ASSISI, Italy, OCT. 27, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of the address given today in Assisi at the Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, by Kyai Haji Hasyimmuzadi, the general secretary of the International Conference of Islamic Scholars.
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Supposedly, the essence and objectives of the presence of religions on this earth is to strengthen the values and dignity of humanity, peace and world progress because it is intended to enlighten humanity, and not the opposite. However, the reality demonstrates that many human problems on this planet in fact originate from people with religions, even though, the problems arising from people of religions do not mean it originate from the religion itself. This occurs simply because true religions with its wholesome teachings, may have followers that cannot fully comprehend the wholesomeness holistically / completely.
A lack of holistic understanding of the teachings of religions occurs when their followers only possess a partial understanding and a lack of complete comprehension regarding the relation amongst religions. A mistake in understanding religious comprehension no doubt has caused a misapplication of that religion itself.
For example, if a community of a religion is mistaken in understanding its ritual and theological aspects, its misunderstanding will only impact its followers. However, when they are mistaken in understanding the social aspect of the religion, then its mistake will impact not only its followers but also society as a whole, such as in the forms of social tension and even social conflict. This social conflict may also slide into other forms of conflict between States in the world.
Every religion possesses its own identity. Between religions they also possess similarities and differences. A similarity in every religion is a hope for the creation of human harmony, justice, prosperity and an improved standard of human life.
An opposing idea between religions is an issue of theology and ritual. For that reason, so as to attain lasting harmony and co-existence amongst religions, therefore what is not similar should not and must not be forced to be opposing, and what views are not shared shouId not be imposed. By doing this, the preservation of co-existence amongst religions may be assured in accordance to each individual religious faith.
Apart from the factor of misunderstandings in comprehending religions, there are also other factors that are reasons behind social conflict and conflict amongst believers which are based on the non religious interests that piggy-back religious teachings and use religion as a motive for non religious objectives.
Interests beyond religious goals may be political, economic and cultural or other non religious interests that are made to seem religious. Such interests may originate from specific groups that declare their motives in the name of religion and even refer to religious themes.
Our duties as religious communities are to bring freedom to all believers to truly comprehend their fates and reduce their misunderstanding of religions that leads social conflict amongst humanity.
Furthermore, we must be wise in differentiating problems that may be categorized as religious and those problems that are abused to be a religious problem. Many times, the political authority’s interests are labeled as religious issues, whereas in fact its essence is far from that truth. In this regards, we must identify religion above all interests. Should religion be placed above such interests, then it will serve as a beacon of hope from its forefathers.
On the other hand, if religions are placed below such interests, then the religious community will forever be at war. For that reason, the harmony of religious followers must begin from within each of the religions packaged in a peaceful setting with the goals of reducing conflict in this world.