Accepting diversity in faiths PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 February 2015 11:53

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

The story of Lucifer in the Bible reminds me that there are still many Lucifers  coming into their own in our world. They are those people who want to make our world into their personal idea of what the world should be like.

The diversity of nature tells us that  this  is what   God wants us to have – not just one kind of animals but many different kinds; not just one kind of flower but many different kinds; not just one color for humans but brown, black, white, yellow; not just one faith for all of humanity but different faiths, and different ways to journey to God .

Why is this so difficult for some people to accept?

Some people believe in God and some don’t. So long as we respect each other’s belief or non-belief,  so long as we respect each other’s personhood,  we can live with each other within the same turf. However some people find that if you don’t believe as they do and you can’t be convinced to change your belief, that is an affront to them and you should be punished.

Could God have made humanity homogeneous in terms of race and religious beliefs?  Of course He could have; I believe in an all-powerful God. Since the evidence points out that He did not do it this way, and I believe in a God who is wise, He had His own reason for doing it this way. When I question this decision of God, am I not putting  myself  above Him and acting like another Lucifer?

IS is a group that makes me think that  indeed there are still people in this world who think they are better than the Prophet  Mohammad who was said to have been very tolerant of people of other beliefs.  These IS people most likely think that they are  even above God.

Muslims, and there are many of them,  who do not come from the same mold as these IS people need to model to the younger generation of Muslims that Islam does indeed teach living in peace with people of other faiths. This is crucial at this time when IS seems to have such an appeal to the young disaffected Muslims who live both in Muslim-majority countries and in the countries of Europe and North America.

The killers involved in the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in France and recently in Copenhagen are examples of these disaffected  young Muslims. The Pew Research Center report referred to in the previous column of this writer underscores the potential for threat to the world’s  peace  from this direction.

Let us act now before the potential becomes a reality.