any way negatively impact its position.

The situation of shaking peace and conflicts can have a considerable impact on national, regional and international peace and security. It has become of utmost importance for any country to run faster than others in the race of development. When on one hand industrial development takes the country higher, conflicts and war within the country can drag it down. How can a country at war focus on other important issues including educational and industrial development. If it’s citizens care more about dominating each other how can it dominate the world? Collaborative efforts are required to tackle more sensitive issues of poverty, pollution, health issues and many others. If we break the bonds of brotherhood and stop being sensitive towards others’ religious beliefs, there is a great chance that we will lag behind in this modern era of industrialization and development. Working together for promoting dialogue, and cooperation and understanding among all cultures and faiths is the key to success. Cooperation, not confrontation, is the way forward, and tolerance is to be promoted through all mediums, and in all domains.

Considering the importance of religious pluralism there are certain ways which we can use to build a sense of religious acceptance among people from a very young age. When a kindergartner starts going to school, he/she is taught ABC and he remembers them for a lifetime. Young age is the age when a person gets most of the basic education and builds a personality. If this age group is targeted in building the bond of brotherhood among various sects and religious groups, it can go a long way. Early schooling should include teaching kids the basic moral values. They should be taught to appreciate the differences that exist among people in the society. They should be made aware of the fact that peace and harmony is a very important aspect of a society. Secondly religious teaching centres and madrasas instead of only teaching islamic values and principles should also make it very clear that freedom of religious practices is one of the core principles of an independent Pakistan. Instead of teaching the kids that Islam is the only true religion they should also explicitly highlight the fact the force conversion was never the right way of spreading a religion. Everyone, who wants to convert, should do it according to his or her own belief, not because of the pressure someone else is putting on him. Thirdly it is commonly seen in schools, communities and houses that people of one particular religious group refrain from interacting with others. This mutual hatred won't be eradicated unless we start to interact more and more with each other. We should lend a hand and help each other in difficult times and celebrate together festivals and occasions both national and cultural. We should not see each other for the differences that we have, we should look at the similarities we share. We all are human beings, we were created alike. We all share the same body makeup. We all eat to live and work to exist. If this is not enough to build a sense of genuine care amongst us I don't know what is.

It should be ensured that minorities are given their rights and their contribution towards the country’s development is equal. They should not be distracted or disturb when they are practicing their religion. Their holidays shouldnt be ridiculed and made fun of. They should have a good number of seats in government and should be an active citizen of Pakistan. Only then can there be unshakable peace and harmony in the country and the country will be on the road to development. Let's make Pakistan the most harmonious and peaceful country on the globe.

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Importance Of Religious Pluralism In Achieving Peace And Development In Pakistan. (2021, April 19). WritingBros. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/importance-of-religious-pluralism-in-achieving-peace-and-development-in-pakistan/
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Importance Of Religious Pluralism In Achieving Peace And Development In Pakistan [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Apr 19 [cited 2024 Jun 18]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/importance-of-religious-pluralism-in-achieving-peace-and-development-in-pakistan/
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