ack of religious tolerance will precipitate violence in a society. A large number of Afghan ethnic and religious minorities lost their life on the grounds of their caste and creed under the Taliban. The Taliban’s dogmatic mindset and lack of tolerance led to national carnage across the country and Afghans still lose their lives in the wake of terrorist attacks. Religious radicals claim importunely that only they practice the pure form of Islam and faith and practices of others are contrary to religious tenets.
Their ostentatious acts of cruelty tarnish religion. How paradoxical it is to see those who claim to support religious values are the very violators of religious tenets. Hence, their bogus claim is no more than shedding crocodile tear for religion. The poor religion is being stabbed in the back by its so-called proponents. Isn’t it the story of the bear which killed its owner intending to repulse the stubborn fly disturbing him?
Ill-fatedly, tolerance lacks a certain conception in our society the same as other social and political concepts. For instance, freedom, democracy and human rights are considered western products by traditionalists in general and radicals in particular. In other words, some believe that democracy and human rights are not acceptable in our society in their modern terms rather we have Islamic democracy and Islamic human rights. Those certain terms are being distorted in our society. Freedom and human rights, which are established on the basis of one’s humanity irrespective of their race, color, gender, belief, etc, are defined clearly and disagreeing with them means agreeing with the opposite facts. The same is the case with tolerance, whoever denies it there is no other type of tolerance to practice upon.
Social and political tolerance will be practiced in a society where human rights are accepted on the basis of modern terminology and where all the sources of power will tolerate citizens’ beliefs, including the religious beliefs of minority groups, patiently. Honoring the beliefs and values of others means respecting the inherent personality of mankind.
Moreover, tolerance will rule in a society where the state supports freedoms not the truths. Thinkers should be provided with the opportunities to analyze the truths, and this sphere has to be kept out of the realm of government’s intrusion. So, writers and thinkers are supposed to discuss about the right and wrong in a secure and peaceful atmosphere. However, if the government involves in such issues and supports a particular interpretation, whether the issues are religious, political or philosophical, a true tolerance will no more exist in such a society. Since government is a source of great power, it will impose its interpretations on the nation – no matter if those interpretations are right or wrong. Hence, it will lead to violence or at least to surreptitious skirmish or schism between the opponent and proponent groups.
Likewise, tolerance will exist in a society where freedom of expression rules to the extent of analyzing and criticizing majority’s religious and irreligious beliefs without feeling or falling under pressure. This issue is highly significant in a society where religion plays an integral role the same as in our society. To discuss about political-social tolerance in our society, we have to underline this issue. We will lack tolerance unless our thinkers and writers are allowed to talk critically of official and religious beliefs without any dilemma.
A religious society does not necessarily mean that the majority’s religious beliefs be part of government’s ideology and beyond any critiques. A religious community means that citizens should be allowed to live as religious believers and arbitrators and to involve the updated religious values in political participation and those values be flexible to interpretations. In current age, democracy is the only popular form of government which provides room for practicing upon religious beliefs and showing tolerance to all. Hence, political and social freedoms and respecting human rights do not eventuate to the loss of religious values. A religious society can enjoy a democratic government.
We are supposed to tolerate all citizens, as they are, on the basis of being human irrespective of their beliefs, color, sex or creed. There live many people in our society with different religious and political mindsets and we live have to cherish pluralism via practicing tolerance in all aspects of our social life. Fundamentalism and dogmatic interpretations of religion, which leaves no room for tolerance, bore bitter fruit in our society. Thus, to get rid of violence and radicalism, all citizens have to practice tolerance in social, political and religious spheres of life.