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Moderation And Modernization

By: Professor Maqsood Jafri



The present world needs moderation and modernization.  The religious people are mostly hardliners and extremists.  They are also called prejudiced, bigoted and narrow minded leaches and wimps sucking the blood of humankind in the name of their cults.  Each society is divided into three groups.  They may belong to any country or creed; three groups exert their influence on society.  First; there are atheists.  These people are materialists.  They claim to be scientific rejecting supernatural or spiritual doctrines.  Philosophers like Hume and Nietzsche were the stalwarts of this ideology.  Karl Marx and Darwin also preached atheism.  Secondly; there are the believers who are moderate in their views and attitudes.  They are in minority.  They believe in the Cosmopolitic spirit of all religions.  They are modern and moderate.  They respect all ideologies.  Their motto is inter-faith dialogue and are the pioneers of religious co-existence and religious tolerance.  They do not believe in bloodshed or holy wars in the name of religion.  They believe in serving humankind.  Their slogan is “Live and let Live”.  They say: “God is love, let us love his all humans”.  Thirdly; there is a group of hard liners.  These dye hard claimants of faith regard themselves to be the special creation of God.  They think they are superior and nobler and sacred as well.  They are terrorists and issue the tickets of heaven to their adherents and associates.  They are negative people harming the civilized society.  They are bringing bad name to religion.  These are the people who brain wash the emotional younger generation to kill the followers of other faiths. They name it Jihad or holy war.  Such people fight on two fronts.  Internal Front and External Front.  On internal front they wage holy war with their own co-religionists.  On the historical differences or scriptural interpretation they issue the decree of mayhem and murders.  They declare war on the brethren of their own faith.  In history we find the Catholics and Protestants mercilessly shedding the blood of each other.  The hardliners of three main Muslims sects viz; the Shias, the Sunnis and the Wahabis ruthlessly kill each other on minor ideological issues.  Besides we see these hard liners fighting on External Front.  They deem it their religious duty to eliminate the followers of other religions.  Harold Lamb, an American historian, in his book entitled “The Crusades” has sketched the portrait of bloodshed between the Christians and the Muslims.  For two centuries they had been fighting in the name of religion.  Whether the Christians or the Muslims; the blood of every human being is sacred and needs protection.  Once the emperor of England Richard and the Muslim Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi were about to make a peace truce and stop bloodshed and resolve the matters peacefully but the hardliners from either side failed their scheme.  History mirrors the sagas of sorrow and sadness.  I am a humanist.  I cannot appreciate or justify bloodshed of humankind.  Religions have been revealed to serve humans and show them the path of nobility, peace, prosperity, happiness and justice.  Religions were not revealed to kill each other in the name of God.  I am a Muslim, but I cannot tolerate injustice done to any non-Muslim.  I can never be happy by shedding the blood of any non-Muslim.  Religion teaches us tolerance and toleration.  Bertrand Russell in one of his articles writes that tolerance is the basic requirement for education and civilization.  The intolerant, irrational and illogical people have created havoc in the domain of world polity and culture.  When I was reading the book of Harold Lamb I could not control my tears trickling out of my eyes.  It was on the sad demise of a young Christian poet who wrote a plaintive poem to his mistress from the battlefield.  About him on page 233 of the book The Crusade, Harold Lamb writes: “one of them, the young Castellan of Coucy, passed the time in his quarters composing a song.  Humming under his breath, he traced words carefully upon stiff parchment for this was an important love song, to his wife:


            Beau sire Dien, how may I endure

            To leave the comfort and the courtesy

            Of my lady, whose sweet allure,

            Made her my delight and belleamire.”


To date the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims and the Hindus are all out to kill each other.  So many countries have become the hubs and harbors of terrorism.  The peace of the world is at stake. In my opinion let us educate people and prepare them for tolerant and moderate attitudes.  Private religious education, which is sowing the seeds of discord and destruction, be banned all over the world.  Let us educate our posterities on modern scientific lines and teach them to love all humankind.  Let the religious curricula be introduced in schools, colleges and universities with modern techniques to end religious biases, extremism and terrorism.  Let the terrorists be dealt with iron hand and no sympathy or mercy be shown to them.  By casual and traditional legal system, these religious terrorists cannot be eliminated. Special measures should be taken to eradicate them. Besides the policy of Moderation and Modernization can be highly productive and fruitful in enhancing the spirit of religious tolerance. 


(The writer is an eminent speaker and scholar and can be reached at                    

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