Interfaith harmony; Need of the hour

    Da Sikh bachya,
    Hindu de,
    Churra de,

    These are the words that people normally use when they want to bash someone. Targeting the marginalized communities through daily conversation is an ongoing trend that further leads to prejudices. Pakistan is a multi-culture and religion-state but we witness the discrimination, imbalance and ignoring attitudes towards religious minorities. People are becoming less tolerant toward diversity and feel a threat from the assortment. When we see the history of interfaith harmony, we have so many good practices in the past, the historic friendship between Muslim Sufi Saints and Sikh Gurus.
    The lack of collective common sense, religious misconceptions, unfair and unjust election procedure for minorities, misinterpretations of Jihad, the partial and prejudiced religious discourse, the migrations of the non-Muslims from Pakistan especially Hindus, insecurity of the holy sites of minorities, unjust distribution of socio-economic resources, the absence of the non-Muslim literature in the national educational curriculum, misuse of Blasphemy laws are some remarkable challenges to Inter-Faith Harmony in Pakistan.

    Women and youth also have a very strong role in the peace process to reshape the ideology of society. We have the ability to challenge the stereotypes and taboos that exist around us because we can’t live with the limited perspectives, negativity, and pessimism in society. We need our own spaces where we eat together, we be friends irrespective of religion/sect/gender, get together, have a fruitful discussion about religion, politics, cultural, norms, values and much more. We want to bridge the communication gaps which were intentionally made to divide and then rule over us.
    In Peshawar, few of the youngsters are trying to make space and provide the platform to the youth irrespective of their gender, color, creed, caste and religious beliefs. The initiative of “PEACE PROMOTERS” is to celebrate and enjoy the diversity. It is our ethical compulsion to respect and pay reverence to other sects’ beliefs. The forum is made to discuss with youth about the inclusion, adequacy, lenience and unlearn the hate material of Pakistan Studies subject which we had taught in schools.

    Under the project of Kamyab Jawan, United Nations Development Program supported Peace Promoters and to transform a youth-led innovative idea into action and provided us the technical support for the Gurdwara visit.

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