Religion is dangerous, spirituality is enlightening. When I was in college, we were told that a religion was a set of practices or steps that brought the individual or group around to an experience of the divine. Religion is so much more than this. Also a set of rules establishing social norms, a religion becomes the status quo for entire communities. Outsiders are dehumanized and seen as demonic or more simply, ‘lost.’
Mathew 7:14 Christian Bible
‘But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’
I’ve heard this scripture quoted many times in my life and today it takes on a new meaning. I’m thinking to myself, ‘…work out a more moderate stance in life with respect to religion as extremism in any direction leads to a hard and difficult life and quite possibly death these days.’ Instead of the original connotation that points to differences between believers and non-believers, this contemporary interpretation of Mathew 7:14 looks more at the differences within a group of believers, making distinctions between fundamentalists and those who take a more middle of the road approach as opposed to a very literal interpretation of religious doctrine.
One thing is for sure, students (youth) graduating from rigid religious institutions, (I hesitate to call these schools in the traditional sense) such as Abdul Aziz Ghazi’s Red Mosque who internalize extremist indoctrination or that glorify mass murder and the Jihadi lifestyle, are going to have a very rough road ahead of them. We (the rest of us Earthlings) will have our hands full for many generations to come, trying to preach moderation to a world with a growing number of religious right extremists; including those inside our own borders.
The school that says Osama Bin Laden was a hero
By Mobeen Azhar
BBC World Service, Islamabad