Interfaith Harmony: the Need of Hour
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
According to a CNN report, a nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, is planning to host an “International Burn a Quran Day” on September 11, 2010. As per ‘The Dove World Outreach Centre,’ this malevolent event is planned to venerate the victims of the tragic incident of 9/11. The event would be the beginning of a formal campaign against the Muslims and Islam. The handful of people of Christian community, associated with the Dove World Outreach Centre, believe that perhaps the Muslims are responsible for the incident of 9/11.
Although, there are still lot of assumptions, as who planned and executed the unfortunate incident. However, Islam as a religion does not allow violence. In Islam, killing an innocent human being is equal to killing of the whole humanity, therefore, how the killings of thousands of the people of the WTC could be attributed to Islam or its followers.
In order to burn the copies of the Holy Quran, the Dove World Outreach Centre has invited the Christian community by using websites, Youtube, and Facebook pages at the Church on September 11, 2010. A lot of hate material is being circulated by the church to promote this anti-Islamic campaign.
The said church sells shirts and coffee mugs bearing the wordings like; “Islam is of the Devil.” This small group of the people associated with the said Church, indeed are denying the true teachings of Christianity itself. The Muslims, however, believe that Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are three forms of the same religion of Abraham. The basic teachings of all these forms are the promotion of peace and love among the human beings. Since there is no concept of hate or violence in any of these forms of the basic religions, therefore, there is no logic of this church planning and executing the burning of the copies of the Holy Quran. As far as the interfaith harmony and tolerance in Islam is concerned, irrespective of the class, colour, or social status, it has no parallel in history.
The first-ever Islamic State of Madina, established by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was a classic example of accommodating the interests of the people from all religions, from Christianity to Judaism and Islam. Under the Muslim rule, Umayyads in Spain and the Abbasid rule in Baghdad, Christians and Jews were given equal treatment in all spheres of life, including education in schools and universities at the state expense. History also witnessed that “the Muslim empire was a refuge for all those who fled from persecution by the Inquisition.”
Indeed, Islam is a religion of “moderation and tolerance, a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of religions, a message that promises to open a new chapter for humanity in which concord will replace conflict.”
There is no rationale of such events to redress the grievances of the victims of 9/11. These acts would rather, provoke the religious sentiments, whose repercussions would be very serious for global peace.
Instead of bringing an interfaith harmony, the world may witness vicious religious clashes after this incident. At this critical juncture of the history, there is a need for more interfaith harmony than impairing it. In order to maintain global peace and interfaith harmony, the US government must take stern action against the church planning this misdeed.The writer is an analyst of international relations.