Religious conflicts are part of human civilization. People make the mistake to think that there is a single reason for them, whereas there are multiple reasons for them.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! Interreligious conflict is a staple of almost all religions in the world, if not all of them. Splits within religious communities usually happen right after the death of their founder.
In this lesson, we will look at some of the common reasons for religious conflict in general.
BODY OF TEXT
And We did certainly give the Children of Israel the Scripture and judgement and prophethood, and We provided them with good things and preferred them over the worlds. And We gave them clear proofs of the matter [of religion]. And they did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. Indeed, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ. (Chapter 45, verses 16-17 of the Holy Qur’an)
Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it - after the clear proofs came to them - out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. (Chapter 2, verse 213 of the Holy Qur’an)
Conflicts Within Religious Traditions
Sectarian conflicts happen for many reasons. Here we will list a few reasons as to why:
- After a religion is revealed, and especially after its founder dies, there is usually a power vacuum that comes about even if its founder designated a successor. This happens as hypocrites within the religion see the death of a founder as an opportunity to consolidate power. When there is a competing, legitimate successor, there is often jealousy involved and violence is often used to eliminate competition.
These different groups often grow into major opposing groups over the generations as each line develops its own set of doctrines and creed and hence a competition is born for not only truth, but also power.
- Many people are not interested in what God has to say as it is not always in line with their desires. They create movements within the religion, distort and twist its message in order to have the religion say what they want it to say.
For example, in Islam, there are some people who do not like many of Islam’s laws as they find them restrictive and contrary to what their desires want. For example, there are movements within Islam today that try to further a reformist agenda that seeks to repel many of Islam’s fundamental laws, like the obligation of Hijab. They are not interested in what God’s ruling is per se, but more interested in making Islam say what they want it to say.
Conflicts Between Religions
Like the above, conflicts between religions happen for multiple reasons. Here are two reasons:
- Political and Economic: Wars need pretexts. Often enough, religious pretexts work the best, even for people who are not religious. Wars are an opportunity to expand political and economic power. Political leaders often exploit religion to legitimize their quest for power and money.
This also happens through elections. The best way of being elected is to instill fear in the populace and convince them that you are the one who can save them from people of other religions.
Think of some European countries today where members of parliament or ministers hop on the islamophobia wagon and wag their fingers at Islam and Muslims as the new threat, just like they did against Jews not so long ago.
- Sometimes conflicts come about because of real religious beliefs. Some people feel that it is God’s work they are doing when they oppress members of other religions.
These people often act as terrorists. They are a minority group in most religions, but they are loud and dangerous. They exist among Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of other faiths.
Conclusion (take a pause and take a tone where now you are speaking in general)
Remember that the lists we gave are not exhaustive by any means. Second, the reasons for inter-religious conflicts may also apply to sectarian conflicts. The point however, is to help us get think in more complex ways and understand the nuance of religious conflicts and tensions.
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
What is the reason behind religious conflicts?
There is no one reason, there are multiple reasons and they differ from situation to situation.
What are some of the major reasons for religious conflicts?
he quest for political power, economic gain, or deviant religious views. These are some reasons out of many.
How can we stop religious conflicts?
Conflicts are part of human civilizational nature, they will end when the human race ends its life in this world.
salvation in Islam
conflicts within religious traditions
Further Reading from Islamiclibrary.com