It has been over 1400 years since the last of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam, has been found, and yet, the three religions has not found peace among themselves. No country escapes the grasps of discrimination or disrespect between different religions, and it is hard to bring down boundaries that had been built by our ancestors who believed in bringing up their own religion instead of peacefully living together. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) pilgrimage to Yathrib (now known as Madinah) in the year 623 M, he had made agreements with their people called the Pledges of Aqaba which provided that believers of different religions (particularly Judaism) were able to live together peacefully. In fact, they invited Prophet Muhammad PBUH with intention to ask him to bring peace among their people who are of different tribes. Even with the perfect example of our beloved prophet who held no grudges or hatred towards other religions, we still practice the attitude of going against any other religion instead of trying to resolve problems with peace and harmony.
A recent incident is the killing of Charlie Hebdo, an anti-Semitic cartoonist who was shot down along with some other staff of his office and two police officers minutes after posting a tweet that was intended to criticize the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Although many do not support Charlie Hebdo and his acts of disrespecting the three religions included as part of the Abrahamic faiths through his cartoons, the killing was inhumane to majority of our society hence condemned. It was a barbaric act that was not something that any religion had taught to be the way to solve any disagreements. Another incident involving the Western society and its Islamophobia is the killing of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The shooter was an Atheist neighbor who had previously shown dislike towards the couple who lived there. The sister who came to visit had just graduated with a degree. This had caused an uproar in social networking media, as it was an act of hate towards people who had proven to have not harmed anyone publicly, mainly because of their religion. These acts of killing others of different beliefs has proven the backward civilization our society is going through, as we are learning to act inhumanely, as if animals, to kill those we dislike instead of critically thinking of ways to work together, disregarding our religion and beliefs to improve the way we live through technology.Miroslav Volf, a professor at Yale Divinity School, had given opinions about Christians and Muslims worshipping the same god. He mentions that whether they do was the most common question asked when he speaks of the two religions ever since the 9/11 incident. He believes that with such common grounds and basis of their beliefs, Christians and Muslims, although with different ideas of god, do worship the same one. He also believes that this is the basis of the two most practiced religions being brought to live peacefully together, and discuss ideas that will improve our society. It is not the question of difference in belief, but more of the question whether we have any similarities that could bring our world to a better place, and Volf is a big believer of this. In an article he wrote for Huffington Post, he writes “Whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God is also the driving question for the relation between these two religions globally. Does the one God of Islam stand in contrast to the three-personal God of Christianity? Does the Muslim God issue fierce, unbending laws and demand submission, whereas the Christian God stands for love, equal dignity and the right of every individual to be different? Answer these questions the one way, and you have a justification for cultural and military wars. Answer them the other way, and you have a foundation for a shared future marked by peace rather than violence.” By understanding Volf’s perspective of the issue, we can see that our future can either be divided by war or brought together by respect, and that the choice in our hands who hold onto one of the three religions of the Abrahamic faiths, the biggest religions of the world.
Waddle, R. (2011, March 7). Yale Divinity School. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.yale.edu/divinity/notes/110307/volf.shtml
Read, M. (2015, July 1). What Is Charlie Hebdo? The Cartoons that Made the French Paper Infamous. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://gawker.com/what-is-charlie-hebdo-and-why-a-mostly-complete-histo-1677959168