Critical Commentary by Nick Herzog

Posted on February 27, 2013 by


A clash in Northern India has left one man dead and twenty more people injured. This happened in the town of Bareilly, in the Uttar Pradesh State. A group of Muslims were practicing prayer on the second day of Ramadan when they were interrupted by a group of Hindus worshiping and singing. The Hindus were on their way to a temple to give a regular offering of food and milk to Lord Shiva. Both groups engaged with each other by throwing stones, and the clash ending with a 22 year-old being shot to death. The local police have now put a curfew in effect for the entire town.

Why does so much violence today seem to strain from religion? Two groups, that’s teachings promote non-violence, often engage in horrible, violent acts like this one. Ola Mohamed, a senior Political Science and International Studies double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is also the President of UNC’s Muslim Students Association, wrote that religion’s teachings are all up to human interpretation. He wrote in his article in the Washington Post, “Religion is not a person. It cannot divide, [set] stereotype, judge or kill. By the same token, it does not give charity or serve food at soup kitchens. Therefore, we cannot blame or praise religion as a monolithic and tangible entity responsible for the good or bad in our societies.” It seems that almost all violence in the world and majorly in the Middle East has sprung from religion. While some claim that these actions are radicals that do not fully understand their religion, others insist on believing that everyone in a single religious group holds the same views and interpretations of that religion.

It is hard to say who is right regarding interpretations, but one thing is most certain, that most of the time, violence and murder are not the way to communicate religion and that religious quarrels have to be dealt with more efficiently.

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