WHY WAR ON RELIGION EXISTS, WHILE RELIGION TEACHES KINDNESS

The biggest crimes are those done in the name of God and religion, most of them are about slaughtering. No, I won’t sugarcoat it.

When Al-Qaeda hijacked a plane in order to attack United States then everybody’s mind imprinted on the date alone, this attack sparks a huge battle in the new millennium. The 9/11 attack marks the emergence of front line group inspired by the Caliphate of Islam. But, its perspective is misapprehended from that of Islam itself. Terrorists exploit images of brutality and savagery in order to achieve their political gain. Many innocent people die on behalf of the “jihad” who are surely adapt to a different moral and ethics.

While you dwell on that, let’s drift to Rohingya for a little bit for there are a lot of conspiracies developing in Asia about it. One says that Muslims are the terrorists, others claimed that Muslims don’t want to change their religion, and some says that they adapt to Buddhism before ended up getting killed. Comparing to all the conspiracies out there, it is apparent and a fact that the Rohingyas are massacred in Myanmar.

Villages are burned to the ground and those who live in Rokhine, Burma are forced to leave their home. That is an act in which the world should not ignore. There has been some tensions between Muslim Rohingyas and locals who are Buddhist, it has been going on for generations. The Muslims there didn’t get any avowal from local authorities, on top of the different religion they believed in. Some reports came in, stating that there has been a massacre of more than 6000 Muslim Rohingyas. Burma didn’t even acknowledge of their existence.

What’s even sadder is that President of Myanmar, Thein Sein controversially remarks about sending those Muslim Rohingyas away in order to end the ethnic and religion conflict they have. Better hold on to your seat because it’s about to get more complicated.

Two biggest monks organization in Myanmar, Sittwe Young Monks Association and Mrauk Oo Monks Association proclaim for Myanmar people not to interact with Muslim Rohingya, “[Muslim Rohingya] are not a Burma ethnic group. They are the root of violence,” said one of the monk leader, Ashin Htawara in an event in London.

Those two wars got us thinking, “is their faith taught in that way?”. Obviously it is a sensitive issue in one of many talks about religion, and to make it simple: Are there any bad religion? Why are those war crimes exist?

Of course, every religion has their own book of gospel. Its purpose is as a book of guidance on implementing orders mandated by God. That’s why I handed those war crimes as an example to you, and allow me to explain in a point of view of Islam and Buddha in terms of war.

Benazir Bhutto elucidate the issue by quoting some of the verse in Koran. Those verses chosen are related with war, you may call it “Verse of Sword”.

“When the time ends in those illicit months, then kill those musyrikeens in anywhere you seen them, and capture them. Surround them and lurk them in the lookout. If they repent, pray, and giving alms then give them freedom to walk. Allah is Forgiving, and Merciful. (Koran 9: 5)

Bhutto claimed that a glance, it does inflict violence against those who doesn’t believe in Islam. But the context of this is about a specific battle in Medina in time of revelation, a war against Pagans, not scribes or Monotheists. This verse also commands people to stop the violence when violators repent.

The seconds verse were as follows, Fight those who believe not in Allah and (also) to the day later, and those who do not forbid what has been forbidden by Allah and His apostles and no religion properly (Islam), (ie people) who AlKitab was given to them, until they pay the jizya with obedient, they are in a state of subjection.” (Koran 9: 29).

“Though it’s a problematic verse,” Bhutto exclaimed then added, “If you read it thoroughly, it clearly says that this verse doesn’t encourage violence against scribes but only to those who are necessarily rejects God and His teachings.” Lastly, when an enemy wants peace then: And if they incline to peace, then incline was to him and put your trust in Allah, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Koran 8: 61)

Those verses proves that Islam does love to teach peace. But why is it that some of its followers do not adapt to the same perspective? This can be explained due to misinterpretation and their act of not adhering to all its teachings. They only take parts that fit their actions and justifies it with those.

Let’s look into Buddhism, shall we? As it is also known as a religion of love and affection. Their sole purpose is to achieve inner peace, and Nibbana. Buddhism do not support any type of conflict, and their goal is to deal with conflict exists in a person’s level of consciousness. It is also explained as, “The doctrine of the Buddha is such that one who lives in accordance within succeeds in living in the world without coming into conflict with anyone” (M.I.109).

In any canonical Buddhism sources, war doesn’t result in some type of good thinking. Rather it generates hatred and malice which is not healthy (S.IV.308). Which is why soldiers who are doing their duties will have a sad future, since good karma doesn’t reflect on them. All war according to Buddhists, comes from the minds of those who are not free from lobha (greed), dosa (hatred), and moha (ignorance).

In Mahadukkhakkhandha Sutta: “Having taken swords and shield, having girded on bow and quiver, bothsides mass for battle and arrows are hurled and knives are hurled andswords are flashing. Those who wound with arrows and wound withknives and decapitate with their swords, these suffer dying then andpains like unto dying.” (Horner 1954: 114; Trenckner 1888: 86). It gives an understanding that any type of war will only bring suffering to others, which is something that has to be avoided.

A war psychology is an opposite image of Buddhists’ psychology about freedom. Freedom is insured by eradicating greed, hatred, and ignorance. They do not pursue peace with reaping war. War consisted with violence towards people and the core motivation is based on completing one’s desire. Which is why canonical teachings focused on the importance of peace methods to solve conflict before initiating war.

In Dhamapada verse 5, stated that hatred will not end if it is reciprocated with another hate. But hatred will end if it is replied with affection. As well as anger should be won by lack anger, and avarice with generosity. (verse 223)

based on the explanation alone, it is apparent that Buddhism also teach love and affection. Then why is there still killings of Muslim Rohingyas? It is the same as that of Islam, in which they take a few verses and justifies their actions based on it.

I conclude, by quoting Abdul Karim Soroush as the best conclusion (in my opinion) to all ethical problems in religions: “Rightly guided itself may be right and free from contradiction, but the science of religion is not necessarily so. Religion may be perfect or complete, but not so with religious knowledge. Religion is holy, but its interpretationis fully human and earthly.

Nurchoolish Madjid says, “Faith, piety, and religious experiences are forms of spiritual appreciation towards divinity. It means that those values connected with one’s intrinsic part called sincerity. But still, they have to come from a free and independent choice. For this reason religious values are highly individualized.”

Ethics in religion belongs to each person’s decision upon it. Religion is perfect, though different interpretation and unique personal experiences are what makes religious ethics differ in each and everyone.

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