Can We Bridge The Divide Between Sunnis and Shiites?

I have a few questions.

I witness death, disease, desensitization, destruction and an abhorrent lack of empathy among the people of this planet.

'What makes one man unavoidably the enemy of another?'

I have a few questions.

I see the beauty of architecture in the mosques, synagogues, churches and temples and I smile to myself at the amalgamation of human intellect with nature.

Then I see blood flowing from the eyes of the mountain as a church crossed paths with a mosque.

'Was the lesson of peace not enough to overcome your differences?'

I have a few questions.

I see people of the world laugh and cry together yet if one claims that a book can be interpreted differently from what the majority believe, it can lead to an early conclusion... of their life.

'Why are invisible beliefs more important than real people themselves?'

I have a few questions.

I see the earth, in all its infinite beauty and natural landmarks. I see the rivers and mountains and valleys and trees.

Then I see rivers of blood streaked arbitrarily on its surface. A crude demarcation of what belongs to whom.

'Who amongst you created the absolute evil that is 'ownership'?'

I have a few questions.

I see the smiles and eagerness on the faces of young children before they are told to hate the children that live on the other side of the river of blood.

'Why must you transfer hate down generations?'

I have a few questions.

I see a lot of happy groups, thriving together in an organized society.

Then I see the savage nature of humans when two groups cross paths.

'Why must you create divisions and subdivisions when you are one and the same?'

I have a few questions.

I see people celebrating their successful 'independence' from people who do not match their belief system.

'Why are beliefs the reason for inter-human dissonance?'

I have a few questions.

I observe mass congregations to pray for salvation.

Then I see the same congregation propagating hate and spilling blood.

'How can you ask for salvation when you are doing everything in your power to spread evil?'

I have a few questions.

Human beings have transgressed through savage times, evolving out of the paradigm 'survival of the fittest' and into 'thriving in numbers' and further into an organized civil society.

'What then, took coexistence away?'

I have a few questions.

4 years ago, I met her at a party in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Her dress glistened under the light and her eyes really gave her away. I had perhaps found the love of my life. Little did I know of the consequences that were to come about in my life after that beautiful night?

To start at the very beginning, I was very shy and perhaps scared of asking her out. gave me the courage to talk to her, though anonymously (God bless social media). We hit it off by me asking her random questions on and then telling her about my day, she would do the same. It went on like that for one whole year until in an almost miraculous turn of events, my six year old brother told her that I was the one questioning her on

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Never share your love ventures with toddlers because the toddlers of today are much smarter than the toddlers of the past, believe me, I know.

We talk everyday now but the very thought that religious differences will never allow for us to be together, haunts me and has in-fact, influenced me for the person I am or wish to be.

You see, I was born Sunni and she was born Shia.

I consider this a universal event in my life because it has opened my eyes to the disparity between the two communities in the world. I abhor the violence and killings over invisible differences that were in-fact created and are being propagated by men who benefit by manipulating the two sects. Interestingly enough, I find people believing very often that peace between the two communities can only stem out of coherence. I disagree. I believe peace stems from coexistence and mutual respect more than it does from coherence and conformity.

I fear for the children of the unenlightened because I fear that they have not been shown the other perspective. They have not been armed with the capacity to love because they were deprived of it since they were born. But I will not let fear consume the light in them. I will fight for them. I will fight for them with the phenomenal power of the pen.

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that’- Martin Luther King Jr.

I pray that the generations to come are aware of the fact that they are being manipulated by men of ill purposes. I pray that no one goes through what I experience every single day. I pray that people take this responsibility upon themselves to contend the elements that cause inter-human dissonance. To set alight the faltering flames inside their eyes- their minds, till the fire is mighty, such should be the might that it burns every speck of hate and every atom of distrust, till only the light radiates, steadily enough for them to see how to love.

I like to think of myself as the bridge between the two communities. I vowed to contend the elements that cause inter-human dissonance and to not sleep a peaceful sleep until I achieve the goals I have set for myself. It is, in my perspective, important that we all divulge in informed dialogue to propagate peace. Promoting ideas of coexistence and mutual respect through education might as well be our only hope. We, the young global scholars of today, are the leaders of tomorrow. Let’s take responsibility.

#sunni #shia #haysamazhar #questions #youth #religion #activism #martinlutherking

The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author, and in no way reflect the opinions of Bridge the Divide or its affiliates.

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