Monday, 28 June 2010

Religious assassinations in Pakistan

I read today that 80 human beings; mainly men and children, were gunned down in two mosques in Pakistan during their time of worship. The news reported it was an attack caused by religious differences that prevail in the region in question.

Even though I don’t know these human beings, the news broke my heart. Tears filled my eyes as I watched mothers, wives, daughters and sisters bury their loved ones killed in the assassination.

Is there not enough suffering in the world that certain fractions of individuals feel they need to go and cause more? - and to kill peaceful people during a time of prayer in a holy place? How can this ever be in the name of any God? How can this be in the name of any religious purpose?

Quite simply - it isn’t!

There is no religion or religious text on this planet that says it’s ok to go out and kill someone just because they don’t have the same beliefs as you. Nowhere, in any religious text, is it written that it is ok to take the life of someone just because they worship a God who has a different name to your God.

Never, in any religious text did I ever read of a God who advocated ethnic cleansing based on any superior race. There is no such thing.

If anything, on the contrary, in every religious text I ever read, I only found words that promoted the brotherhood of man and loving thy neighbour; treating others like they were your own brother or sister.

Yet, since the beginning of time, man has insisted on using religion and religious texts as a pretext for wars and spreading hatred. There is no word of God that advocates that.

Truth be known it isn’t God or religion at all. It’s an egotistical one-sided viewpoint with lack of respect for other human beings’ beliefs. It’s an egocentric and extremist power struggle for marking out territory, of which I am sure there is plenty for everyone; and it’s also the multi-millionaire arms dealers’ paradise because they stand to make huge fortunes.

When it comes to outrageous assassinations of this kind, there is no God involved; just money, power and greed. All it takes is the right powerful, greedy people to whisper in the ears of the few excitable, “ignorant,” gullible, extremist fanatics and presto, there’s a cocktail for murder beyond proportions.

Instead of killing innocent children and men who are peacefully worshipping their God and doing no harm to others, why isn’t this aggressive energy creatively channelled and better employed in other pursuits that would be beneficial to the community at large; spanning all religions in the region?

Ignorance and greed that hide behind the facade of religion are the root of all evils, not religion per se and not any religion that is different from our own, but to understand that, you have to understand other religions within their contexts.

Regardless of what religion someone is, they should be free to worship peacefully without the lingering threat of death looming over them. My heart goes out to those in mourning.

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