Religion and Peace, Challenges and Solutions
Mohammad Ali Abtahi
For the cooperation and utilization of the power of religion, we should pay attention to the sprit and core of religion, because this is the sprit and core of religion which is common between all religions and makes the cooperation for all the believers of any religion possible.
Perhaps there is no theologian who doesn’t believe that the sprit of religion is peace and friendship. As a religious approach, God is the creator of all human beings and creator wouldn’t pay attention to some of his slaves more than the others and can’t be enemy of any group of them, therefore the sprit of relation to God is peace and friendship.
The following subjects are the main challenges of the world with religion and can affect the religion as well:
1-The reason of the challenge of the world with religion is that many people seek their own benefits under the name of religions and the struggle among God believers will be considered as religious while spirituality and relation to God logically can’t lead us to any thing other than peace.
2-Though we believe that real believers of sprit of religion should become the representatives of religions, unfortunately there are some people who wage violence and introduce themselves as representative of a divine religion. Because of their behaviors their voice is very loud and intolerable. But the reality is that that voice represents a very small minority of God believers.
I believe that Islam hasn’t elect Bin Laden as representative; Sharon is not representative of Jews and Christians haven’t elect American Government to wage violence all over the world.
3- Naturally, violence creates violence. In the history of mankind, those who were more powerful always talked to the followers of other religions with the language of violence and this made new violence. Therefore the language of violence and force has been deep routed and considered to be a good defense in a way that the followers of religions may think that there is no other language for defense other than that.
4-The problem of the followers of religions is that they don’t pay attention to the need of human society. Freedom is the most important need of all people. If we interpreted religion or even justice as limitations to human freedom, the religion would be eliminated. Christianity before renaissance and Communism both were against human freedom supporting religion and justice but both of them were put aside by freedom. Nowadays we can see that risk again.
Solutions of challenges:
For a better life there is no way in front of human being other than diplomacy and avoiding violence.
The difference between diplomacy and dialogue is that diplomacy is a smart dialogue. In smart and aware dialogue, each party should evaluate all the concerns of other party and speak out his views in a way which is applicable.
We should regard some points for realization of diplomacy:
1-There must be some common principles that the entire world would unanimously accept. I believe that among all the achievements of human being we can consider democracy, human rights and avoidance of mass destruction weapons as the most important. These principles could lead the world to peace.
2-Diplomacy can lead us to that goal if only the people of the world are not categorized and all are considered as equal. Unfortunately in some conflicts in the world especially in the Middle East the blood of people is categorized. This is itself a factor for violence.
3-The countries should themselves fulfill the reform. This is more important in Islamic world. Reform can lead a society to peace and can be viable and deep, if it is in accordance with the local culture of a given society and if it is institutionalized. Using force for the realization of peaceful goals would have opposite results. Instead of democratization of society, that will radicalize the people.
4-Instead of using violence, big powers must persuade the governments to listen to their people and obey their demands, in the mean time that they themselves are committed to those principles.
I have come from Islamic world and I like to announce to the world that we should all try to make the voice of peace, friendship and democracy as the loudest voice of Islamic world. Look at Iraq. Before elections the loudest voice was the sound of explosions, bombs and violence. With that loud voice no one should have gone for elections but despite of that deterring atmosphere the majority of people participated in elections to make the future of Iraq without violence. You can find this atmosphere in all parts of the Islamic world.