New York: 2001, the suicide bombing of the World Trade Centre.
2010, the plan to build a community centre that includes a mosque near ground zero.
Conflict between American Muslims and the majority who suffered from the destruction of the twin towers.
Israel-Palestine: Israel and Palestine both need homelands; both claim Jerusalem.
Conflict between Jews and Muslims.
India: Muslims in Kashmir want independence from India.
Conflict between Muslims and Hindus.
Both Muslims and Hindus claim a site in Ayodhya.
Conflict between Hindus and Muslims.
Nigeria: The North is Muslim, the South Christian.
Conflict between Muslims and Christians.Iraq: Conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims
The Catholic Church. The Pope travels to various countries apologising for the abuse of children.
Conflict between communities and church.
Most conflicts in the world today have come about because of faith. And because people cling to their faiths, their conflicts will never be resolved.
Many of the conflicts are really territorial disputes and faith supplies the motivation to adhere to claims at all costs.
When Solomon told the two women who were fighting over a baby, that each could have a half, the more humane of the two gave up her claim. But in the present day, greed and power make it impossible for humane behaviour.
In today’s world, turning the other cheek is seen as a sign of weakness, jihad takes precedence over peace, domination is more powerful than the ten commandments, and karma is mistaken for dharma. All of which demonstrate that religion has no influence over people. It is there simply as a reminder that we aspire to greater things but being human we pay lip service to what is good while we embrace greed and the desire for power.
Religion fosters difference, is the pretext for conflict and gives rise to hate, division and war. Clinging to religion allows us to cling to prejudice. It does not contribute towards brother-sisterhood, love and peace. It covers up the worst excesses of power and precludes humane understanding of the human condition. It hides the reality that we are all human beings who have that most wonderful of all miracles, life, that we have a common existence in an unfathomable universe and that we are people through other people.
Instead, religion is an opiate that inspires abuse.