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Old Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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Default Religion and National Integration

Despite the all sectarian problems how religion can play role for national integration? Please give your views
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Old Wednesday, January 30, 2019
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Originally Posted by ahmad9 View Post
Despite the all sectarian problems how religion can play role for national integration? Please give your views
National integration basically means that people from different economic, social, religious and even cultural backgrounds from the same country unite and stand together behind their national ideology and values. So people put what is common among them-their nationality (even if they aren't currently residing in that nation)-over the factors that differentiate them-like their different religions, languages, customs etc.

Religion is believed to be one of the strongest dividing forces within a nation but our contemporary world has several examples of nations with strong integration DESPITE having a multi-cultural and multi-religious population within its borders. It can be argued that many of these countries promote secular views and try to downplay the religious diversity but that's not always the case. Countries like Canada have historically celebrated the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity that they have-hailing it as a strength and not a weakness.

So the question arises, what role does religion play to promote national integration?

Well first of all, most religions promote peace and tolerance not only among its followers but also between the followers and non-followers. Once tolerance and acceptance are implemented in their true spirit, the prejudice and misconceptions that exists between people of different sects and religion, is reduced dramatically. Another thing that religious leaders can do to promote national integration is to promote religious education so people of other religions can come in and ask without fear of threats or judgement. We do not fear something we understand and if we promote inter-religious communication (like hold religious talks and conferences and invite people of different sects and religions to participate), it'll pave the way for peace and harmony. Many religions (Islam in particular) also teach its adherents to have respect for other's faith and religious freedom.

Here I'll quote the historical example of how during the Prophet Muhammad PBUH time Muslims and Jews lived together in Medina and even afterwards during the reign of the first four righteous Caliphs, people of all religions, cultures and languages were part of the larger Muslim empire but there was still despite all the differences considerable peace and stability. This was because everyone had respect for everyone else. There is no compulsion in religious matters.

The main cause behind sectarian differences is usually a lack of respect and tolerance. People get offended very easily without taking the time to learn the other person's point of view. There is such a thing as agreeing to disagree.
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