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Terrorism, terrorism and religion!

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By: Talib Bhat

Present day age is considered as the age of violence and terror. The violence committed against innocent public for political purposes as well as for the new age weapons industry and corporate that seems running the show has crippled the very ideals of humanity. However, most of the western media, a number of scholars and strategists can be seen blaming religions particularly ‘Islam’ for the continuation of terror and often jump to conclusions as well as generalizations even if there are no proofs solid logics behind their arguments. What is reality of terrorism? Are religions responsible for miseries, bloodshed and conflict or, is there a vast plan to keep the weapon industry in great business? There can’t be a simple answer to such hypothesis.

Religions, when seen in a thorough and detailed view are mercy and sources of peace. A true religion never leads people to conflicts, chaos, confusion, miseries, violence, killings and bloodshed. Study the religious texts in diversity, you will find that the one and only relevant common message all carry and that is to promote the global peace, humanity and security to the entire world. Those who use religious symbols and articles to suppress innocents are real terrorists. And most of the bloodshed committed against humanity, till date, has had its roots in political and other causes.

Haroon Yahya notes: ‘’for terrorists, killing people is a way of life. They may shoot innocent people without pity and throw bombs at children. For them shedding blood is a pleasure. They have ceased to be human beings and turned into raving savage beasts…if a terrorist uses religious languages and symbols, this must not deceive anyone. Terrorists who hide under the cloak of false religion are doubly guilty, both of the blood they have shed and for the anti religious propaganda they have spread while committing these crimes in the name of religion.’’[Book: Islam denounces terrorism]

Let me quote some positive examples from world history:

  1. In Rwanda in 1994, some massacres took place in churches. Does that make the Rwanda killings a Christian crime? When in the 1970’s, Buddhist Cambodia was the venue for the killing fields, did the massacres reflect an innate Buddhist flaw? When a few years ago, almost all members of the royal family of Nepal were shot dead, and later a large number of peasants and security men were killed in shootings, was some Hindu teachings to blame? Indeed, were the two great wars of a 20th century a result of Christianity?

As is said by Raj Mohan Gandhi, that “religion is an element in the complex stories of modern day violence, but we should be careful before saying with finality that it is religion in general and one religion in particular that fills a heart with hate and the desperate desire to destroy others and one self. We should recognize that the clash in the world today is not between civilizations, cultures, religions or nations, but rather between forces inside each heart, between fear and faith, between fear and acceptance. [Raj Mohan Gandhi, president ‘Initiatives of changement International’]

  1. While members of all three religions were living peaceably together in Palestine, the Christians in Europe decide to organize a crusade. Following a call by Pope urban II on 27 November 1095 at the council of Clermont, more than 100,000 people from all over Europe set out for Palestine to free the holy land from the Muslims and find the fabled wealth of the east. After a long and wearying journey, and much plundering and slaughter along the way, they reached Jerusalem in 1099. The city fell after a siege of nearly five weeks, and the crusaders moved in. and the carried out a savagery the like of which the world has seldom seen. All Muslim and Jews in the city were put to the sword. The peace and harmony in Palestine, which had lasted since Umar, ended in terrible slaughter. The crusaders violated all the ethical laws of Christianity, a religion of love and compassion, and spread in the name of Christianity. { Islam denounces terrorism, p-85]

Actually religions are misrepresented by its followers who fail to recognize the actual teachings and doctrines of religious philosophies. A true religion never welcomes bloodshed and if any religion does so, then that is not a religion at all. Religion guides a man and makes life easy and fulfilling. It loves humanity and dislikes violence. Osho said, “…terrorism is going to become a bigger and bigger threat, because the world war is almost impossible. And the stupid politicians have no other alternative. Terrorism simply means that what was being done one a social scale has to be done on individually. It will grow, it can only be prevented if we change the very base of the human understanding…which is a Himalayan task; more so because these some people whom you want, to change will fight you, they won’t allow you to change them easily. Until we change the basic grounds of humanity. Terrorism is going to become more and more a normal, everyday affair. It will happen in the airplanes, it will happen in the buses. It will start happening in the cars. It will start happening to strangers. Somebody will suddenly come and shoot you…not that you have done anything to him, but just, the hunter is back.’’ [Beyond Psychology-chapter 18] Another famous and widely read book ‘’The Dhammapadda: the way of Buddha’’ notes the same fact as: ‘’what is your life? What you are doing with yourself and with others? You feel powerful whenever you can torture others, torture gives you are great release of power. Why are these Adolf Hitler’s, Joseph Stalin’s and Moa Zedongs born again and again? From where do they come? They represent you. They represent the essential madness of humanity. They erupt again and again and they will go on coming, you can’t prevent them, unless we change the very foundation of human existence, if we change human consciousness from misery to bliss, from tensions to peace.’’ [Vol-08, chapter-04]

Therefore, let’s not put the wholesome blame on religion and rather see religion as a potent way of changing the scenario. I firmly believe that if we are actually religious, we will be more tolerant, more accommodative and more respectful. The violence has no space once your heart is filled with the love and devotion of the religious doctrines!

The author is a student of 12th class and editor in chief at ‘’The Wular Post’’. [email protected]

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