Religious violence

FAISALABAD: On July 26, two violent incidents occurred in India and Pakistan. There was a resemblance between them as both incidents happened in the name of religion. In the Indian state of Madhya Pardesh, two Muslim women were beaten up at a railway station on suspicion of carrying beef, an offence in many parts of the Hindu-majority country. A group of vigilantes slapped, kicked and punched the women brutally in front of a large crowd of people.

The second incident took place in Pakistan, where Hindu youth were killed as communal tension rocked Sindh’s Ghotki district after an alleged sacrilegious incident in which burnt pages of the Holy Quran were found outside an old mosque. Emotionally-charged protesters assembled and demanded the arrest of the culprits.

Religious violence is context-dependent and a very complex phenomenon. Oversimplifications of religion and violence often lead to misguided understandings of the causes of why some people commit violence and why most do not. Often, religion is used as a means of rallying support for violence. Religious leaders regularly denounce such manipulations, but engage it for the same means. They have an obligation to present the true picture of their religion, which is against any type of violence.

Engr Mansoor Ahmed

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