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An academic, a researcher and writer.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


An exchange with a friend on the role of religion

Dear S

How can religion meet the challenges of 'socio-economic disorder'? What do you mean by the phenomenon of a 'fully functional' religion? What do you mean by 'structural and revolutionary reforms followed by religion'?, What is a healthy life here? How can it remove factors responsible for 'anomic' conditions in Pakistan? Do you think all the economically prosperous and more just and peaceful societies in the present world are so because of the 'role of religion'? or is it that they have completely set aside religion in the affairs of the state?



Dear Ilyas,

Well thanks for you comments and concern.

I am not saying that religion is the only tool to prevent from evils in society but it is one of the most powerful and effective indicator to deal with people. You can see the Madrassa system in Pakistan ; it has structural and functional issues that are why now a days people avoid sending their children there because they feel there children will be trained as suicide bombers there. At present only economy is not the issue, my concern is to highlight the social disintegration in society and religion can play a very useful role to elevate this disintegration and to turn it in a collective society.



Dear S,

Thanks for your response. I respect your take on the issue but history says it another way. Social disintegration has most often been a consequence of economic disintegration, which has been a consequence of the lack of justice in the society, which has been a consequence of two most important factors: lethargy/fatalism and renunciation of the this worldly life. Unfortunately religion (mullayiat actually) exactly plays a role of that of a facilitator in all of this. Logically speaking then its not lack of religiosity in our society but an overdose of it which is tearing the society apart. Your thesis is based on the assumption that religion can turn the society into a 'whole'. Well the case in point: in Pakistan, its the very opposite. With sectarian, exclusivist tendencies, religion is tearing our society apart and has actually turned it into an active battle ground. I don't know if that can be termed as 'wholeness' of the society and if there will be lesser 'wholeness' in the absence of religion.



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