The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The word, “Religion” holds power like nothing else.
It can make or break relationships, give hope, help people attain salvation, or create massive chaos and destruction.
The thing about religion is that people are so deeply associated with it that somewhere along the line, they start neglecting everything except the purpose and the values that it promotes.
Holy wars are actually a thing. These are wars caused due to differences in religious conflicts and beliefs, and makeup 6.98% of the conflicts. These are extremely complicated, delicate, and carry the emotions of the masses with them. They are also known to be one of the deadliest.
The Israel- Palestine conflict;
Decades of fighting, known as one of the world’s most unresolvable conflicts. The underlying cause? Religion. Jews and Arabs have been fighting for years over territory and control. Bombs, weapons, and thousands of people killed only because they differ in their religions. Even though their ultimate goal and belief might be the same, it’s just the difference in the way they approach it which has caused years of misunderstanding.
There are 4,300 different religions in the world. Does that mean there are 4,300 completely disconnected communities all over, each having different goals and values? That each and every person has a different ‘dharma’, and cannot coexist with one another? The world would be in chaos and would be destroyed within years.
Taliban, one of the most feared militant organizations in the world has recaptured Afghanistan recently. What they proclaim is that they will ensure ‘religious freedom’, bring back ‘law, justice, and security, and make Afghanistan ‘great again’.
Their idea of religious freedom translates to the negligence of basic human rights, oppressive measures and extreme laws. They obey the Sharia Law by heart and want to form an Islamic Fundamentalist Government.
Sharia literally means the “clear, well-trodden path to water”. It is derived from the Quran, and basically dictates each and every aspect of Islam’s life.
The horrendous punishments and the torture which people have to endure because of a mistake because the Taliban follows Sharia Law is unspeakable. Public executions, hangings, whippings and humiliation are just a few of the atrocities. For women, the Taliban beliefs are to such an extreme level that the word freedom in any form is basically meaningless for them.
The Quran, the holy book of Islam which contains the teachings of Prophet Mohammad revolves around peace. It promotes peace and submission in all forms and teaches that Allah wants Muslims to maintain harmony in their surroundings, and prevent aggression.
It teaches that good relations are of supreme importance, and hate towards others is futile.
Both the Sharia Law and Quran belong to the same religion, both want to ensure peace, harmony and security in the society. Why is there so much difference in opinions and interpretations then? Why, in the name of God, countless crimes are being done every day?
As humans, all of us are supposed to be different. All of us can have varying opinions. But when these escalate to a level where there are actual livelihoods are at stake, that is where the issue starts.
Religion was created to help humans be anchored to themselves, to their surroundings and to follow the path of truth and peace. No religion promotes violence, chaos. Everyone is considered to be the children of God, so who decides who is worthy and who is not?
The problem isn’t with religion. The problem lies with us.