In the name of religion
THE unending sectarian violence in Pakistan shows clearly to what extent sectarian ideas can be destructive for the world. Our sectarian mentality is evident by not protesting against the egregious violence by the Sunni sects on the Shia community in Pakistan. It is the same sectarian mentality that led to the massacre of Bengalis, the then East Pakistanis, by the West Pakistanis in 1971. For sure the Islamist terrorist sects such as al-Qaeda and Taliban and other Sunni groups do not act on the verse of the Qur’an which teaches letting everyone practise their own believes.
However, what is remarkable is that we do not very often hear the news of Shia Muslims killing Sunni Muslims around the world. The Qur’an declares that if anyone kills an innocent, the sin is equal to that of killing the entire humanity (5: 32). I think it is not too late for the Muslims all over the world, to act upon the teachings of the Qur’an which commands us to hold fast to the rope of Allah, not to be divided and to remember Allah’s favour on us (3:103). We must always keep in mind that the core meaning of Islam is peace and if we fight against each other, our own beliefs become meaningless.
In recent years, Muslims all over the world are in crisis from Africa, Middle East to the western countries. In the fierce battles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Syria have resulted in deaths of millions of people and utter destruction of infrastructure and economy. And in Pakistan the political unrest has become the most regular event. Almost every day we find fearsome news of bomb attacks in Pakistan. In these circumstances, if the Muslims all over the world do not stay united irrespective of their sects, the situation would turn even worse.
I strongly believe that the Islamist terrorists are not representatives of my religion. But it appears that the West pictures all the Muslims as al-Qaeda and Taliban. To change this disturbing mindset, which victimises millions of peaceful Muslims living in Europe and the United States, fighting among us must be put to an end. And in Bangladesh we can send a strong message by protesting against the deaths of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
I hope we learn this before it is too late.
Ishwardi Government College
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