Individual ReportBelief SystemsFocused question:How far should an individual tolerate other people’s religious beliefs?Lack of tolerance around the world has become the cause root of many social, political and religious conflicts between the human race. However, the political set up of the world with recent events involving different leaders of influential countries has lead me to debate the importance of tolerance in relation to religious beliefs. Religious belief refers to attitudes towards mythological, supernatural, or spiritual aspects of a religion. Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of “reality” about a particular religion.
In a religious context, maintaining a belief that one’s religion teaches complete truth, or is a unique source of morality causes intolerance for others belief. The purpose of religion is to control ourselves, not to criticize others. The reason why I have chosen this topic is because it has become a major issue both, globally and nationally.Pew Research Centre has been tracking religious restrictions and hostilities around the world since 2007. It states that one-third of the 198 countries studied in 2012 had a very high level of social hostilities involving religion.Nigeria as a country is constrained with several socio-political and economic problems.
The country is mostly dominated by the religions of Islam, Christianity and African traditional religion. However, the adherents of these two religions, Islam and Christianity are often engaged in conflicts, leading to lose of lives and property. The cause root of religious intolerance in Nigeria is education. A major evidence of this is the Boko Haram insurgency which is also known as “Western education is a sin” because of the beliefs of particular Muslims living in Nigeria that Western influences in education, media, and values, have a degrading effect on traditional Islamic societies. The pattern of education in the south and the north has been different. Christian missionaries were allowed by the British colonial power to set up Christian-orientated schools.
No teachers were provided for Islamic Studies. This gave rise to the establishment of private Islamic schools for Muslims in the southwest. Christian missionaries and their students in the southwest went far ahead of the Muslims in western education, and tended to look down on the Muslims as backward. There was, and in some cases, still is, serious abuse of their educational and religious rights and of Muslims in national development.Some religions deliberately unleash hatred on other members of the society that are not members of their fate or share similar views.
Thus, when they are faced with opposition, they resort to violence which is often fatal. This is why religious intolerance, fundamentalism and extremism is caused mainly by lack of education and high illiteracy rate in Nigeria. “Religious intolerance cannot stop if those in charge of the two major religions do not stop this craze of trying to make people believe they are the saints while others are devils. I mean people keep associating killings with Islam. It is not true. Which religion will out rightly tell its adherents to go and be killing people? That’s absurd.
I’m a Christian and I know we are getting killed every day, but we can’t just say it is because we are not Muslims. I have Muslim friends who I comfortably discuss religion with and actually enjoy doing it. I believe those people killing for religion are just brainwashed by someone more knowledgeable than them.
The heads of every religion should let their people know that there are other religions in this country and everyone has the right to choose the religion to practice”, said Mr. Kola David from the National industrial court of Nigeria.Another country facing this issue of religious intolerance is Norway, In my country Pakistan, there are many issues and problems which arise on this matter. The most practiced religion here is Islam. Muslims make up the second largest religious population in the world and were discriminated against in 121 countries worldwide between 2006 and 2010.
Religious minorities in Pakistan face severe discrimination and social disparities in Pakistan as Islam has various sectarian groups which show many signs of intolerance to one another. These sectarian groups in Pakistan include the Sunni, Shia, Sufi, and the small Ahmadi, Hindu and Christian religious groups.Locally, in Pakistan, many societies adopt precise values and morals which are limited to a certain point and do not allow to perform many of the acts and practices which are adopted in the present, modern world.
Problems arise because the basic principles of a religion are held to be those morals, behaviors and beliefs held by the earliest followers. Another major reason is blasphemy, which is the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things.