No room for intolerance

Religious bigotry, often rooted in ignorance and misconceptions, poses a significant challenge to societal harmony

Editorial May 27, 2024


It seems that once again, religious bigots have attempted to impose their warped sense of justice on innocent citizens. The recent attack on two Christian families in Sargodha’s Mujahid Colony shows that intolerance still plagues our society. Despite the police’s commendable efforts to evacuate the residents safely, the violence resulted in injuries and destruction of property.

Such egregious attacks have no place in Islam – this must be said blatantly. Islamic jurisprudence demands that the accused must face a fair trial and be proven guilty before adequate punishment is meted out. Vigilantism is antithetical to Islamic principles, and those responsible must be subjected to stringent legal repercussions in accordance with Islamic laws. The government must take decisive action to ensure that due legal process is upheld. Therefore, all perpetrators must be brought before the court to face trial. The response to such incidents has often been reactive rather than proactive. While the police’s action in Sargodha is commendable, it is insufficient. The real challenge lies in addressing the root causes of religious intolerance and ensuring the rule of law prevails.

Religious bigotry, often rooted in ignorance and misconceptions, poses a significant challenge to societal harmony. Unfortunately, the quality of religious education in seminaries often falls short of providing a comprehensive understanding of Islamic teachings. Reforming such institutions is essential to ensure that people receive a balanced education, promoting critical thinking and tolerance.

History is full of examples of Muslim tolerance and coexistence, especially with Jews and Christians, demonstrating the compatibility of Islam with pluralism and diversity. Despite contemporary narratives, it is essential to recognise and appreciate the legacy of religious harmony, and to try and replicate it in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2024.

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